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Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts

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INDIANAPOLISIt’s a position the Colts have yet to be in during Chris Ballard’s tenure.

And it’s a time that cannot be taken for granted.

The Colts are building (re-building*) right now with a starting quarterback on a rookie contract.

As you look around the NFL, this is the time to do your major building and it provides opportunities that cannot be passed up when supporting your young quarterback.

Chris Ballard appears to understand this.

“It opens the world up a little bit more financially, which is a good thing here going forward,” Ballard said of having Anthony Richardson under a reasonable QB contract for the next handful of years.

Richardson is under team control through the 2027 season (with a 5th year team option for that ’27 campaign).

If you map out the next 3 years, Richardson’s base salaries are as followed:

-2024: $2.2 million (27th highest among QBs)

-2025: $3.8 million

-2026: $5.4 million

When you consider half of the NFL teams have a quarterback making double-digit million annually this upcoming season, the Colts are in a unique position.

Think about recent moves we’ve seen around the NFL by teams with a rookie contract QB:

-The Bills trading for Stefon Diggs going into Josh Allen’s 3rd year.

-The Eagles trading for A.J. Brown going into Jalen Hurts’ 3rd year.

-The Dolphins trading for Tyreek Hill going into Tua Tagovailoa’s 3rd year.

Or how about the teams playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl?

Back when Patrick Mahomes was on a rookie contract, the Chiefs 1st Super Bowl victory in 2020 came thanks to short-term moves for guys like Sammy Watkins, Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark.

Look at how the 49ers have greatly benefitted from the contract of Brock Purdy. They have stars, and have paid them like that, at more than a half dozen positions (RB-Christian McCaffrey, WR-Deebo Samuel, TE-George Kittle, LT-Trent Williams, DE-Nick Bosa, DT-Arik Armstead, LB-Fred Warner).

That’s unherad of in the NFL. But they are able to do it thanks to Purdy making such a small amount.

While Richardson is not at the Purdy-contract level ($985,000), the Colts are still in a position to do some substantial building starting this offseason, along with the next couple.

This is something unlike anything Ballard has had in his 7 years as GM.

He must take advantage of it.

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