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INDIANAPOLIS – The patience and hesitancy allowed for Chris Ballard to make the rare move.

Heading into the 2020 offseason, the Colts had a serious decision to make at the starting quarterback position for the first time in more than 20 years.

Run it back with Jacoby Brissett?

Go all-in on the 13th overall pick and immediately commit to the long-term future?

Tap into the uncommon quarterback free agency class?

While the familiarity between Philip Rivers and the Colts coaching staff made for an early connection, the GM mind of Ballard thanks his cap situation for having the possibility to do something so substantial.

The Colts were/are able to handle giving Rivers $25 million for the 2020 this season, while still committing a $21 million cap hit to Brissett, who will be the backup.

“This situation was a little bit unique, and it’s not like it financially hurts us going long-term,” Ballard says of the move for Rivers. “Even with both (Rivers and Brissett) under contract, it doesn’t hurt us long-term. Mike Bluem, our cap guy, has done such a tremendous job with the cap and our cash that we are in a unique spot here in being able to do this.

“From a cap standpoint, sometimes you wouldn’t be able to make these moves.”

Paying a 38-year-old player—who was not among the top at his position last year—a fully guaranteed contract goes against much of what Ballard believes in as GM.

But, even to a guy like Ballard, he knows that the quarterback position sits on its own pedestal when it comes to making moves.

“I think the quarterback position is a little bit different than the rest of them,” the GM admits.

“Because it is the quarterback position, and because of (Rivers’) stature, it just made it a unique opportunity. You have a potential Hall of Fame quarterback hit the market that has history with both our head coach and offensive coordinator.”

Philip Rivers’ Numbers with Frank Reich (with Rivers’ career rankings)

-2013 (9-7):

-69.5 completion percent (1st)

-4,478 passing yards (6th)

-32 touchdowns (3rd)

-11 interceptions (4th)

-8.2 yards per attempt (5th)

-105.5 quarterback rating (4th)

-2014 (9-7):

-66.5 completion percent (3rd)

-4,286 passing yards (9th)

-31 touchdowns (5th)

-18 interceptions (11th)

-7.5 yards per attempt (10th)

-93.8 quarterback rating (8th)

-2015 (4-12):

-66.1 completion percent (4th)

-4,792 passing yards (1st)

-29 touchdowns (7th)

-13 interceptions (7th)

-7.2 yards per attempt (12th)

-93.8 quarterback rating (8th)