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INDIANAPOLIS – The last in-season trade by the Indianapolis Colts is one of the most forgettable moves in NFL history.

Just two weeks into the 2013 NFL season, the Colts gave up a first-round pick for Trent Richardson, who was taken No. 3 overall in the ’12 Draft.

It didn’t work out. At all.

That deal is the only in-season trade made by the Colts in the last dozen years.

With this year’s NFL trade deadline coming next Tuesday (November 2nd), chatter is growing on how the Colts should approach things.

We know that the team and running back Marlon Mack are hoping to find a deal.

But how aggressive should the 3-5 Colts be, knowing that the draft pick haul in 2021 isn’t as rich as years past?



Positions Need Help: When you are 3-5 and 12th in the AFC (out of 16 teams), it’s clear your team needs help. That is even truer after a pair of injuries we saw last week. With WR-Parris Campbell out 2-to-3 months and S-Julian Blackmon lost for the season, the quality depth of the Colts is being tested at wide receiver and safety. Cornerback is another position where the Colts have been searching for some depth, too. At each of these positions, particularly safety, it would make sense to seek out upgrades. With the new injury to Khari Willis, safety remains my No. 1 position to seek out, especially when you factor in Blackmon’s situation lingering into the start of next year.

Finding A Marlon Mack Suitor: For both parties, it makes sense for the Colts to trade Marlon Mack. Coming off that torn Achilles. Mack is the No. 3 running back in Indy, averaging a career-low 3.6 yards per carry. Now with Jordan Wilkins being cut over the weekend, the Colts no longer have that proven insurance behind Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. Moving Mack for something (a late Day 3 draft pick or for a player at more of a position of need) would also allow for the Colts to get some return on a player in a contract year. Mack’s presence is more of a luxury right now and he’s really only needed ‘in case of emergency.’ Although one could argue Mack on the roster still means more than a 7th round pick.



Does It Push You Into Playoff Contender? This is the biggest question every team must ask around the trade deadline. Are we buyers? Or sellers? If a team is willing to give up some asset for a player this time of year, the answer has to be this: It gives said team more of a chance at making the playoffs and/or going on a deep playoff run. With the Colts losing to the Titans, they now need even more help to make the playoffs this season. Chris Ballard and Frank Reich have to be real and honest with themselves in weighing these possibilities.

Giving Up Future Resources: Perhaps the biggest hinderance in the Colts making a move as a buyer right now is what is in stock to give away. With Carson Wentz having played 99 percent of the snaps this season, it’s looking more and more likely that the Colts will be sending that 1st round pick in 2022 to the Eagles. That leaves the Colts with their normal ’22 picks in Round 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 (they traded their 6th rounder to Philly in the Matt Pryor deal, which did net the Colts a 7th rounder from the Eagles). The Colts are expected to get a couple of compensatory picks, projected in Rounds 5 and 6, as well. So it looks like they will have 2 picks in the first three rounds, and then 5 selections on the final day. Assuming that first-round pick is gone, should we really expect Chris Ballard to send away another draft pick, especially when the Colts are a coin-flip playoff team, at best, right now? Remember, future drafts take on even more importance for the Colts as their cap situation gets tighter and tighter. Another thing that should be noted, is the Colts aren’t in a great cap spot right now to bring in a player making substantial money.



-The only move the Colts should make right now is trying to move Marlon Mack for some asset, preferably in the future. Now, the odds of this happening are probably unlikely given the position Mack plays and how he’s looked in spot duty this year. Unless a Mack deal happens, I believe the Colts should stand pat and not be a ‘buyer’ at the deadline. The higher-end draft picks are too precious to give up, and it would take that type of resource in order to acquire a player that is enough of a stature to push this team into the ‘legit’ category of the AFC. As much fun as it would be to push all the chips in on an annual basis, that’s not reality. This team isn’t one piece away from being on the top-level of the AFC. It’s important to maintain the current resources and let this season play out as is, with getting a complete answer on Carson Wentz still the most important aspect to this year.

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