After much speculation, it appears that Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers will finally know his punishment for gambling on NFL games.
Reportedly, Rodgers will be facing a yearlong suspension for placing bets on NFL games, some of which included the Colts. Rodgers will be joined in his suspension by several other players who are also facing yearlong bans. The punishment, if accurate, is about what was expected from the league. In fact, it could be seen as a positive outcome for Rodgers; had Rodgers bet against the Colts, he very well may have faced an indefinite suspension or potentially a lifetime ban.
For the Colts, they’ll have to do without Rodgers for at least the 2023-24 NFL Season. There is a good chance they decide to wipe their hands of the situation, and release Rodgers either before his suspension begins or after it ends. Either way, the team is losing a player who figured to compete for a starting role alongside Kenny Moore. This of course, comes after the team traded away former All-Pro Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys.
So what should the Colts do? Should they bring in a proven veteran to fill Rodgers’ spot?
The team is somewhat fortunate, in that they drafted 3 cornerbacks in April’s draft before they knew they would be losing Rodgers. 2nd-round pick Julius Brents in particular could see himself getting a lot of playing time early in the season. So will they decide to roll with their young players, and let them develop while dealing with the growing pains that will come with that decision?
Taking a look at the remaining cornerbacks on the market, there isn’t a player that immediately stands out as someone the Colts might be interested in. Marcus Peters, Bryce Callahan, and Ronald Darby are the 3 biggest names still available. Peters has the most name recognition and accolades, but he is also 30 years old, and has a reputation as a volatile player and locker room presence. In fact, age might be a concern for all 3 players; Darby is the youngest at 29, while Callahan is 31. Do any of them want to join a rebuilding team at this stage in their careers? Do the Colts want to take away playing time from their young pieces for a veteran who might be, at best, a stopgap?
Without a doubt, the Colts find themselves in a tough spot. Rodgers was by no means a game changer, but he was a good player who seemed to be on the rise. Now, instead of being a starter with a chance to earn himself a big contract extension, Rodgers will sit on the sidelines for at least a season, while the Colts will try and move on without him. Whether or not he plays again, least of all in a Colts uniform, remains to be seen.
During Wednesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to Stephen Holder of ESPN about Isaiah Rodgers, when we can expect an official decision, and more. Listen to that conversation and others below, and tune into The Ride With JMV from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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