We were all enjoying our Saturday evenings when ESPN’s Adam Schefter dropped a bomb on us. The kind that made us furiously check to make sure it wasn’t a fake Twitter account.
Filed to ESPN: Andrew Luck has informed the Colts he is retiring from the NFL, per source. There will be a press conference Sunday to make it official, but Luck is mentally worn down, and now checking out.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 25, 2019
And with that news, the next thought from an Eagles perspective is this:
Would it make sense to trade Nate Sudfeld to Indy?
The short answer: Absolutely.
With Andrew Luck’s retirement, Jacoby Brissett will take over as the Colts’ starting quarterback. Lucky for them, they had the best backup quarterback in the league as their 29-year-old franchise quarterback decided to walk away. In 2017, Brissett started 15 games for the Colts and had a pretty good season.
But now this means former Broncos’ seventh-round pick Chad Kelly is the Colts’ backup quarterback. If they’re not content with that (and they probably shouldn’t be), Sudfeld would make a ton of sense for both sides.
There are plenty of reasons:
• Sure, Sudfeld is injured right now, but he’s been healing from that broken left wrist and is already out of the hard cast. He could return by as early as late September, although October is likely be more realistic. So if the Colts can hang tight until then with Kelly as their backup, Sudfeld could still be the No. 2 in Indy for most of the season. Sudfeld’s injury isn’t the type that will linger. It’s not like this is a soft-tissue injury; once he’s cleared, he’ll be good to go.
And the Colts have a good enough roster that they should still be in win-now mode even after Luck’s retirement.
• Sudfeld has plenty of familiarity with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was previously the Eagles’ offensive coordinator. Sudfeld and Reich were together during the Super Bowl season in 2017, when the Eagles stuck with Sudfeld as their backup into the playoffs after Carson Wentz’s injury despite Sudfeld’s lack of experience. Reich and Sudfeld have a very good relationship.
• Even before Reich became the head coach in Indy, the Colts were interested in Sudfeld. Remember, they were the team that tried to sign him off the Eagles’ practice squad during the 2017 season. The Eagles reacted and added Sudfeld to their 53-man roster to avoid losing him.
• After bringing Josh McCown out of retirement, the Eagles are pretty set at their backup quarterback spot. Moving Sudfeld would even eliminate the eventual decision of what to do with that spot when he’s healthy.
• The Eagles just drafted Clayton Thorson in the fifth round out of Northwestern. Thorson has looked good at times this preseason and could possibly take over for McCown as the Eagles’ backup QB in 2020.
• Sudfeld is 25 and is getting paid just over $3 million this season after the Eagles used a second-round RFA tender on him this offseason. There’s a good chance Sudfeld gets a contract elsewhere after this season and would be gone anyway. This would give Howie Roseman a chance to recoup something for him before he leaves.
• This isn’t the best reason to pull off a trade, but Sudfeld probably has plenty of fans in Indiana. He played his college ball for the Hoosiers about an hour drive away from Indianapolis.
Ever since the Eagles signed Sudfeld to their practice squad in 2017, they’ve really liked him. At every turn, they’ve shown confidence in him. So maybe it would be tough to trade him away. But this type of deal would make sense for both sides if they could agree on the right price.
Roseman should be on the phone before the shock wears off in Indy.
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