Indianapolis Colts

Why trading Nate Sudfeld to Colts after Andrew Luck’s retirement would make sense

usa_nate_sudfeld_eagles.jpg
USA Today Images/Bill Streicher

Why trading Nate Sudfeld to Colts after Andrew Luck’s retirement would make sense

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. 

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. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles acquire DT Hassan Ridgeway in exchange for seventh-round pick in 2019 NFL Draft

usa_hassan_ridgeway_colts.jpg
USA Today Images/Mark J. Rebilas

Eagles acquire DT Hassan Ridgeway in exchange for seventh-round pick in 2019 NFL Draft

It’s sort of like the Eagles just drafted a veteran. 

Instead of using the seventh-round pick that they acquired earlier on Saturday, the Eagles shipped pick No. 246 to the Colts for 6-foot-5, 305-pound veteran defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway. 

Ridgeway, 24, was a fourth-round pick by the Colts out of Texas in the 2016 draft. 

After trading their final pick for Ridgeway, the Eagles will leave the 2019 draft with five players. They got pick 246 after trading down a few spots in the fifth round before drafting Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson. 

In 34 career NFL games (six starts) during his first three seasons in the league, Ridgeway has 4 1/2 sacks and 41 combined tackles. 

When he came out of college a few years ago, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said Ridgeway had “a rare combination of power and athleticism that give him the potential to impact the game on all three downs” but there were questions about his health and conditioning. 

In 2018, Ridgeway dealt with a lingering calf injury and played in just five games. He did return to play in both of the Colts’ playoff games last year; he had half a sack, two QB hits and three tackles. 

This season, the last on his rookie deal, Ridgeway has a base salary of $720,000. So he’s a very affordable veteran player for the Eagles. By trading him, the Colts were left with just $140K in dead money. 

In Philadelphia, he’ll join a crowded defensive tackle rotation that includes Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan, Treyvon Hester and Bruce Hector. Ridgeway will fight for a roster spot and playing time as a rotational player. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles' free agent running back Jay Ajayi starts lining up visits

usa_jay_ajayi_eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles' free agent running back Jay Ajayi starts lining up visits

Free agent running back Jay Ajayi, limited to just four games last year after suffering a Week 4 torn ACL against the Vikings, has a visit scheduled for next week with the Colts, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Colts head coach Frank Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2017, when the Eagles acquired Ajayi from the Dolphins midway through the season on their way to the Super Bowl championship.

Ajayi ran for 408 yards with a 5.8 average in seven games with the Eagles in 2017 and added another 184 yards and a 4.4 average in the postseason. This past year, he averaged 4.1 yards on just 45 carries before getting hurt. 

The Colts appear to be in good shape at running back, with Marlon Mack, who gained 908 yards with nine TDs and a 4.7 average last year in his second season; Jordan Wilkins, who averaged 5.6 yards on 60 carries last year as a rookie, and Nyheim Hines, who had 314 yards rushing and 63 receptions last year, also as a rookie.

Ajayi is only 25 but has dealt with injuries throughout his career and has played just 42 of a possible 64 games in his four NFL seasons. 

There is no denying Ajayi’s talent — his 4.5 career rushing average is tied for eighth-highest in the NFL among active running backs with at least 500 carries. But lingering questions about his health and the long-term prognosis of his knees are a concern.

The Eagles have only Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Donnel Pumphrey and Boston Scott currently on the roster at running back.

So far, there's been no indication that they're interested in retaining Ajayi, although it's possible they are waiting to see what his value is on the open market before making an offer.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles