Phillip Rivers is the Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback.
Why else would they pay him $25 million?
So what will the Colts do with Jacoby Brissett?
The Colts have options to getting more cap space, including trading/reworking Jacoby Brissett and his contract.
— Indy SportsOne (@IndySportsOne) March 17, 2020
NFL fans know an experienced backup passer can save a season.
Brissett ran out of gas, fading down the stretch of a disappointing 2019 season.
But he showed he can get the team through a stretch if Rivers goes down for a while.
On the other hand, Phillip Rivers doesn´t go down.
Philip Rivers is not human.
Rivers joins Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to start 200 consecutive games. pic.twitter.com/Tnxpdt440w
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 4, 2018
He´s played in 224 straight games.
Then there is the salary cap hit Brissett carries.
Can any team justify a $21.3 million cap hit on a backup player?
That´s why we went looking for potential trade destinations for Jacoby Brissett.
What Does a Team Get in Brissett?
Brissett´s trade value isn´t as high as one would hope.
In fact, his biggest selling point might be the desperation on Chris Ballard´s part to unload the contract.
There are only a handful of teams looking for a starting passer.
Jameis Winston is a free agent and Andy Dalton is still available by trade.
Adding Cam Newton to the mix pushes Brissett further down the status ladder.
Brissett could be a quality backup for somebody.
But that means the Colts might have to eat some of his salary and cap hit.
There is a $7 million signing bonus due March 22 the Colts might have to assume they will pay.
That would make the services of a somewhat-experienced quarterback more desirable.
Colts QB Jacoby Brissett was a very impressive 59.6% accurate (adjusted for drops and depth) in 2019-20. The Colts receivers dropped 7.2% of his throws, 32 passes.
The Colts traded the 13th pick in a wide receiver heavy draft. pic.twitter.com/CEK1HFrsIv
— QB Data Mine (@QBDataMine) March 16, 2020
Brissett is not an exciting passer, but he takes care of the ball.
That gives him a leg up on many of the available backups.
Indianapolis can also cut Brissett at any point to save $8.8 million on the cap.
Holding Brissett and cutting Brian Hoyer only saves $5 million.
Considering all that, here are our top three potential trade destinations for Jacoby Brissett.
1. New England Patriots
When the Colts were still in the Tom Brady sweepstakes, an interesting thought emerged.
Jacoby Brissett´s statistics weren´t that far off from Brady´s 2019 line.
Bill Belichick drafted Brissett back in the third round of the 2016 draft.
It sounds more and more like Philip Rivers is going to Indy.
If you’re Bill Belichick, why waste money and time bringing in Jameis or Dalton when you can go sign Jacoby Brissett, who has played in your system before? pic.twitter.com/1iuGMjwcbd
— John Miceli (@JohnAMiceli) March 17, 2020
He also drafted Jimmy Garoppolo before trading both quarterbacks away.
Garoppolo enjoyed a successful season in 2019.
Who doesn’t think Belichick would like to see Brissett thrive in 2020?
Last season´s fourth-round Patriots pick, Jason Stidham is slated in the starter role by default in New England.
There is a thought that Belichick prefers not to bring in an established personality at quarterback.
Andy Dalton is more likely than Jameis Winston or Cam Newton to land in New England.
But turning a nondescript passer like Brissett into a playoff quarterback sounds more like a Belichick challenge.
Bring in Jacoby Brissett, let him battle it out with Stidham for the starting role and see want the competition makes. You may be surprised with what you get. pic.twitter.com/i55GdJc9gT
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) March 17, 2020
That, in turn, gives the Colts their best hope at decent compensation.
Belichick is bold enough to give up one of his 3 third-round picks or, more likely, his fourth-rounder.
Ballard might also ask for a pair of New England´s third-day selections.
2. Chicago Bears
Why would the Chicago Bears opt to trade for Jacoby Brissett?
The answer lies in their faith in Mitchell Trubisky.
Quick Chicago #Bears QB Rant:
(1/5) I feel that Ryan Pace & Co. will bring in a quality backup to stand behind Mitch, but only for the simple reason that Trubisky has had durability questions the past few seasons. pic.twitter.com/3oDjZ7EBR4
— Frank Grizzly. (@GrizzlyGridiron) March 2, 2020
Chicago has to get more out of its current starter.
Should the team sign Dalton, Winston, or Newton, it is a sign Turbisky is out.
The Bears would not pay starter money to sit a premier free agent behind Trubisky, even if he stepped up.
Matt Nagy could bring on Brissett as a realistic challenger to Trubisky without giving up on him.
Of course, that means the Bears would give up backup-passer compensation.
It also means Nagy will have to explain himself if neither passer improves on their 2019 performances.
Indianapolis can probably expect a late-round draft pick from Chicago.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger recently re-worked his contract to help the Steelers open more cap space.
It sounds like he is going to return behind center in 2020.
But what if he isn´t as effective after elbow surgery, not to mention so many years of NFL wear and tear?
— Blitzburgh (@SteelBlitzburgh) March 4, 2020
They can´t afford a big-name free agent under the salary cap.
But a trade might help them land a quality backup and potential starter if Big Ben´s rehab hits a snag.
Indianapolis will probably have to pay Brissett´s signing bonus to make a deal with Pittsburgh.
But if Ballard can find a player to add depth to his roster, the Steelers might be his best option.
Such a deal would secure Brian Hoyer and Chad Kelly another season in Indy.