The Indianapolis Colts thought they had their franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz, only to dump him after one season to the Washington Commanders after trading a first- and third-round pick for him. Indianapolis is restarting at quarterback again, as the Colts will have their fifth starting quarterback for Week 1 in the last five years.

Wentz played a major role in the collapse of the Colts at the end of the season, causing owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard to hit the reset button. Indianapolis received a 2022 third-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick that can be elevated to a second-round pick if Wentz plays 70% of the snaps. Indianapolis and Washington traded second-round picks as part of the deal (Colts have No. 42 and Commanders have No. 47).

What did the Colts have planned at quarterback with Wentz out of the picture? The quarterback market isn’t as strong with Russell Wilson already dealt with and Deshaun Watson residing in the division. Luckily for the Colts, there are viable options going forward.

Free agent options


The Colts will have to compete with a few teams for Trubisky’s services, but Indianapolis has $69.8 million in cap space available. They can sign Trubisky for a high salary and add an extra year to a contract just for immediate job security.

Trubisky may only be a one-year option for Indianapolis, but his development with the Buffalo Bills may be attractive enough for the Colts to give him a second chance at an NFL start.


Winston would also be a transition option for the Colts and he will have his market in free agency. Indianapolis won’t have to pay that much money to sign Winston for a season and can use the remaining cap space to improve other areas on the roster.

Winston completed just 59% of his passes for 1,170 yards with 14 touchdowns on just three interceptions in seven starts last season, compiling a passer rating of 102.8. The upgraded Winston may be enough for the Colts to take a flyer on him.


Mariota is the wildcard in that equation, a tempting option for the Colts given his familiarity with the AFC South and his mobility. In the past two seasons with the Raiders, Mariota has been used as a hybrid quarterback (throwing for 230 yards and rushing for 175) presenting a different look for defenses.

At only 28 years old, the Colts could try their luck against Mariota for a one-year contract under the tutelage of Frank Reich. His mobility and ability to get out of the pocket should be attractive enough for Indianapolis.

Trading Options


Garoppolo may be in the Colts’ price range, now that they have the No. 42 overall pick and the No. 73 pick (acquired in Washington) and the No. 83 pick. Dropping a second and a third pick round may be enough for the entire San Francisco 49ers to trade Garoppolo.

Is Garoppolo a better option than Wentz? Garoppolo completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,810 yards with 20 touchdowns for 12 interceptions last season for a passer rating of 98.7. He’ll go from heavy offense to heavy offense, seen as a game manager who can make the throws needed to extend drives.

If Garoppolo can avoid the inconsistency issues that plagued him in San Francisco (especially in the fourth quarter), he’s the best option for the Colts in 2022.


With Aaron Rodgers back with the Green Bay Packers, love is consumable and can be had for a reasonable price. Whether the Colts should give up for unproven merchandise for Love is uncertain, but he completed just 36 of 62 passes (58.1%) for 411 yards with two touchdowns for three interceptions (68.7 rating) in his career (six games).

Indianapolis shouldn’t have to give up more than a third-round pick for Love. Currently there are more attractive options.


If the Raiders were to leave Carr given the state of the AFC West, the Colts should easily be interested. Unfortunately, the Colts traded their 2022 first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wentz trade. Teams will have better offers for Carr than the Colts trump, as a 2023 first-round pick likely won’t move the needle with other quarterback-needy teams having first-round picks this year.

As of now, Carr is a pipe dream for the Colts — unless they add some good players in a trade.

Internal option


A 2021 sixth-round pick, Ehlinger has never thrown a pass in the NFL. He played a grand total of 18 snaps, rushing three times for nine yards. Ehlinger will have the opportunity to compete for the backup job for the Colts, but Indianapolis needs to have a more proven option to start heading toward the draft.

Otherwise, the Colts will have to consider one of the best remaining quarterbacks in the draft.

Draft Options

Sam Howell

Since the Colts don’t have a first-round pick, Howell may slide to No. 42 and Indianapolis can select him to compete with Sam Ehlinger for the starting job (Howell is ranked No. 55 in the standings). general by CBS Sports). The Colts may have to move up a bit for Howell depending on where the top three quarterbacks in the draft are drafted.

Howell would be a 2023 draft and more of an option for the Colts, assuming they also land a free agent quarterback.

Desmond Cavalier

Ridder is a projected second-round pick and the No. 76 overall player for CBS Sports. If the Colts want Ridder at No. 42, there’s a good move they can select him to compete with Ehlinger. Like Howell, Indianapolis will also likely sign a free agent — as Ridder is best suited to take over in 2023.

carson strong

Strong is the No. 98 player overall on the CBS Sports draft board and could be selected in the third round (Indianapolis has two third-round picks). At this point, Strong can also compete with Ehlinger — but he’s better suited for quarterback depth in 2022.