With the Colts' acquisition of Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett is no longer someone who should be on your radar on Draft Day. Brissett will start the year as Rivers' backup, but even if Rivers went down, Brissett would only be a starter in a 2QB league. G
Coach Frank Reich suggested Tuesday that Brissett could play a handful of snaps per game to take advantage of his mobility, Joel A. Erickson of The Indianapolis Star reports. Brissett isn't exactly fleet of foot, but he does move around much better than breathing statue Philip Rivers, potentially making the 27-year-old useful for certain option concepts. The Colts reportedly intend to keep the former as a backup to the latter, making Brissett the highest-paid No. 2 QB in the league as he enters the second season of a two-year, $30 million contract. It is possible the team alters course before Week 1, considering Brissett's release would free up nearly $9 million in cap space (per overthecap.com), and a trade could clear out even more room. Either way, Rivers is ticketed for the Week 1 start.
The Colts intend to keep Brissett on the roster in 2020, despite the team's recent signing of Philip Rivers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. Brissett was awarded a two-year, $30 million extension last September, an indication the Colts at least viewed him as a capable bridge option following the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck. The signal-caller got off to a strong start to the 2019 campaign but saw his production tail off down the stretch, finishing with an 18:6 TD:INT, 6.6 yards per attempt and a 60.9 percent completion rate across 15 games. The Colts' decision to hand Rivers a one-year, $25 million contract in free agency signals that he's the starter entering 2020, but the organization still apparently views Brissett as a valuable insurance option for the 38-year-old. Brissett will take home $7 million guaranteed if he remains on the roster through the end of Sunday, so if no trade is executed before then, the 27-year-old should stick with Indianapolis all season.
General manager Chris Ballard said "the jury is still out" on Brissett, Stephen Holder of The Athletic reports. "Jacoby did some good things," Ballard said Thursday. "But our passing game has to improve. The jury is still out. That's why we did the short-term deal we did." Ballard did add a slightly more favorable comment: "Right now, I'll say Jacoby is our starting quarterback." Of course, it could be argued that 'right now' is the crucial part of the quote, with the implication that the Colts will try to find an upgrade. Brissett led the team to a 5-2 start while averaging two touchdown passes per game, but the season began to unravel when he suffered a knee injury Week 9 in Pittsburgh. He only missed one game, but his performance over the final two months was subpar, with the 27-year-old completing 56.4 percent of passes for 6.1 yards per attempt and four touchdowns in seven games (2-5 record). Brissett is signed through 2020 on a one-year extension with a $21.5 million cap hit, including $5.5 million that has already been paid and another $7 million that's guaranteed, per overthecap.com. The Colts have more than enough cap space to bring in veteran competition, and they also have a nice haul of 2020 draft picks in the early rounds (Nos. 13, 34, 44, 75).
Brissett completed 12 of 25 pass attempts for 162 yards while also rushing four times for 17 yards in Sunday's 38-20 loss to the Jaguars. Brissett's late-season slide hit rock bottom after the signal-caller fell below a 50 percent completion rate for the first time in a game this season. The 26-year-old was looking like an adequate replacement for Andrew Luck (retirement) after a strong first half of the season when he posted a 64.5 completion rate, 1,590 passing yards and a 14:3 TD:INT ratio through the first seven games of the campaign. The league must have figured him out in the second half of the campaign, however, as he struggled to the tune of a 56.9 completion percentage, 1,352 yards and a 4:3 TD:INT ratio over his final eight games. The Colts extended Brissett through the 2020 season, so he should get a chance to redeem himself if the team doesn't pursue another option this upcoming offseason.
Brissett completed 14 of 27 passes for 119 yards during Sunday's 38-6 win over the Panthers. He added 37 yards and a touchdown on three carries. Brissett was held under 200 yards passing for the fourth time in his last six games. He has thrown just four touchdowns during that span. Without much traction in the passing game, Brissett relied on his legs to make a few big plays, scoring the Colts' first touchdown on a first-quarter sneak and then converting a third down with a big 24-yard run in the second quarter to set up Indianapolis' third touchdown. The season concludes next Sunday versus a Jaguars team against which Brissett threw for 148 yards and compiled two total touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) in a Week 11 win.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/27||New York Jets||17||19.13|
|11||11/22||Green Bay Packers||3||14.33|
|14||12/13||@Las Vegas Raiders||26||22.88|
|3 Year Avg||59.6||2014||10||4||160||3||160|