Colts owner Jim Irsay: We wouldn't trade Jacoby Brissett for a first-round pick

If all goes according to plan, Colts backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett won't see the field during the upcoming season. With Andrew Luck finally healthy again after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury, the plan is for Brissett to ride the bench while Luck leads the Colts back to competitiveness.

But that doesn't mean Brissett, who started 15 games a year ago, is worthless to the Colts. Despite Brissett's status as nothing more than the Colts' emergency option, he's apparently almost untradable in the eyes of Colts owner Jim Irsay. 

On Friday night, Irsay told reporters that he likely wouldn't trade Brissett for a first-round pick.

"All of a sudden, we have the best backup quarterback in football," Irsay said, per the Indianapolis Star. "I don't think we'd accept a (first-round pick in a trade) for him, we think he's that good."

Irsay's not wrong about Brissett being a good backup quarterback -- though Nick Foles would probably be considered the best backup after his sudden ascent to Super Bowl MVP -- but the idea that he wouldn't accept a first-round pick for a player who isn't supposed to play is borderline insane, especially considering how many holes the Colts still need to plug on their roster.

Perhaps if the Colts were in the middle of their Super Bowl window, there'd be an argument for valuing an insurance policy over a first-round pick so that they could stay afloat in the event Luck is forced to miss a few games. But the Colts aren't a contender. If Luck goes down again with an injury, their season will be over, even if Brissett is there to step in.

A year ago, for as well as Brissett played (17 total touchdowns and an 81.7 passer rating), the Colts still went 4-12. Only a quarterback of Luck's caliber is capable of pushing the Colts from a bad team to a competitive team. The Colts' goal should be to build a Super Bowl-caliber roster around Luck, who hasn't gotten enough help since arriving in Indianapolis. An extra first-round pick would help them do exactly that. That's why it'd be borderline insane to choose Brissett over a first-round pick. 

Then again, it's tough to imagine the Colts would ever get an offer like that for Brissett. The Eagles set an expensive price for Foles and didn't get the offer they wanted. If teams weren't willing to pay up for Foles, why would they be willing to pay up for Brissett? 

It's also tough to imagine general manager Chris Ballard, who sent underachieving receiver Phillip Dorsett to New England in exchange for Brissett last September, passing up a first-round pick for his backup quarterback. In April, the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder reported that the Colts rejected two trade offers for Brissett, but Holder didn't include the specifics of the offers. The offers probably didn't include a first-round pick, but there's no way to know for sure.

Ballard clearly values Brissett, who is under contract through the 2019 season. But he might value a first-round pick more, despite how Irsay feels.

In the end, all of this -- the refusal to trade Brissett for a first-round pick in this imaginary world that Brissett is suddenly worth a first-round pick -- appears to be nothing more than stuff Irsay decided to say out loud  even though none of it really makes sense. Then again, the fact that it doesn't make sense is not entirely surprising. It's just the way the Colts have done things over the past couple years, from their lengthy refusal to fire former coach Chuck Pagano and former general manager Ryan Grigson to their handling of Luck's lingering shoulder injury.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories