The Indianapolis Colts have almost all the tools to compete for a Super Bowl as quickly as next season. However, the one piece they are currently missing happens to be the most important: a quarterback. With Philip Rivers calling it a career in the aftermath of Indy's 11-5 regular season campaign and Super Wild-Card Weekend loss to Buffalo, the Colts' top priority this offseason will be to replace the veteran, who spent just one season with the club.
The good news for the Colts is that they are armed with draft capital and are currently looking at the third-most cap space in the entire NFL. That gives GM Chris Ballard and the rest of the Colts brass plenty of avenues to attack this major need on their roster. While it's hardly an easy task finding a quarterback with the capability of helping a team to a Super Bowl, linebacker Darius Leonard does have faith that the Colts will be in the thick of the QB hunt this offseason and trusts "the guys in the front office" to find a suitable successor.
"I watch it, but I don't get emotionally invested in it because I honestly don't care who's the quarterback as long as the quarterback comes in with the right mentality and they're gonna help us win ball games," Leonard told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I don't care if he's young. I don't care if he's old. I don't care if he's well-known or not. If you're going to come in and put the team first and help us win ball games, come on down to the Indianapolis Colts."
While Leonard is confident the front office will figure the quarterback position out, he is admittedly surprised that his club is even in this situation, saying that he thought Rivers would come back to play in 2021.
"I was definitely surprised, but think about what he's done," said Leonard of Rivers' retirement. "He's played 17 years. So, of course, after each year, you know, he contemplated it. 'Do I go back? Do I go play again?' Not too many people play 17 years starting at quarterback. You've got to think about that each year, especially when you get banged up. ... But I mean, It was definitely a complete shock. Just talking to him a couple of days before he announced, I mean, he still didn't know what he was gonna do."
Leonard believes that Rivers -- who completed 68% of his passes for 4,169 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 picks last season -- still has plenty of talent left in the tank, citing how well he played for Indianapolis in 2020.
"He played very well this year for us," he said. "I thought he was going to come back next year and do the same exact thing and play even better."
With that plan now out the window with Rivers' retirement, Indy will be looking for plan B, which could come in the form of current Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. The former first-round pick is currently looking for a new home and, due to his ties with Colts head coach Frank Reich, Indy has been pegged as a popular destination for Wentz.
Will he ultimately be the answer? Only time will tell. No matter who Indy brings in, however, the signal-caller will have the luxury of watching Leonard and a Colts defense that ranked inside the top-10 in DVOA last season, making his life on offense a bit easier.