Andrew Luck’s surprising retirement sent shockwaves throughout the NFL and threw the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterbacking situation for a loop. But at least it didn’t take long for the Colts to regain stability at the game’s most important position.
The Colts signed a pair of quarterback contracts to solidify the room, with the first one going to Luck’s replacement:
The #Colts and QB Jacoby Brissett have agreed to terms on a 2-year extension worth $30M, source said. He gets $20M guaranteed at signing. Some security for the new Indy starter.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2019
Jacoby Brissett was on the final year of his deal before signing a two-year extension worth $30 million, per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. The deal brings some job security for Brissett, who has grown from being Tom Brady’s backup in New England into a serviceable signal caller in a pinch since being traded to Indianapolis.
The Colts have been in Brissett’s corner and have publicly expressed a belief in his ability as a starter. A two-year extension is one way of going about putting your money where your mouth is. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio takes it a step further, equating the deal to being the equivalent of the Franchise tag. As Florio sees it, giving Brissett essentially $28 million over the next two seasons makes his contract work like a tag deal that rewards the player with a healthy pay day, while also buying the franchise some time to explore options down the line.
If that was Indy’s intent, then this was well-played on their part. And while Brissett’s deal is the first quarterback extension in a while that didn’t directly have me thinking about what Mitch Trubisky’s next deal will look like, the Colts establishing a price tag on what competent quarterbacking on a bridge deal gives us an idea of what an alternative to Trubisky could look like.
Another deal the Colts struck with a quarterback could have bigger implications for the Bears’ quarterback room down the line:
A new QB in Indy: Colts are signing former Patriots’ QB Brian Hoyer to a three-year, $12 million deal that includes $9 million guaranteed, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 2, 2019
In addition to signing Brissett to a two year extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Colts signed Brian Hoyer to a three-year deal worth $12 million and includes $9 million in guarantees. Hoyer, who was released by the Patriots, will serve as the Colts’ QB2. And if you’re keeping score at home, that’s five years of player contract control and $29 million for one-time Tom Brady backups. Talk about the ultimate stepping-stone gig!
Hoyer’s deal is a bit more relevant to the Bears’ immediate situation because Chase Daniel secured a pretty healthy deal to be Trubisky’s backup, but his two-year deal is expiring after this season. There was some brief buzz about a potential Daniel extension earlier in the offseason. GM Ryan Pace even said he believe Daniel would be in Chicago for a while, though nothing has come across the wires since. Hoyer’s new deal establishes a new bar for backup quarterbacks on contending teams to reach for in negotiations, and it is easy to imagine Daniel wanting to match (or even surpass) Hoyer’s new deal.
At some point, they will need to make a decision regarding their backup quarterback situation. Will they continue to pour millions into a veteran who plays the role of Trubisky whisperer to a tee and has an innate knowledge of the offensive system? Or will the team search for a developmental option with more arm talent and upside. There are far more pressing issues for the Bears to deal with at the moment, but the future of the quarterback position will always occupy space in our mind. At least until it is resolved.