Ballard didn't say it was definite. He didn't rule it out. He just said as of this minute. I think he's hoping to find out in April and May. He still might end up deciding Eason is OK as the back-up.
I was only trying to impress upon those in the "Throw Jacob Eason in and see what we have" crowd that Ballard has crushed that dream for 2021. But I wouldn't rule out 2022.... at least not yet.
TY - 2Y/22M - he can still play but he’s not Tyreek Hill taking the top of defenses anymore, and with his disappearing act at the beginning of the year I’m afraid to sign him any longer or with too much guaranteed. Partly for sentimental reasons I want him to stay, but I do think he’s still got some juice.
Mack - 1Y/1M - Likable player but due to his position and injury, no way can I justify giving him much more than vet minimum.
Houston - 1Y/8M - Fell off a lot this year compared to his first year. Still our best edge player, basically by default and I’d be hoping we can get a more 2019 performance out of him at arguably our weakest position on the team.
Autry - Walk. He will price himself out with an inflated sense of value because he’s gotten decent sack numbers, but he is the definition of JAG and I’d only keep him if he agreed to a minimum contract.
Rhodes - 1Y/6M - He was a stud this year. If we could guarantee that he won’t revert back to his last two years in Minnesota I would be willing to go longer and higher. With how much he fell off after getting paid the first time, I’m not giving him a long term deal.
Walker - 1Y/2M - He was playing a very small percentage of downs at the end of the year so I’m keeping him less based on ability and more based on leadership and football savvy.
Hooker - Walk. Both sides need to just move on. I’d keep him at minimum too but I think both sides want a fresh start. Also a little miscast in the current defense so no reason to force a square peg into a round hole.
Brissett - 1Y/5M - Too big of a fan of Brissett as a man to want to see him leave. I don’t want him starting but he’s a very solid backup and compared to the 20M we gave him last year, I can live with his salary being at 1/4 of that this year.
Pascal and MAC both tendered at 2.24M. I want to bring in Kenny Golladay or Allen Robinson and Pascal is JAG so he’s not falling into my future plans much. I’m a big fan of MAC and I wouldn’t mind seeing him play the Jack Doyle role. He’s a better blocker, has better hands, and is more explosive.
I may be lowballing some guys but I’d hate to fall into the trap of overvaluing our guys and keeping them just because you want to keep your own. Unfortunately, I think the five most important positions on the team also coincide with our five weakest positions on the team; QB, WR, CB, DE, and LT. Fortunately we’ve got a good cap situation and this is the perfect year to be needing a QB.
If we let Walker Walk, (and I think it’s likely) it’s not because we want an upgrade. It’s because we simply don’t play him enough.
I think East Street has the numbers in snaps, but I think Walker is roughly playing 25-30 percent of the snaps. That’s it. We can't pay him enough for that. Some other team will PLAY him more so they will PAY him more.
When Walker is off the field, we are either playing a 4-2-5 or a 4-1-6. Leonard plays basically 100 percent of the snaps and I think Oke is about 55-60 percent.
There is a method to our madness.
Colts have won one playoff game in 6 seasons. Some more losing seasons and this team is no longer even in the top half of NFL franchises. They would be mostly irrelevant. I can’t imagine Irsay going for that.
Ballard is definitely safe...but this is year 5 and I am assuming there is a bit more urgency than just waiting for the perfect opportunity to come along.