Colts QB-Jacoby Brissett gets ready to throw a ball in a game.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 20: Jacoby Brissett #7 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass in the game against the Houston Texans during the fourth quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Should Jacoby Brissett Be In Colts 2021 Plans?

INDIANAPOLIS – Would the 3rd time be the charm?

Under Chris Ballard, the Colts have turned to Jacoby Brissett to be their starting quarterback on two separate occasions.

Of course, they’ve also gone in a different direction following the seasons Brissett started (2017 and 2019).

In 2018, the return of Andrew Luck was obvious.

In 2020, despite the organization stating that Brissett could still be a starter in this league, the Colts elected to sign Philip Rivers (who is 11 years older than Brissett) to a one-year, $25 million deal.

If the Colts truly believed that Brissett could grow with more playing experience, wouldn’t they have stuck with him last season to further his development and have a possible long-term piece under center?

Nevertheless, Brissett’s name is someone that has to be factored into the Colts potential ’21 plans for a couple of reasons.

First, Chris Ballard has said as much, and that was before Philip Rivers informed the Colts of his plans to retire.

“I don’t want to discount Jacoby,” Ballard said, unprompted, at his season-ending press conference. “We still like Jacoby Brissett. We think he’s a good player. So let’s not completely take Jacoby out of the mix here.”

Brissett is a free agent this offseason. Since being drafted in 2016, Brissett has never experienced free agency. The Colts gave Brissett a 2-year extension right before the start of the 2019 season, once Andrew Luck abruptly retired two weeks before the opener.

A former third-round pick, who now has started 32 games in his career (30 in Indianapolis), Brissett has always been bullish on his ability to be a permanent starter in this league.

“I still believe in myself,” Brissett said back before the start of the 2020 campaign, when he served as the backup to Rivers. “I know I am a starter in this league. I know I can play at a very high level, I did it last year.”

For Brissett, with his desire again of being a starter, he must gauge where his best opportunity would come.

Would a return to New England make sense, playing under the head coach and offensive coordinator that drafted him in the 3rd round back in 2016?

Are there open competitions possibly in other spots? Washington? Chicago? New Orleans?

What about here in Indianapolis? Do the Colts view Brissett’s ability, leadership, plus knowledge of Frank Reich’s system as someone deserving of another chance to start? If the open market opportunities to potentially start are dried up, and the Colts look elsewhere for their starter, would the two parties like to team up as Brissett being QB2 for another season?

“We think he’s a starter in this league,” Ballard said of Brissett last offseason. “Jacoby is continuing to get better and he will continue to get better.

“I know Jacoby has taken some hits, but some of them are unfair, and maybe some of them were unfair by me. I might not have used the right words at times. I think you all understand how I feel about this young man. He’s a special kid. He’s a valuable member of the Colts. We’re lucky to have Jacoby Brissett.”

In 49 total games played, Brissett is a 59.6 percent passer, having tossed 31 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, with a yards per attempt of 6.6 and a passer rating of 84.1.

Calling him a high-level backup is more than accurate.

But projecting him as a starter in this league, based off what we’ve seen in those 30 starts, wouldn’t be.

The Colts are also in the market for a backup, though, with Brissett being a free agent and the staff not totally comfortable with the idea of having Jacob Eason in that role just yet.

Are the Colts hoping to have Brissett as their backup again in 2021, or do they (or another team) view him as something more?

If it’s up to Brissett, he wants more.

“I know I’ll be a starter in this league one day again,” Brissett said last offseason, “wherever that may be.”

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