Indianapolis Colts negotiated for a former first-round quarterback in Matt Ryan this past offseason. But the Colts beat writer Nate Atkins from The Indianapolis Star sees Indianapolis possibly acquiring another former first-round caller next offseason.
In his latest “bold” prediction for the Colts’ 2022 season, Atkins predicted Indianapolis will trade cornerback Kenny Moore II for quarterback Justin Fields after the Super Bowl.
Even Atkins admitted that this proposed trade is the boldest of his bold predictions. But the beatwriter laid out a few different reasons why that’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Justin Fields might need a fresh start
Ryan is currently signed a 2-year contractso it’s highly unlikely he’ll go anywhere before the 2023 season. But Atkins argued Fields spending time on the bench watching Ryan every week could be wonderful for his career.
It also wouldn’t hurt if the Colts had a back-up plan behind center.
“A year of learning Reich’s offense from a Pro Bowler while signing up for racing packages with Taylor could help bridge the future in a suddenly affordable way,” wrote Atkins.
“It’s risky, but so is any young, unproven quarterback, and it’s time for the Colts to step up to the plate a year before they need it. “
Fields struggled as a rookie after the Chicago Bears drafted him 11th overall. 2021 NFL Draft. He job a 2-8 record as a starter, recording a 58.9 percent completion percentage and 1,870 passing yards. Fields also had 7 passing touchdowns, 2 rushing scores and 10 interceptions.
The second-year quarterback will play for a new coaching staff this season. But there are still concerns about the Bears’ ability to develop Fields in 2022 when the team has. little to upgrade its large receptor nucleus.
Kenny Moore II a commercial candidate for the Colts’ next offseason?
Like Fields for the Bears, the Colts trading Moore seems wildly unrealistic at first, but it starts to make more sense after Atkins’ explanation.
Although Moore hasn’t been a problem since returning to the field at the start of training camp, he did “hold-in” during voluntary off-season practices this year in an attempt to receive a new contract. But with two years left on his contractMoore had no leverage and therefore did not receive a new contract.
While things won’t change too drastically with cornerback leverage, Indianapolis may not want to go through another offseason with Moore’s contract as the focal point. Atkins too argued that under new Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Moore may not remain the dominant cornerback he has been for the past few seasons.
“It’s because the pattern is no longer built around the nickel cornerback, something that’s usually a patched-up position in Seattle-style defenses,” atkins wrote. “Moore II could step out of those bounds, but late last season he showed his own limitations when it came to man coverage or when he wasn’t eyeing the quarterback in the hallways of He just might not be in as many positions to make plays this year.
spotrac reports Moore will count as a cap of $7.545 million next season. Trading him will open up some extra cap space, which the Colts could badly need. Indianapolis currently has approximately $31.2 million in salary cap space for 2023, which is 12th best player in the NFL. But extensions for Quenton Nelson, Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor could take up much of that space as well as a new contract for Yannick Ngakoue.
If the Colts were considering trading Moore, Chicago would be a likely landing spot, as former Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is now the Bears head coach.
Moore arrived in Indianapolis in 2018, the same season Eberflus became Colts defensive coordinator. During four seasons in defense of Eberflus, Moore became one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.