Colin Cowherd believes one organization checks all of the boxes for what the quarterback might look for on the open market: the Indianapolis Colts.
“Think of what they have for Tom Brady. When Peyton Manning was a free agent and he was old and he’d been banged up, where did he go? To a team that had weapons and an offensive line and a structure he trusted,” Cowherd said Thursday on FS1. “What do the Colts have? Maybe the best young general manager in the sport, Chris Ballard. What do they also have? A really good head coach — respected, played in the league. What do they also have? A top-three offensive line who by next year in my opinion, as the Cowboys’ line ages, will have the best offensive line. Tom won’t get hit. What do they also have? A deep threat, T.Y. Hilton. What do they also have? About 28 tight ends. They’ve got nothing but tight ends. Tom loves the tight end. What do they also have? They play indoors. What do they also have? A crappy, winnable division with teams you can’t trust — Houston and Tennessee — that Tom has owned. I’m just saying. The Colts. And what do they also have? A team that would drive (Bill) Belichick nuts. Everything is lined up.”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 2, 2020
This certainly is an interesting theory. While it’s hard to imagine Brady leaving the Patriots if he chooses not to retire, most of the speculation regarding potential destinations has revolved around the West Coast. After all, Brady is a California native. Perhaps he’d welcome the chance to head home, with the Los Angeles Chargers often floated as a possibility given Philip Rivers’ own upcoming free agency.
The Colts sure have plenty to offer, though. And you better believe they’d love to stick it to the Patriots given the teams’ rivalry, which dates back to Manning’s days in Indianapolis and received a shot in the arm thanks to Deflategate and then Josh McDaniels spurning the Colts to remain New England’s offensive coordinator two years ago.
Cowherd seems similarities between Manning leaving Indianapolis to sign with the Denver Broncos at age 36 before the 2012 season.
“Keep your eye on the Indianapolis Colts. They offer a lot of what Peyton Manning was attracted to,” Cowherd said. “We thought Peyton Manning was going to be a Colt forever, did we not? Joe Namath. Johnny Unitas. Joe Montana. Brett Favre. You guys all think these quarterbacks play forever. They want to keep playing. And when you’re making 28, 30 million dollars a year.
“By the way, the Colts have a young roster. Brady can come in there and make 30 million. They’ve got money for him. That offensive line’s not getting paid yet. That defense is young. It’s not getting paid yet. Colts have nothing but money and cap space. They’ll have cap space, indoors, winnable division, good GM, smart coach, great O-line. I’m just saying, the Colts to me make a lot of sense, and I don’t think the Colts have the draft capital and the ability to jump ahead of the Chargers or Carolina or Miami and they’re not getting Cincinnati’s No. 1 spot (in the NFL draft). I think it makes sense.”
The Colts were thrown a curveball before this season when Andrew Luck abruptly retired at age 29. Jacoby Brissett was fairly solid as Indianapolis’ new starting quarterback, but the Colts stumbled to a 7-9 finish, and the opportunity to pursue Brady — a six-time Super Bowl champion who turns 43 before next season — could be too appealing to pass up. And it’d be fascinating to see whether such interest is mutual.