NFL Rumors: Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick Could Be Targets For Colts As They Look For Andrew Luck Replacement

Eli Manning during an NFL game.
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The Indianapolis Colts have two weeks to address a sudden lack of depth at quarterback, and some initial reports indicate that the team could target Eli Manning or Ryan Fitzpatrick as a potential replacement for the suddenly-retired Andrew Luck.

Reports emerged on Saturday night in the middle of the Colts’ third preseason game that Luck had decided to retire after an injury-plagued final few seasons of his career. The 29-year-old Luck had suffered through a series of major injuries, missing all of the 2017 season before earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year last season. But Luck was again injured in training camp and he was expected to miss the start of the NFL season at least, so he decided it was time to call it quits.

The Colts are planning to move forward with backup Jacoby Brissett as their starter, but have precious little depth behind him with just Chad Kelly and Phillip Walker on the roster. As CBS Sports noted, the Colts have some potential trade bait with a first-round pick, two second-round picks, and a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and could go after a number of veteran quarterbacks with it.

That could include Eli Manning, whose spot as starter on the New York Giants is in question after the team invested a first-round draft pick on quarterback Daniel Jones.

“Since the Colts have two second-round picks, the Giants could receive one of them for Manning, an incredible haul for a 38-year old quarterback who completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 92.4 passer rating last season,” the report noted.

That would only happen if the Giants were ready to crown Jones as their full-time starter. Despite a very strong preseason from the newly-drafted quarterback, it’s not clear if the Giants are ready to take that leap.

The Colts could target another veteran quarterback in danger of losing the starting job to a promising young player, CBS Sports noted. The Miami Dolphins traded for second-year player Josh Rosen this offseason after already signing 36-year-old journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rosen is expected to take over the starting job at some point, and the Colts could land Fitzpatrick in a trade if that happens earlier than later.

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Despite the speculation, the Colts have given no public indication that they will bring in any new quarterbacks yet in the wake of Andrew Luck’s retirement. The team had some advanced warning of his plans to retire, with reports that Luck met with team owner Jim Irsay before his decision was first reported.