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Indianapolis Colts Were Wise For Not Trading Michael Pittman Jr.

Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is one of the Indianapolis Colts’ best players. Still, there was chatter about the team trading him before the October 31st trade deadline.

For the Win’s Cory Woodroof wrote an article concerning one trade we’d love to see for every NFL team. He suggested that the Colts should trade Pittman for a third-round draft pick:

“Pittman is a very reliable wide receiver, but he’ll be a free agent in the spring. It would make sense for Indianapolis to consider moving him to a contender that needs wideout help for a third-round draft pick.”

The trade deadline came and went. Pittman was never traded. With quarterback Anthony Richardson out for the year with an AC joint sprain, there was speculation that the Colts would look to move veterans for future picks. Yet, the team didn’t trade anyone. They’ll now attempt to land a playoff spot with Pittman and Co. leading the way.

Indianapolis Colts Were Wise to Keep Michael Pittman Jr.

Michael Pittman Jr. is Having a Great Season

Pittman was drafted by the Colts in the second round (34th overall pick) in the 2020 NFL Draft. It seems like he has played with a billion different quarterbacks since entering the league.

Actually, seven quarterbacks have thrown the football to Pittman during his four-year career. Those seven include Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, Nick Foles, Richardson, and now Garnder Minshew. Despite working with a plethora of different signal-callers, Pittman has still been a top-notch NFL receiver.

Pittman has looked great this year, catching 23 passes for 677 yards and three touchdowns. The former USC star has seven games with eight or more receptions this season (most in the NFL). Rookie Josh Downs may eventually surpass him as the Colts’ No. 1 receiver. But in the meantime, Pittman is the man.

Pittman is on pace to accomplish something that hasn’t been done by a Colts receiver in over 10 years. That feat is finishing a season with at least 100 receptions and 1,100 receiving yards. Pittman’s wide receiver coach Reggie Wayne was the last to pull it off (106 catches and 1,355 yards in 2012).

He Could Help Lead the Colts to the Playoffs

Heading into this season, the Colts certainly weren’t expected to make the playoffs. It’s rare for teams with rookie quarterbacks to reach the postseason. After Richardson got injured, it definitely seemed like a long shot.

However, the Colts have a decent, but not fantastic shot at reaching the playoffs this year. In the AFC right now, the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Miami Dolphins are the division leaders. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Houston Texans currently own the final three spots.

The 5-5 Colts will compete with clubs like the Las Vegas Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, who are now without Joe Burrow for the rest of the year, and Buffalo Bills to reach the postseason. Although it will be extremely difficult, Indianapolis can get the job done if they continue to get big-time contributions from the likes of Pittman, Jonathan Taylor, and DeForest Buckner.

Choosing to not trade Pittman was a smart move by general manager Chris Ballard. Indianapolis needs all the talent they can get in order to reach the playoffs.

Pittman is having the best year of his career and will become a free agent after the season.  It will be imperative for the Colts to re-sign him. He could help Richardson, who will return in 2024, and Co. emerge as a dangerous team next season.

Main Image: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports


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