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Indianapolis Colts Shouldn’t Have Traded For This Pro Bowler

The Indianapolis Colts reportedly attempted to acquire Justin Jefferson, but a trade wouldn’t have been in their best interest.
justin jefferson

Could you imagine Justin Jefferson in an Indianapolis Colts uniform? ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Colts were one of the teams who tried to trade for the wide receiver before this year’s draft.

Jefferson, of course, was never traded to Indianapolis or any place for that matter. Instead, he recently signed a contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings.

Schefter said every team that called the Vikings was told ‘we’re not trading him.’ That means the Colts wouldn’t have been able to land Jefferson no matter what they offered. But maybe it’s a good thing a deal never came to fruition.

Indianapolis Colts Shouldn’t Have Traded For Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson’s Career

Following a career at LSU, Justin Jefferson was selected by the Vikings with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He had a standout rookie year in Minnesota, catching 88 passes for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns. Jefferson set the NFL rookie record for receiving yards, surpassing Anquan Boldin’s 1,377 back in 2003. He was also named to the Pro Bowl.

Jefferson was spectacular during his second year as well. The Louisiana native produced 108 receptions, 1,616 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.

2022 was Jefferson’s best season. He recorded a league-leading and career-high 128 catches and 1,809 receiving yards. He also had eight touchdown receptions and ran for another on the ground. For his efforts, he was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Last season, Jefferson played in only 10 games due to injury. Yet, he still managed to reach the 1,000-yard mark.

Why the Colts Shouldn’t Have Traded For Him

If the Colts had traded for Justin Jefferson, he certainly would’ve upgraded the team’s offense. The three-time Pro Bowler is easily one of the NFL’s top wide receivers. Without a doubt, he would make any team better.

However, the Colts would’ve had to give up quite a bit to acquire Jefferson. They would’ve had to part with a smorgasbord of draft picks, possibly including multiple first-rounders as well as a key player. Mortgaging your future for one star is a very risky move.

Justin Jefferson signed a massive four-year, $140 million extension, averaging $35 million per year. He replaced San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Boss as the league’s highest-paid non-quarterback. Jefferson’s extension includes $110 million guaranteed. That’s a lot of money. The Colts would’ve had to give him that contract as well or risk losing him as a free agent in 2025.

It’s much cheaper for Indianapolis to sport their receiving corps of Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs, Adonai Mitchell, and Alec Pierce. Pittman signed a three-year, $70 million deal earlier this season. The $46 million guaranteed deal is much cheaper than Jefferson’s contract. Plus, Downs, Mitchell, and Pierce are all on rookie deals. It wouldn’t have been wise to have so much money tied up in two receivers (Jefferson and Pittman).

Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson, who missed most of his rookie year due to injury, is set to return to the field this upcoming season. Richardson, running back Jonathan Taylor, and Justin Jefferson would surely form an exciting offensive trio in Indianapolis. If healthy, they could lead the Colts to the playoffs in 2024.

However, Indy fans won’t see Jefferson in blue and white anytime soon. The Colts will be fine without him anyway.

Main Image: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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