The Indianapolis Colts made a show of confidence in new starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Tuesday by signing him to a two-year, $30 million contract.
The deal, which was first reported by the NFL Network on Monday, includes $20 million in guaranteed money and replaces the final year of Brissett’s rookie deal.
Brissett Again Taking Over for Luck
The 26-year-old Brissett became all the more important for Indianapolis after Andrew Luck announced his retirement on Aug. 24. While Brissett has started 17 games in his NFL career, he was expected to serve as Luck’s backup coming into the 2019 season.
When Luck retired, he noted that he felt he was leaving the Colts in good hands with Brissett.
“I’m excited for the future of the Colts in large part because of Jacoby and also all the other men in that locker room,” Luck told reporters.
Brissett played college football at Florida and North Carolina State before being drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he started two games for New England because of injuries to Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.
With Luck dealing with a shoulder injury heading into the 2017 season, Indianapolis traded for Brissett in order to bolster their options at quarterback. After Scott Tolzien started the opener, Brissett took over the rest of the way, guiding the Colts to a 4-11 record, throwing for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns against 7 interceptions.
Brissett stayed on as Luck’s backup for the 2018 season, and was expected to be in the same role until the dramatic announcement that Luck would be retiring last month.
Even Without Luck, Colts May Remain Competitive
The Colts have taken further steps to solidify their quarterback depth chart. Brissett will now have a veteran backup, as Brian Hoyer was signed to a three-year, $12 million contract by Indianapolis on Monday.
Hoyer is a 10-year NFL veteran who has also spent time as Tom Brady’s backup, giving him a similar pedigree to Brissett. In his career, Hoyer has started 37 games, compiling a 16-21 record while throwing for 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
The news of Andrew Luck’s retirement significantly lengthened the Colts’ odds of competing for a Super Bowl title this year. Once listed at 14/1 to win a championship this season, Indianapolis is now a 55/1 longshot at FanDuel Sportsbook, as well as a +320 underdog to make the playoffs.
It may be worth asking if the Colts are undervalued, however. While Brissett is certainly a downgrade from Luck, there’s an open question as to just how big the drop-off will be, especially considering that there were already questions over Luck’s health heading into the season. Considering the relatively weak opposition in the AFC South, Indianapolis could certainly hit the over on its season win total of 7, and if Brissett comes into his own, the Colts would be in contention for a division title.