The Indianapolis Colts will begin their fourth straight season with a new quarterback. After trading Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders, they acquired Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons.
Ryan wasn't the only signal-caller on their radar.
According to The Athletic's Stephen Holder, Colts owner Jim Irsay revealed during Tuesday's owner meetings that the team explored another deal for "a young QB" that would have cost the Colts multiple first-round picks. He didn't disclose this mystery passer's name.
The answer could depend on Irsay's definition of young. While Russell Wilson is a veteran by NFL standards, the 62-year-old owner may categorize the 33-year-old quarterback as such. After all, Ryan turns 37 before the season starts, and Philip Rivers ended his career in Indianapolis at age 39.
Baker Mayfield preferred a trade to the Colts, but the interest reportedly wasn't mutual. Even if they wanted the Cleveland Browns quarterback, it's doubtful they would have considered such a steep price.
Given his description and dodginess, Irsay could be referring to Deshaun Watson.
Cleveland gave a package with three first-round selections to acquire the 26-year-old. And if he explored a trade with the Houston Texans, admitting so after the fact would be unwise with multiple actual civil cases for sexual assault allegations against Watson.
Or perhaps the Colts merely called a team about a young star not for sale. For all we know, this "potential trade" discussion was five uninterrupted minutes of the Cincinnati Bengals laughing after being asked about Joe Burrow's availability.
It's all a moot point now. After last season ended with the Jacksonville Jaguars costing them a playoff spot, the Colts will look to rebound with Ryan under center.