INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts are interested in taking out an insurance policy for their most influential position.
The team has significant interest in signing free agent quarterback Nick Foles, according to several sources. Discussions are on-going, but nothing obviously has been finalized.
Speculation has swirled about the Colts adding the former Super Bowl MVP to back up Matt Ryan, and the team hasn’t attempted to tamp down that possibility.
During last weekend’s rookie minicamp, coach Frank Reich was specifically asked about Foles. Reich was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2016-17 for Foles and the recently traded Carson Wentz.
“We’re always looking at who makes this team better at every position,” he said. “Who are the available veterans? Who can we sign?
“We’ve talked about this a lot. Chris is very methodical about that process. We’re not in a rush. There is a timing to the way things go and the way the roster is put together that is very intentional.”
Signing Foles, 33, would immediately add a proven backup for Ryan. He’s appeared in 68 regular-season games with 56 starts during a 10-year career that includes stints with the Eagles, Chicago, Jacksonville, Kansas City and St. Louis.
Along with being with Reich in Philadelphia, Foles and general manager Chris Ballard were together in Kansas City in 2016. Oddly, Foles displayed his backup skills in week 8 of ’16 when the Chiefs visited the Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Kansas City starter Alex Smith suffered a concussion on the opening drive, opening the door for Foles. He passed for 223 yards, two touchdowns and a 135.2 rating in the Chiefs’ 30-14 victory.
Ryan turned 37 this month, is heading into his 15th season and has missed just three of 225 starts. He’s missed one since 2010.
Ballard has been aggressive this offseason and the Colts are viewed as slim favorites over Tennessee to win the AFC South. It only makes sense to add a reliable backup for Ryan . . . just in case.
The only other quarterbacks on the roster are 2021 6th-round pick Sam Ehlinger, James Morgan and undrafted rookie Jack Coan. None has thrown a pass in a regular-season game.
In 10 seasons, Foles has passed for 14,003 yards with 82 touchdowns, 43 interceptions and an 87.3 passer rating. He’s 29-27 as a starter.
The unquestioned highlight of his came in 2017 when he replaced an injured Wentz and directed the Eagles to a 41-33 win over New England in Super Bowl LII. Foles was named MVP after passing for 373 yards and three touchdowns, and catching a 1-yard TD from tight end Trey Burton on the “Philly Special.”
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.