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Will The Colts Be Active Before Tuesday's NFL Trade Deadline?

The National Football League’s trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. Will the Indianapolis Colts, at 5-2 entering Week 9, be on the lookout for any additional pieces to add down the stretch?


INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are leading their division and have a realistic shot at a top-two seed in the AFC playoffs — and the first-round bye that comes with it.

So are they possibly on the verge of making any moves to add a final piece or two that could conceivably put them over the top?

We'll have our answer soon, as the NFL's trade deadline is set for 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The Colts traditionally haven't been very active at the trade deadline, and that includes the first two seasons under general manager Chris Ballard. But at 5-2 and leading the AFC South Division heading into this Sunday's Week 9 road matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ballard and head coach Frank Reich are certainly open to any kind of move that could improve the roster — if the price is right.

"I'm in Chris' office or he is in my office every day talking about everything related to this roster, everything related to where we are heading as a team (and) always thinking about what is the best move for the team," Reich told reporters in a conference call on Oct. 21. "You consider a lot of things. You look at everything.

"Chris obviously is running that show," Reich continued. "We talk about it all the time. He does a great job of keeping me involved, especially on any relevant conversations that need to be had regarding those things (and) anything that gets serious. So those are discussions that we have all the time."

Ballard is yet to make a move at the deadline in his first two seasons as Colts' general manager — but, then again, the team was 2-6 at the trade deadline in 2017 and 3-5 at the deadline last year.

Ballard has said in the past he's certainly not against midseason trades, though he won't just make a move for the sake of making a move.

"We're always looking to get better," Ballard told last year. "I've said that since Day 1. We're always going to look to improve. We'll always have lines in the water."

Ballard and the Colts also covet their draft picks; the team currently has nine picks heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, and one would assume Indy would have to part ways with at least one of those picks if it wanted to make a move to acquire a piece at the deadline this year.

And then, in some cases, the Colts could be interested in acquiring players from teams that simply aren't willing to listen to realistic offers.

"It always takes two teams to tango," Ballard said. "And you can want (to make moves), but it doesn't mean the other team (and) you agree on the compensation that needs to be done to get the trade done. So we'll see."

Potential targets?

As the Colts check on potential trade targets, what position groups could be top of mind?

— On offense, Indy has the sixth-lowest percentage of deep pass attempts (20-plus yards downfield) in the league at 11.2. Could the Colts be looking to add a piece at wide receiver?

But could Sunday's return of Parris Campbell, who missed two games with an abdominal injury, as well as the potential return of Devin Funchess from IR as soon as Week 11, deter Indy from making such a move?

— On defense, the Colts have continued tinkering with their lineup up front, recently signing free agent defensive tackles Trevon Coley and Carl Davis. Could more changes be on the horizon?

What about at defensive end, where Indy lost its primary speed pass rusher, Kemoko Turay, for the season with a Week 5 ankle injury?

Premium pass rushers often come at a high cost, however. Would the Colts be willing to part ways with a valuable draft pick to get one?

Recent trade history

Here's a look at some of the more major trades the Colts have made since Ballard took over as general manager in early 2017:

» March 9, 2017: Acquired a 2017 fourth-round pick from the New England Patriots in exchange for tight end Dwayne Allen and a 2017 sixth-round pick.

» April 29, 2017: Acquired 2017 fourth-round (143rd overall) and fifth-round picks (161st overall) from the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for 2017 fourth-round (121st-overall) pick. Eventually used fourth-round pick to select running back Marlon Mack and fifth-round pick to select linebacker Anthony Walker.

» Aug. 28, 2017: Acquired safety Ronald Martin from the New York Jets in exchange for long snapper Thomas Hennessy.

» Sept. 2, 2017: Acquired quarterback Jacoby Brissett from the Patriots in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.

» March 17, 2018: Acquired the first-round (6th overall), two second-round (37th overall and 49th overall) 2018 selections and a second-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft from the Jets in exchange for the first round (3rd overall) selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Eventually used first-round pick on guard Quenton Nelson and second-round pick on tackle Braden Smith; used 2019 second-round pick on cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.

» April 27, 2018: Acquired 2018 second-round and fifth-round picks from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick (49th-overall). Eventually used second-round pick on defensive end Kemoko Turay and fifth-round pick on running back Jordan Wilkins.

» April 28, 2018: Acquired a 2018 seventh-round pick from the Jets in exchange for defensive end Henry Anderson. Eventually used that pick on linebacker Zaire Franklin.

» Sept. 1, 2018: Acquired wide receiver Marcus Johnson from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for tight end Darrell Daniels.

» April 25, 2019: Acquired 2019 and 2020 second-round selections from the Washington Redskins in exchange for the No. 26-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

» April 26, 2019: Acquired 2019 second-round (49th-overall) and fifth-round (144th-overall) picks from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a 2019 second-round (46th-overall) pick. Eventually used second-round pick on defensive end Ben Banogu and fifth-round pick on cornerback Marvell Tell III.

— Also acquired a 2019 fourth-round (109th-overall) pick from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for two 2019 fourth-round (129th and 135th overall) picks. Eventually used that pick on safety Khari Willis.

— Also acquired a 2019 seventh-round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway. Eventually used that pick on center Javon Patterson.

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