INDIANAPOLIS — Each year, as the National Football League regular season reaches its halfway point, the chatter begins.
With some teams already beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, there's a perception that perhaps these squads are just one or two players away from being able to secure a deep playoff run.
Then, on the other end of the spectrum, some teams that have struggled through the first eight weeks of the season might just be willing to part ways with some of their top players, usually in exchange for some extremely valuable assets — draft picks — as they begin to pivot towards ensuring better talent and roster depth in the coming seasons.
And with the NFL's trade deadline looming, this chatter will only get louder and louder. If history is any indication, however, the Indianapolis Colts won't be making much noise come 4:01 p.m. ET Tuesday, when the 2017 trade deadline has come and gone.
Since the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1985, the organization has executed just six October trades, and only one of which occurred at the deadline itself. And that one was a doozy, as the Colts, on Halloween in 1987, acquired future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson in a three-way trade with the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for running back Owen Gill, the rights to linebacker Cornelius Bennett, a 1988 first-round pick, a 1988 second-round pick and a 1989 second-round pick.
In fact, the last time Indianapolis made a trade in October came in 2006, when they acquired defensive tackle Anthony "Booger" McFarland from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 2007 second-round pick. McFarland would end up playing a major role for the Colts' defense in the team's run to the Super Bowl XLI title.
(Back in October 2008, the team attempted to acquire defensive tackle John McCargo from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a conditional pick, but the transaction was voiced when McCargo failed a physical.)
As of now, the Colts have all seven original picks in the 2018 NFL Draft — one in each round. If the team does happen to make a move to acquire more picks by Tuesday's deadline, however, the strategy would certainly fit in with general manager Chris Ballard's mantra: "You want to raise your own."
"We want to be a great drafting team. We want to have a sound structure and foundation in place where we're producing players every year for the Colts," Ballard said in his introductory press conference in January. " You have to. You have to produce three or four guys that are going to help you every single year."
While finding gems in free agency and during waiver claim periods are certainly important, it's the draft that remains the No. 1 priority when building the Colts' roster, Ballard said.
"You can't buy a locker room and you have to be very careful when you enter into free agency," he said. "But we're going to try to acquire as many young players that we can to have a competitive roster. We want the most competitive roster we can get. That's how you get great. That's how you get to be special as a team, when daily they have to go out there and compete to get better."
Since the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1985, the team has executed just six trades in the month of October prior to the league's trading deadline. Another trade attempt fell through due to a failed physical:• Oct. 7, 1986:
Colts acquire the rights to wide receiver Walter Murray from the Washington Redskins in exchange for a 1987 second-round pick.• Oct. 1, 1987:
Colts acquire defensive end Mark Smythe from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for cash/future considerations.• Oct. 31, 1987:
The Colts acquire running back Eric Dickerson in a three-way trade with the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for running back Owen Gill, the rights to linebacker Cornelius Bennett, a 1988 first-round pick, a 1988 second-round pick and a 1989 second-round pick.• Oct. 5, 1988:
The Colts acquire a 1989 first-round pick (used to pick wide receiver Andre Rison) and a 1990 fourth-round pick (used to select tackle Pat Cunningham) from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for guard Ron Solt.• Oct. 17, 1989:
The Colts acquire linebacker Chip Banks from the San Diego Chargers in exchange for a conditional draft pick (ended up being a 1990 third-round pick).• Oct. 17, 2006:
The Colts acquire defensive tackle Anthony "Booger" McFarland from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 2007 second-round pick.• Oct. 14, 2008:
The Colts acquire defensive tackle John McCargo from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a conditional pick, but the transaction was voided when McCargo failed a physical.