After Andrew Luck's surprise retirement, which ESPN's Adam Schefter broke during the Indianapolis Colts' third preseason game against the Chicago Bears on Saturday night, backup QB Jacoby Brissett has now ascended the Indianapolis depth chart as the new starting quarterback.
While Brissett filled in admirably as a starter in 2017 when Luck missed the entire season with a shoulder injury, he is still widely considered a bottom-tier NFL quarterback. However, his promotion does create a bigger void behind him on the depth chart for a team that had Super Bowl aspirations prior to Luck's bombshell announcement.
With that said, here are some intriguing quarterback names the Colts can pursue to back up or potentially supplant Brissett for the 2019 season and beyond.
3. C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers
C.J. Beathard is a guy who would likely serve as a clear backup to Brissett, as he is currently the third-string QB for the San Francisco 49ers. Beathard got the opportunity to start five games last year, following Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending ACL tear, and he showed some potential beyond tossing seven picks with three lost fumbles. Beathard lost his role as a backup QB to Nick Mullens this year, who took over to start the final eight games of last season. And as a result, Beathard is likely expendable and arguably the best third-string QB in the league right now. But if the Colts want to acquire his services, it will probably take a late-round draft pick or two.
2. Brock Osweiler, Free Agent
Currently a free agent, Brock Osweiler started five games for the Miami Dolphins last season, in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill. He wasn't all that terrible either, completing 63.5 percent of his passes and averaging 7.0 yards per attempt. Still, Osweiler is slow-footed and best suited as a backup following several unsuccessful years in the NFL. He does have experience playing in the AFC South, for what it's worth, having spent one season as the Houston Texans' starter in 2016. Osweiler also emerged from the same 2012 NFL Draft as Luck, which also included Russell Wilson as the No. 75 overall pick and Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles at No. 88 overall.
1. Colin Kaepernick, Free Agent
Every time a starting NFL QB gets hurt – or in this case, abruptly retires – you are sure to hear Colin Kaepernick's name shorty afterward. It began early in Week 3 of the preseason, when a Cam Newton injury led many to speculate about a possible Kaepernick return, including current Panther and Kap's former 49ers' teammate, Eric Reid. His name is now surfacing again in the wake of Luck's retirement and, if anything, he has the best chance to rival Brissett as a starter due to his past success. For all the talk that suggests Kaepernick has given up on football, he posted on his Twitter account earlier this month claiming he is "still ready" for a return to the field.
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