Colts Should Pursue Dominant Eagles Pass-Rusher

The Indianapolis Colts have a golden opportunity to land a high-level pass-rusher from the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport has reported that Philadelphia Eagles defensive pass-rusher Haason Reddick is allowed to seek a trade. 

Rapoport posted on X: "Sources: #Eagles All-Pro edge rusher Haason Reddick has received permission to seek a trade following another disruptive season featuring double digit sacks. The 29-year old with 27 sacks over two seasons in Philly could land elsewhere."

Could this news perk up the ears of Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard? While the Colts set their Indianapolis-era sack record with 51 in 2023, they also didn't get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. 

The Colts have names that put a lot of pressure on QBs. Per Pro Football FocusDeForest Buckner (52), and Samson Ebukam (48) were atop the defensive front at making quarterbacks uncomfortable. But, outside of this pair, the next best was rotational end Tyquan Lewis (44). After the former Ohio State Buckeye, it fell off considerably. 

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The lack of pressure from the defensive starters allowed passers to exploit a banged-up, inexperienced secondary. Ultimately, Indianapolis fell to 28th in the NFL in points allowed per game with 24.4. 

The Colts need a dominant pass rusher, and Reddick could be that fit if Indy can make a trade happen. At this point, Reddick is a veteran who has been one of the most reliable sack artists/pressure defenders in the league in recent seasons. While it would take a deal that makes sense to get him (possible draft picks, playmakers, etc.), it could also be worth it.  

Over the last four seasons, Reddick has 50.5 sacks (11 or more each year), 13 forced fumbles, 218 tackles, and 51 tackles for loss. He also applied 68 pressures on passers in 2023 as a member of the Eagles. These numbers showcase his constant motor that can disrupt any offense. 

Reddick is a great talent to add to the Colts, but the question would be if Ballard is willing to make a transaction happen that would make the Eagles listen. 

Many teams will be interested, but Indy needs to push former first-rounder Kwity Paye to get better at attacking the opposing field general. While the three-year veteran achieved a career-high in sacks (8.5), he didn't get much done in the form of pressures (28). For the Colts to pick up Paye's fifth-year option, he'll likely need to elevate his pass-rushing game and be more than a high-level run defender. 

It's honestly not the likeliest scenario that Indy puts together a package that warrants the Eagles to trade Reddick. But adding the sack artist from Philly would end the notion that the Colts don't have a dominant pass rusher and could elevate the rest of the defensive front in the process. 

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