Irsay suggests Colts will trade for a running back

AP

He’s at it again.

In the wake of the season-ending torn ACL suffered by running back Vick Ballard, Colts owner Jim Irsay has proclaimed on Twitter that Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown will have to step up.

And then Irsay added this:  “Grig’s gonna work hard to wheel n deal B4 trade deadline, let’s roll.”

“Grig” is G.M. Ryan Grigson.  And Irsay has now tipped Grig’s hand regarding the potential desire to find a running back.

While it’s fairly obvious that the Colts could be looking, it’s hard to maximize trade leverage if folks in the organization are proclaiming, “Hey, we want to trade for a running back!”

Besides, trading for a veteran running back may not be the best way to fill the void.  At the running back position, “next man up” is often the better the approach, with young players filling the void as the depth chart kicks upward.

But if the Colts decide to pursue the trade route, some intriguing options are floating around.  The Jaguars could decide to get what they can from Maurice Jones-Drew in his contract year, and the Texans could resolve Ben Tate’s desire to play more by sending him to a place where he will.  Of course, neither Jacksonville or Houston may be inclined to strike a deal with someone in their division.

Elsewhere, the Bills could (in theory) decide to clear out Fred Jackson so that C.J. Spiller could be the featured back, the Vikings could opt to get value for Toby Gerhart (a second-round pick in the final year of his rookie deal), the Falcons could be willing to move Jacquizz Rodgers, who was a forgotten man in Week One, and the Rams could choose to move on from Isaiah Pead.

This effort to list the possibilities likely means I’ve left out the guy(s) the Colts would actually target.  Maybe the best approach is to target no one via trade, and to rely on young players and other available free agents to fill the void.