The post-draft news flood included an unexpected twist on Saturday, with a report from Tim Graham of TheAthletic.com that the Colts expressed interest in signing updrafted Central Connecticut quarterback Jake Dolegala, but decided not to because they plan to sign Chad Kelly.
Yes, Chad Kelly. The same Chad Kelly who has a history of off-field issues that re-emerged last year, when a bizarre night at Von Miller‘s Halloween party ended with Kelly being charged with criminal trespassing after being chased out of a home into which he’d wandered by a man wielding a vacuum cleaner tube.
Kelly previously had been escorted out of Miller’s party, after getting into an altercation with another guest. (Kelly also got into an altercation with security workers while being escorted out.)
The Broncos promptly cut Kelly, even though he’d climbed from Mr. Irrelevant in 2017 to No. 2 on the depth chart in 2018. He has remained unemployed, and he never was connected to the now-defunct AAF — even though co-founder Bill Polian insisted that Kelly was the best quarterback in a draft class that included Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
Last month, Kelly pleaded guilty to second-degree misdemeanor trespassing, with a pending felony charge dismissed as part of the deal. Kelly was placed on probation for a year.
Video of the incident has since emerged, showing Kelly running from the home dressed as Woody from Toy Story.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Colts have not made a decision on whether to sign Kelly. The Colts brought him to Indianapolis a few weeks ago, as part of their due diligence.
With Jacoby Brissett entering the final year of his contract, the Colts need to be thinking about having a backup quarterback beyond 2019. And, actually, if they have a quarterback who can fill the backup role, they could (in theory) trade Brissett.
But first the Colts will need to believe that they can trust Kelly. And they also need to be willing to conclude that he deserves a second chance. Or as the case may be third chance.
The fact that Dolegala and his feel-good story didn’t get a chance to sign with the Colts underscores the most important point to remember when someone gets a second chance: With a finite number of jobs in the NFL, every second chance takes away the first chance of someone who didn’t do anything wrong.
In this case, Dolegala landed with the Bengals. But if he’d signed with the Colts, someone else would have gotten a first chance with the Bengals. Because there are only 2,880 offseason roster spots, and only 1,696 when September rolls around.
With Tyreek Hill still occupying one of 90 offseason roster spots in Kansas City, that’s an important point to keep in mind.