Colts GM not ready to decide future on Philip Rivers: Do I think he can still play? Absolutely

The Indianapolis Colts head into the offseason with massive questions at the quarterback position.

Saturday's playoff exit thrust those queries to the forefront, starting with the future of 39-year-old Philip Rivers, who is a free agent once again.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard, meeting with reporters Thursday, offered open-ended options regarding his plans under center. The first stage of Ballard's offseason plan is to decide if bringing back Rivers is the right course for the franchise.

"Do I think Philip can still play? Absolutely," Ballard said, via Stephen Holder of The Athletic. "He's going to take some time, and we're going to take some time. We'll meet again in about a month."

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported that it's the Colts or retirement for Rivers, who schlepped his entire family to Indy.

After taking time to assess where they're at, Ballard must decide if the veteran signal-caller was enough of a difference-maker to get them over the hump in 2021. Rivers certainly had his moments in 2020 and played well in the playoff game. But will a man turning 40 next December have enough in the tank to elevate the rest of the squad?

As Ballard noted, age is always a factor when deciding on galloping down the road with a 17-year pro.

"Very disappointed. The season didn't end the way we wanted. But that doesn't mean we didn't make any gains," Ballard said. "Nobody said it was going to be an easy road."

The Colts imported Rivers after deciding Jacoby Brissett -- also a free agent -- wasn't the man for the job. Now, Ballard must determine what path to ride down.

"When you're talking about a guy who's got one, maybe two years left, you've got to look at everything that's out there," Ballard noted, per Joel Erickson of the Indy Star.

With Jacob Eason the only quarterback currently on the 2021 roster, the Colts have a need at the position, regardless of whether that's Rivers, another veteran, or a rookie.

Explicitly asked about drafting a QB, Ballard retorted:

"Taking one will get y'all off my ass for a little bit, but as soon as it doesn't work out, I'm going to be the first one run out of the building."

The Colts believed that by signing Rivers he could be the last piece to a Super Bowl contender.

"Our goal every year is to win the Super Bowl," Ballard noted. "Some years more realistic than others. This year I thought it was realistic."

Ballard added he thinks the Colts will be a Lombardi contender next year, too.

First, he must figure out who will be under center in 2021.

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