BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots pulled off a surprising trade on Saturday, sending third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to Indianapolis for receiver Phillip Dorsett.
As Sports Illustrated’s Peter King highlighted in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback column, the trade essentially came to fruition the way many fantasy football trades do: With a simple text message.
The Colts were getting ready for Saturday’s cut-down day on Friday night and weren’t thinking much about addressing their depth at quarterback. Then, according to King, the Patriots came texting.
“On Friday evening, a Patriots operative texted the Colts and asked, and I am paraphrasing: Any interest in Jacoby Brissett for Phillip Dorsett?,” King wrote on Monday.
The Colts did their homework on Brissett over the next 12-plus hours and completed the trade, much to the surprise of the NFL:
There was not a whisper of a rumor that the Pats would deal number three (but a rising prospect) quarterback Jacoby Brissett this weekend, particularly with the absolutely unknown quarterback situation the Patriots have in 40-year-old Tom Brady and looming 2018 free agent Jimmy Garoppolo ahead of him on the depth chart. And though Indy had talked to teams (Rams, Patriots, several others) this summer about trading the underachieving Dorsett—two years, 51 catches since being the 29th overall pick in 2015—most around the league thought the Colts would get a mid-round pick, or a pick plus a swap of higher picks.
So after the Patriots reached out, the Colts did their due diligence, watching tape of Brissett, especially liking his poise against a hard Houston rush in a September 2016 start. By noon Saturday the Colts decided to do the deal. Interesting, really, to see how quickly deals developed on this weekend: When Indy staffers were at dinner Friday, they had no thought of doing anything significant at the quarterback position. By lunch Saturday, they had upgraded their backup quarterback position—significantly, they thought.
Brissett was fresh off of a stellar preseason performance for the Patriots on Thursday night, completing 28 of his 39 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns (while rushing for another score) in a 40-38 preseason loss to the New York Giants.
“Well, if you want to get something you have to give up something,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters when asked about the swap on Sunday. “That’s what trades are.”
The Colts announced on Monday that Andrew Luck will not be ready for Week 1, so Scott Tolzien will get the start at quarterback with Brissett serving as his backup.