Monday, September 26, 2022

Proposed Trade Lands Colts Speedy Veteran Wide Receiver

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The Indianapolis Colts do not have a wide receiver older than 25 on their active roster. That lack of receiver experience was evident early in the 2022 season, particularly with a Michael Pittman Jr. quad injury.

NFL writer Kristopher Knox by Bleacher report suggested the Colts fix that issue by trading for veteran receiver Darius Slayton.

“If Indy is going to film its season, it needs to help Ryan asap,” Knox wrote. “Trade for the New York Giants to Darius Slayton could help the depth tremendously.”

Slayton won’t be 26 until January, but he’s in his fourth NFL season. In his first 3 years he had 124 catches, 1,830 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

While these are modest numbers, Slayton would rank first among Colts receivers in his career for yards and touchdowns received if Indianapolis took him over.

At the NFL Combine four years ago, Slayton caused a stir with a 4.39 40-yard dash time. He wasn’t drafted until the New York Giants selected him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but then the fast receiver recorded an impressive rookie season with 48 receptions, 740 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in 14 games.

At the very least, Slayton would bring an element of speed to the Colts, which they don’t really have in their receiver room right now.

After repeating his rookie numbers for most of the 2020 season, Slayton wasn’t as common in the Giants’ passing game last year. In 2021, he recorded 26 receptions, 339 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.

Earlier this season, Slayton is without a catch for two weeks. He only played 4 snaps. Knox argued that this was an advantage for a team interested in trading for him.

“The Giants are unlikely to make a big return for Slayton because they have little leverage over the trade — they don’t use it and can’t pretend to intend to,” Knox wrote. “A move, however, would take just over $900,000 off the books.”

Knox added that despite his lack of use, the talent for Slayton is still there. In the trade suggested by the NFL writer, the Colts sent a 2023 seventh-round pick and a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Giants for Slayton.

Speed ​​aside, the Colts should be interested in Slayton because he’s a proven asset. That’s the problem with Indianapolis’ receiver core alongside Pittman — prior to this season, none of the other Colts wideouts had recorded even 4 catches in an NFL game.

Slayton has experience. With the Colts, he could take some double coverages from Pittman and immediately become quarterback Matt Ryan’s #2 target in the passing game.

“The Colts should take the opportunity to add a proven pass catcher to their ranks,” Knox wrote.

In Week 1, Pittman had 9 catches for 121 yards with one touchdown. That total accounted for about a third of Indianapolis’ receiving yards in the game.

During Week 2 without Pittman, who was playing because of a quad injury, the Colts receivers combined for 8 receptions and 126 yards. Indianapolis didn’t even score and lost 24-0.

Despite missing Week 2, Pittman still leads all Colts wideouts with 9 catches. He’s also second in yards, just 4 behind Ashton Dulin (125 vs. 121).

Aside from Pittman, Dulin is the only Colts receiver to eclipse the 40-yard mark in the first two weeks. Slayton has registered at least 40 yards in 20 of his 44 career games in the NFL.

During Week 2 without Pittman, who was playing because of a quad injury, the Colts receivers combined for 8 receptions and 126 yards. Indianapolis didn’t even score and lost 24-0.

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