Insider: Colts’ rebuild gets major boost with draft picks trade with Jets

The Indianapolis Colts just made perhaps the biggest splash move of this free-agent signing period without spending a dime.

Indianapolis on Saturday executed a blockbuster trade with the New York Jets that gives New York the Colts’ No. 3 overall selection and nets the Colts picks Nos. 6, 37 and 49 in 2018 as well as the Jets’ 2019 second-round choice.

The Colts now have four picks in the top 49 selections of this draft, positioning General Manager Chris Ballard to more quickly restock his roster with young talent. The Colts have resisted major moves in free agency, preferring to mine and develop young talent and moderately-priced veteran free agents.

But with teams ahead of the Colts, like the Jets, lining up for quarterbacks, the Colts might just get one of those stars anyway.

The Colts had been the subject of much speculation about a possible trade scenario in recent weeks. With the Buffalo Bills making a play last week to collect an additional first-round pick, they were believed to have an eye on the Colts’ No. 3 pick.

Defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson (one year, $5 million) to the Packers. He was a $10-million-a-year player two years ago, and he screwed it up, and now he’s got a season to save his career, on a one-year prove-it contract, with a chip the size of a boulder on his shoulder. I like his chances to reward Green Bay. Three Worst Decisions Arizona giving quarterback Sam Bradford one year and $20 million … with $15 million guaranteed.

This is the way I would have made this deal, if I were Arizona: $5 million in bonuses and base salary, $1 million bonus for every start. If Bradford’s healthy, he earns $21 million. If not, he doesn’t eat up valuable cap space. And if Bradford finds a better deal elsewhere, let him go. I really like Bradford as a player, when he plays. But that’s the rub. He’s 19-19 over the past five years, and has missed more starts (42) than he’s made (38). I like the player, but not the contract.
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