Indianapolis Colts’ General Manager Chris Ballard has been vastly overrated by the NFL landscape and should not have a job in 2023. I have been extremely critical of Chris Ballard the GM. For some reason, he seems to be viewed as one of the tops in the NFL, but why?
He took over the GM chair in 2017 and is set to finish his sixth year as the decision maker in Indy. He was hired away from the Chiefs and had the fortune of Andrew Luck as his quarterback. One of his first main decisions was to get rid of Chuck Pagano and hire Frank Reich.
Hiring Reich seemed to be a good decision. He was able to field competitive teams for a couple years and was able to squeeze what he could out of their quarterback situation, but Ballard has failed for a few reasons and I’m not sure why Jim Irsay is set on bringing him back in 2023.
Firstly, Ballard has not been able to put any sort of quarterback plan in place since Andrew Luck’s retirement before the 2019 season. It’s been a whopping four seasons since he retired, and to this date, there is nothing to note with Indy’s signal callers, except that they went through a new one seemingly every year he’s been the GM.
That type of instability is simply not going to work in the NFL, and Ballard owns it.
Secondly, his free agency career as a GM has been underwhelming. The elite teams in the NFL that compete and win Super Bowls or put themselves in a position to do so are taking calculated risks in free agency. That’s an objective fact.
Take a look at the Rams’ Super Bowl roster from last year. Take another look at the Bengals and Bills’ rosters this year. The elite teams in the NFL are able to find the important positions in the draft but are also able to fill out the rest of their roster in free agency.
Chris Ballard never seemed to take that type of risk. It always seemed like the Colts had a good bit of cap space that they carried over into the following season because Ballard seemed to scared to spend it.
Lastly, his concept of positional value is simply not there. I think this is evidenced very clearly by the Colts’ lack of quality pass catchers outside of Michael Pittman and the fact that the two best players on the Colts are an inside linebacker and an interior offensive linemen.
This has hurt the Colts for years. Pass catchers and offensive playmakers are becoming more and more valuable in the NFL. Ballard, outside of Jonathan Taylor, who may have a short shelf life as a running back, and Michael Pittman, Indy does not boast anything special with their playmakers.
Chris Ballard would be the best GM in the world if it were the 80s or 90s, but the NFL has changed and his 45-48-1 record in the regular season and 1-2 playoff should not be good enough to keep his job.