The Indianapolis Colts continue to be linked with wantaway Detroit Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and are seen as favorites to trade for his services following the retirement of Philip Rivers.
Owner Jim Irsay didn't mention Stafford by name but suggested on Wednesday that he wants a proven commodity over a project.
"The type of team we have, it would really benefit us most if we could have someone who can come in and play at a high level, with a veteran vision," Irsay explained, per Mike Wells of ESPN.
Irsay's desire makes sense, as the Colts were potentially a play away from toppling the Buffalo Bills on wild-card Saturday and advancing in the playoffs. Indianapolis won 11 games during the regular season with Rivers leading the offense and is in a spot to contend for more than a postseason berth in 2021.
"Our belief is we're close, that we have a tremendous nucleus of players that are capable of competing for the Super Bowl very soon," Irsay added. "Ideally if you can get someone to come in this year who's ready to go, it gives you your best opportunity."
Irsay's team doesn't necessarily need to trade for Stafford or fellow disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson this offseason. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, and Andy Dalton may all be available for the Colts via free agency and could serve as a reliable bridge quarterback for at least one year.