Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says he wants his next quarterback to have "veteran vision," as the team continues to be linked to several experienced quarterbacks this off-season.
Irsay's sentiment could hint that the Colts plan to acquire a starting quarterback through free agency or trade -- instead of through the NFL Draft -- after the retirement of 2020 starter Philip Rivers.
The Colts have the No. 21 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which likely has them out of consideration for a Top 3 quarterback prospect.
"Our belief is we're close [to a Super Bowl]," Irsay told reporters on Wednesday. We have a tremendous nucleus of players that are capable of competing for the Super Bowl very soon.
"Ideally, if you can get someone to come in this year who's ready to go, it gives you your best opportunity and you don't have as much as a maturation aspect."
The Colts started Jacoby Brissett for the entire 2019 season after the abrupt retirement of former starter Andrew Luck. Last off-season, Indianapolis signed Rivers to a one-year, $25 million contract in free agency.
The Colts also picked up Jacob Eason in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Eason remains on the roster, while Brissett is a free agent this off-season.
"With 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 said.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson also have been linked to other teams this off-season.
The NFL's 2021 league year and free agency period starts on March 17. April 23 is the last day teams can sign restricted free agents.
The Colts went 11-5 and finished second in the AFC South division in 2020. They then lost to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round. The Colts last went to the Super Bowl in 2010, when Peyton Manning was the team's starting quarterback.