The Colts appear ready to cut bait on quarterback Carson Wentz.
Wentz will probably be traded or released by March 18, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.
The reason March 18 is significant is that Wentz’s contract calls for his full $22 million base salary to be guaranteed, and for him to receive a $6.29 million roster bonus, if he’s still on the roster on March 18. If Wentz is released before then, the Colts are still on the hook for $15 million of his base salary, but they’d be off the hook for the other $13.29 million.
Trading Wentz to a team willing to take on his full contract as-is would be the ideal choice for the Colts, but it seems unlikely that any team is going to give anything up to take on a contract that the Colts don’t want. It is possible that Wentz, the Colts and another team could all agree to a re-worked contract that makes it easier for him to be traded.
The Colts gave up their first-round pick in this year’s draft and a third-round pick last year for Wentz. Obviously they wouldn’t have done that if they had thought Wentz would be one-and-done, but given his disastrous play at the end of the season as the Colts were knocked out of playoff contention, it’s unsurprising that the team has apparently decided to move on.