When it comes to Carson Wentz, the Colts were very motivated sellers. The Commanders, in turn, were very motivated buyers. The end result shouldn’t be a major surprise.
It was obvious that the Colts were done with Wentz.
Zak Keefer of TheAthletic.com addresses some of the dynamics regarding the Wentz situation. He writes that the issues arose before the 2022 season began. Over the course the season, the concerns increased.
Per Keefer, some concluded that Wentz displayed “a lack of leadership, a resistance to hard coaching and a reckless style of play.” Frankly, these are exactly the concerns that undermined Wentz’s time with the Eagles.
That’s why coach Frank Reich’s advocacy for Wentz was so surprising. Reich knew the concerns. Reich, as he said last week in Indianapolis, stuck his neck out for Wentz. But Reich was smart enough to pull his head back into the shell and not pin his career on pushing for a second season for Wentz in 2022.
When Keefer explains that the “Colts’ brass simply didn’t trust [Wentz] to be the franchise quarterback moving forward,” the lack of trust begins with owner Jim Irsay. Wentz knew that; he reportedly requested a meeting with Irsay to “clear the air.” Although Irsay declined, he had a pretty good excuse. He was out of town. Per Keefer, the two men eventually spoke.
Eventually, the two teams spoke. Washington called everyone. They tried to get Russell Wilson. They got Carson Wentz for two third-round picks, the second of which can become a second-round pick based on playing time. They took on the full amount of Wentz’s contract, with a payout of more than $28 million this year.
It’s not a shock, given that the Commanders were as motivated to buy a quarterback as the Cots were to sell Wentz. The Commanders were destined to overpay. They felt burned last year by being shut out of the Matthew Stafford talks. They didn’t want to lose out again. They opted to abandon nuance in their search for a quarterback.
Said coach Ron Rivera last week, “Does anybody really care what was traded for Matthew Stafford last year?”
That’s why the Commanders did it. The fact that they settled on (for) Wentz is a product of the unavailability of other options.
Yes, Wentz is still capable. He’s better than what Washington had. The question now becomes whether Wentz’s latest failure coupled with Rivera’s deft hand will result in enhanced leadership, decreased resistance to hard coaching, and a less reckless style of play.
If being traded twice in two years provides Wentz with the wakeup call he desperately needs, the Commanders may have actually gotten a bargain.