Carson Wentz Immediately Becomes A Top 5 QB In NFC With Trade To Washington Commanders | Bart Scott Says “It’s The Only Move They Had”

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

It’s no secret the Washington Commanders were doing everything in their power to find a quality veteran quarterback to lead the team next season. Aaron Rodgers had no interest in playing in D.C., and the team lost out to Denver in the Russell Wilson sweepstakes. 

As per reports, Seattle and Wilson (who has a no-trade clause) turned down as many as five rumored first-round picks. 

So, with the QB market dwindling and too much uncertainty still swirling around Deshuan Watson, the team traded for Colts veteran signal caller Carson Wentz. Washington gave up the 42nd overall pick in the 2022 draft, two third-round picks, and a conditional third-round pick that becomes a second-round selection if Wentz plays 70 percent of the snaps.

The Commanders are also reportedly picking up the entire remainder of Wentz’ $28 million contract for next season, which includes a roster bonus of $5 million. 

 Was it a good move? 

“I think it’s the only move that they had,” said NFL analyst Bart Scott. “You look at the rest of the league and the other quarterbacks that was available. They just weren’t that into Washington.”

The price tag is affordable when you look at the landscape of NFC signal callers. Wentz probably ranks in the top five. After ARod, Dak Prescott and Matt Stafford, the next two slots are a tossup between Kyler Murray and Wentz.

You also have veterans Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Kirk Cousins in Minnesota, but they are on the downside of statistically-elite careers. The remaining teams are either in disarray at QB or have young, undeveloped signal callers with weak supporting casts. 

This will be Wentz’s third team in as many seasons, following his departure from Philly after the 2020 season and playing just one year in Indy.

 Colts Weren’t Sold On Wentz As Future In Indy: His 2021 Stats Were Solid

GM Chris Ballard questioned whether Wentz was the answer following a late-season collapse which kept the Colts out of the postseason. ESPN NFL insider Field Yates asked Ballard about the QB situation last week, and Ballard was blunt in his response. 

“I don’t have the direct answer for you,” Ballard said. “We’re working through it …. Ultimately, we’ll do what’s best for the Colts.”
“Mr Irsay, Frank and I will sit down over the next few weeks and figure it out.”

The writing was on the wall for Wentz’s departure from that point. Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network followed Ballard’s remarks by revealing that the team may be looking elsewhere for a starting QB for 2022. 

 Wentz Doesn’t Deserve All The Blame: It Was A Team Collapse

During the 2021 season, Wentz played in 16 of 17 games, missing one due to COVID-19 protocols. The team went 9-8, missing the playoffs. Wentz had his best season since 2017, passing for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns, seven interceptions with a 62.4 completion percentage. He also rushed for 215 yards and one touchdown.

 

 After starting the season 1-4, the Colts went 8-2 over their next ten games, including wins against playoff teams Buffalo, New England and Arizona. Indy entered the final two weeks of the season needing one win to make the playoffs but lost both games. All the blame shifted to Wentz. 

Wentz’s two best seasons (2017 and 2021) in the league stats-wise have come under the tutelage of OC Frank Reich. Maybe what both needed was to go their separate ways. 

READ: Colts Got Jokes For Fans Who Got Jokes About Frank Reich Hiring – The Shadow League

 Last week HC Ron Rivera told Josina Anderson of CBS Sports: 

 “I think this team needs a veteran, I really do. That’s not gonna preclude us from looking at a rookie. It’s not gonna preclude us from saying that, if we ended up with a veteran and all of a sudden we draft a rookie, that this rookie’s not gonna get an opportunity.”

Wentz, who had a solid season with the Colts, is definitely an upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen, who are all more backup material than franchise starter. With some stability behind center, Washington would have made the playoffs this past season. They had ample opportunities.

 

 Crossroads for Wentz

This is Wentz’s second clean slate and last chance to prove that he can live up to the promise of his early career. Scott says he will get that shot with Ron Rivera, who hold every player accountable. 

“This is a guy who has played at an MVP level,” Scott continued. “The problem isn’t his talent. It isn’t his physical ability. It’s his mental ability. You hear things coming out in Inday about, he couldn’t handle hard coaching. He couldn’t be challenged. He didn’t want to be a leader. Well, all those things are out the window with (Washington Commanders Head Coach) Riverboat Ron (Rivera). He understands this is his last opportunity to be a starter in this league. He’ll be a bridge guy for the rest of his life.”