In 2017, new Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz was at the height of his profession. With the Eagles boasting the best record in the NFL, and him under center he seemed destined to win multiple MVPs and Super Bowls in the City of Brotherly Love. Then a torn ACL late in that magical season cost him the MVP, and to add insult to injury his replacement Nick Foles outdueled Tom Brady in leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory.
Foles was also named MVP of the game. Wentz has never seemed to regain his MVP form of 2017. Despite putting up solid numbers, it’s been nothing like that season where he took the league by storm.
Now on his third team in three seasons, many believe this is his last chance to prove himself as an NFL starting quarterback. After passing for 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in his lone season with the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz was dealt to the Commanders in a surprising move. Now Wentz must prove he can lead with a team loaded with talent.
First look at Carson Wentz as a Commanderpic.twitter.com/480tCcHHLX
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 16, 2022
“NBA on TNT” analyst Charles Barkley, an avid Eagles fan, appeared on the “Washington Football Talk” podcast this week to talk Wentz and the Commanders.
“Four years ago he was the greatest thing to happen in Philadelphia,” Barkley said. “It’s been a serious fall from grace. I haven’t seen this much of a fall from grace in a long time.”
“I root for the Eagles, and I’m like, ‘Man, we’ve got our quarterback for the next 15 years. And then I have zero idea of what happened in Philly, and then one year with the Colts and then you guys took him, so it’s really been a strange situation,” Barkley added.
Wentz has to produce or the former North Dakota State star who was taken No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL draft could be relegated to journeyman or backup duty. It’s a prove-it year for Wentz and the Commanders under third-year coach Ron Rivera.
— COMMANDERS FOOTBALL (@HogsHaven) March 13, 2022
Barkley Knows His Football: Says Wentz Needs To Take Accountability
Things haven’t gone as planned for Wentz the last few seasons, and despite the external challenges, he needs to take some accountability for things going south in Philly and Indy. Barkley talked about one of Wentz’s biggest shortcomings at length during his interview.
“As a player, you always think you’re doing the right thing, because we all have egos; that’s how you get to the pros. But for him, this is truly his judgment day where he’s got to say, What am I doing wrong? ” Because when you’re on three teams in three years, you have to be doing something wrong as a player.”
Wentz, who fell out of favor in both previous spots, has a clean slate, and is coming to a QB-needy team that’s in win-now mode.
Is he the answer? Has he learned from past failures?
During Commanders OTA’s Wentz sounded like a player who knows this could be his last chance.
“I’m always trying to grow. And be a better person in every shape and form.”
Carson Wentz's tailor hooked up with team-colored threads.
Says he appreciates the Snyder’s "believing in him." pic.twitter.com/VZynBPgWmG
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) March 17, 2022
Commanders Have An Abundance Of Weaponry: Wentz Should Thrive
In leading the Commanders this season, Wentz may have his most talented group of playmakers yet. With star receiver Terry McLaurin re-signing for three years, $71 million, he has his top receiving threat. He’ll be joined by Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown and 2022 first-round pick Jahan Dotson.
When he hands it off, he has a three-headed monster at tailback in rising star Antonio Gibson, the dynamic J.D. McKissic out of the backfield, plus bruising 2022 third-round pick Brian Robinson out of Alabama, who led college football in broken tackles last season with 84. The return of tight end Logan Thomas could serve as a great safety valve for Wentz.
In the end it all depends on how Wentz performs; will it be shades of 2017 or 2018-present. Barkley has already painted the scenario. Wentz could end up a tragic story of what if or establish a new legacy. For right now he’s considered a disappointment.