The Indianapolis Colts and Washington Commanders have agreed to a trade involving quarterback Carson Wentz, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
According to Schefter, Washington receives Wentz and a 2022 2nd round pick in exchange for a 2022 2nd pick, 2022 3rd round pick, and a 2023 3rd round pick that could elevate to a 2nd round selection if Wentz plays 70% of Washington’s snaps this coming season.
According to multiple reports, including one from Sports Illustrated, Washington agrees to take on Wentz’s full $28M contract for the 2022 season.
The deal comes after heavy speculation this offseason that Wentz’s tenure in Indianapolis was coming to an abrupt end after just one season.
In early January, following the team’s 9-8 finish this regular season, Colts general manager Chris Ballard publicly cast doubt over the organization’s long-term plan at quarterback.
“When we made the decision to make a move on Carson [Wentz] at the time of the decision, we felt good about it,” Ballard said. “And, I still don’t regret it…I won’t make a comment on who’s going to be here and who’s not going to be here. That’s not fair.”
During last week’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ballard and head coach Frank Reich remained non-committal on Wentz as their starting quarterback in 2022.
“We’re still working through it,” Ballard said. “I know I’m going to get a lot of questions about Carson right now and it’s a — I don’t have a direct answer for you.”
Wentz started 17 games for the Colts in 2021. His play down the stretch of the 2021 season was far from consistent, throwing for over 225 yards in just one of the final eight games of the season.
The Colts managed to rattle off eight wins over 10 games and were primed for an AFC Wildcard berth entering the final two weeks of the season.
However, back-to-back losses to Las Vegas and Jacksonville bounced the Colts out of the playoffs, with Wentz’s poor play at the center of the team’s collapse.
During Week 18’s 26-11 loss to the 2-14 Jaguars, Wentz posted a career-low 4.3 quarterback rating, as the Colts offensive line allowed a season-worst six sacks.
Following the season, Colts owner Jim Irsay voiced his frustration on social media through a series of posts and videos.
The first, a three-paragraph Jan. 13 letter released the morning of general manager Chris Ballard’s season-ending press conference, was highlighted by the finality of the 2021 season: “We ended our season in perhaps the worst way possible, and missed our chance to compete for history.”
One evening later, a video message posted by Irsay on Twitter included a challenge to the entire organization ahead of the 2022 season: “Anyone walking in the West 56th Street Complex (team headquarters) this year will be walking in with ALL chips in — period. If you don’t want to put all your chips on the table, then don’t walk in the building.”
Following what many consider the most exciting NFL divisional round in postseason history, Irsay posted a series of tweets on Monday and Tuesday, the most notable being his recipe for success in today’s NFL:
Note the quarterback reference here, which was Irsay’s first public comment tied to the position since the Colts season ended.
Ahead of kickoff at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported the Colts were likely to cut ties with Wentz via a trade or release this offseason.
What we now know is that Irsay and Colts’ brass were unwilling to move forward with Wentz under center.
The looming question in Indianapolis: Who is a better quarterback than Wentz that is available for the 2022 season?