The Washington Commanders were expected to explore the top quarterbacks in the market this offseason, but they instead traded for a signal-caller who was being shopped by his current team after just one season. Washington sent the Indianapolis Colts a 2022 third-round pick, a 2023 conditional third-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick in exchange for Carson Wentz and a 2022 second-round pick.
Wentz will be playing for his third team in as many years. While he threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2021 while going 9-8 as the starter, Wentz’s short stint with the Colts will likely be remembered for his inability to step up in a win-and-you’re-in postseason situation in the regular-season finale against the worst team in the NFL.
While many have questioned Washington’s decision to trade for Wentz, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera says he’s confident in his new quarterback, and is not concerned with the past.
“You have questions. I don’t. . . . Whose questions are they? Do they have answers? If they have answers, and they know and they’re right in the middle of it, then great. Then why don’t you tell us what your answers are?” Rivera told Ben Standig of TheAthletic.com, (H/T Pro Football Talk). “I will be honest with you: From this point, I’m really not concerned what happened in Philadelphia, and I’m not really concerned what happened in Indianapolis. The answers I’ve got from the people, the things that I’ve seen and read don’t scare me. . . . Most of the things that I’ve seen and people I’ve talked to, and the people in the know . . . their answers really support how I feel. . . . Quite bluntly, I’m not concerned about that.”
Washington has been searching for its franchise quarterback since Kirk Cousins, and even with him, the Commanders were unable to commit to the QB after two stints on the franchise tag. Wentz is under contract through 2024, but Spotrac has identified a potential out next offseason. Will Washington have to take advantage of that?
Wentz was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Colts last offseason after his play dipped while Jalen Hurts rose to prominence. In reuniting with Frank Reich, the Colts thought a change of scenery would help Wentz transform back into the legitimate MVP candidate he was in 2017. Instead, the franchise cut ties with him after just one year.
It’s always possible Wentz finds a way to reinvent himself during this second stint in the NFC East. Washington has a couple intriguing weapons in Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel, a talented backfield duo in Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic and then a defense headlined by the formidable front four. Now, the Commanders just need a quarterback to come in and take this franchise to another level.