Sunday, July 3, 2022

Ron Rivera says Commanders ‘feel positive’ about how Carson Wentz trade helps their team

In an offseason where the NFL was clearly not enamored with the quarterback class but there were a plethora of trade options available, the Washington Commanders were one of the first movers on the quarterback market. They ended up sending second- and third-round picks in 2022, as well as a conditional second- or third-round pick in 2023 to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for Carson Wentz, along with second- and seventh-round picks in 2022. 

Now that the rest of the quarterback carousel has mostly settled and the Commanders have also added former North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell in the fifth round, coach Ron Rivera feels strongly that his team helped itself in the quarterback department this offseason. Rivera cited comments from unnamed former teammates of Wentz, stating that he was someone who helped his team get where it wanted to go.

“All those guys come out and say, man, this guy was a good teammate, this was a guy that pulled us tighter, this was a guy that helped us get where we are or headed toward — you feel positive about that, you really do,” Rivera said during a radio interview, according to Pro Football Talk. “And it’s an exciting thing to hear that, that his teammates spoke of him in that fashion.”

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That’s an interesting contrast with some of the reports that have come out about Wentz in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, which indicated that his leadership and presence in the locker room were potential issues. Rivera, though, also cited Wentz’s performance during the 2017 season as a potential feather in his cap. 

“The one thing I do look at [is] the fact that at one point he was 11-2,” Rivera said, referring to the 2017 season. “And, of course, he hurt his knee — a year where he was talked about in the MVP conversation. So there’s a lot of things that go into play, a lot of things happen. But to us, this was a positive. We were looking for a guy of his stature, with his kind of ability. So to be able to pick him up and make the deal for him, we feel very positive about that.”

It’s important to note that 2017 was five years ago. Wentz has not looked like that player in a very long time. The idea that his performance in that season should be a consideration when it comes to evaluating how much he can help the Commanders this year is not a sound one. The Commanders should be looking more at the player Wentz has been in recent seasons and seeing how they can work with that version of him, and what they can do to mitigate his weaknesses. 

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