Man oh man it is hard to say this. I really do not want to say it. But I am going to have to get used to it. Carson Wentz is the new quarterback of the Washington Commanders. The man drafted out of North Dakota State in 2016 with the 2nd overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles, then shipped to the Indianapolis Colts before last season, is now the starting quarterback in Washington to kick off the 2022 season and the new era of the Washington Commanders. There are so many emotions running through my mind right now, and similar to a shocking event occurring in the world, I want anything to possibly happen for this not to be true. Am I in a simulation fueled by Facebook's new Metaverse? Am I in a nightmare where I cannot wake up? Am I a part of some social experiment to see how fake news can ignite a fan base? All I know for sure is that if this is real the Colts and the rest of the NFL are, once again, laughing at Washington.
Let us go through the good and bad of this trade, with alternate options that the Commanders could have gone after, and let's come to a conclusion together.
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- Wentz was playing at an MVP level in 2017 before suffering an ACL tear, leading the path for Tom Brady to win his 3rd and final MVP (Brady like usual caught a lucky break).
- Wentz has a rocket for an arm and great size at 6'5 and 240 pounds.
- He is still relatively young at 29.
- From Weeks 4-16 last season, Wentz had a top 5 QBR with only 5 interceptions in 12 games compared to Heinicke's 12 interceptions over that 12 game span.
- Wentz started all 17 games for the Colts last season, playing a full season for only the third time out of his six years as an NFL starter.
- In college, Wentz was a 5-time FCS National Champions at NDSU and a 2-year starter
- Once again, as I am going to tell myself over and over again as I try to fall asleep tonight, Wentz was a superstar in 13 games in 2017 before his ACL injury.
- After this upcoming season, Wentz has no guaranteed money on his contract, making a 1-year relationship possible.
- He could maybe play with an added motivation knowing this is his last shot as an NFL starter and he gets to play the Eagles twice a year? Maybe?
- With Nick Foles at the helm for the Eagles in 2017 after Wentz's injury, the Eagles did not skip a beat and played unreal football leading them to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.
- Wentz's leadership has been called into question multiple times, most notably with an anonymous player on the Eagles in 2018 calling him "selfish" and sources from the Athletic in Indianapolis saying a large factor in the Colts moving on was his lack of leadership
- The injury history. Although he played a full season last year, Wentz has missed time because of an ACL injury followed by a slow recovery, back issues, a concussion knocking him out of a playoff game, he missed the 2021 preseason because of a foot injury, and he sprained BOTH of his ankles on ONE PLAY in Week 2 last season but did not miss any game action. With this being said it sounds like a great idea to have him play on the notorious FedEx Field!
- The Head Coach for the Colts is Frank Reich who was Wentz's offensive coordinator in Philadelphia during his best season in 2017 and Wentz still did not perform.
- The Colts were led last season by the leading rusher in the NFL in Jonathan Taylor, led the NFL with SEVEN Pro Bowl selections, had a top 10 offensive line according to PFF led by All-Pro Quinton Nelson and Pro Bowler Ryan Kelly, and a top 10 defense led by DeForest Buckner and Darius Leonard. They still did not make the playoffs.
- When it mattered the most in a win or go home situation against the then 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 18, Wentz went 17-29 with 185 yards and 1 touchdown with 1 bad interception, ending with a QBR of 4.3 and the Colts sent home packing.
- The Commanders are paying Wentz's full $28 million dollar salary this year. Let me repeat that. TWENTY-EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS FOR CARSON WENTZ THIS YEAR! What could be worse? Him reportedly about to be cut by the Colts and we could have gotten him for much cheaper? Or, at this moment his $28 million dollars against the cap allows for only $5 million dollars to be spent in free agency if no other moves are made?
- Carson Wentz does not know how to throw a football away. His horrible interceptions like this one below outshined the occasional flashes of hope he provided Colts fans.
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Aaron Rodgers- A long shot that was doubtful to ever leave Green Bay and was even more unlikely to choose Washington.
Russell Wilson- This one stings. He wanted out of Seattle, he grew up in Richmond Virginia, we made Seattle a huge offer, but they ultimately declined and shipped him to the AFC West Denver Broncos for less capital. The good thing about being a Washington sports fan is that I never got my hopes up.
Deshaun Watson- The uber-talented controversy-strickened quarterback's days in Houston are all but numbered, and he is the last thing we needed to add to this horrible organization, especially with an upcoming court case. Watson and Dan Snyder would have been quite the duo!
Jimmy Garoppolo- Call me crazy, but I would take Carson Wentz over Jimmy G. We know who Garappolo is. He is the definition of an average quarterback whose ceiling is good enough to make it deep to the playoffs, but not good enough to take a team over the top. Is he better than Wentz? Sure. But with Wentz, we are going 4-13 or the much more unlikely 11-6. No in-between. I guess I'll take that over a couple more years of 7-10 with Jimmy G.
Mitch Tribusky- The wild card. I thought this is who we would end up with, but I would not be shocked if Tribusky ends up in New York with the Giants or somewhere else and puts up solid production. He is bad don't get me wrong, but there could be some things to be excited about.
Marcus Mariota- This might be the most intriguing option that we could have considered. Marcus was not good in Tennessee, but has gotten to back up Derek Carr for 2 years in Las Vegas and could be ready to turn his career around somewhere in a good situation. Obviously, Washington is not a good situation so it is probably best we passed on him.
Cam Newton- No thanks. I am shocked Rivera never took a flyer on him especially since Washington has morphed into the rehabilitation center for the Carolina Panther's old elite, but Newton's best days are in the past.
Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Matt Coral, etc- As a critically acclaimed college football expert like myself, this quarterback draft class stinks. Everyone knows it. I think it is also fair to say Washington has also not had the best luck drafting first-round quarterbacks. I get not wanting to draft a quarterback this year. Willis and Pickett have the potential to be studs, but I highly doubt Coral or anyone else after that has the potential to be a franchise quarterback. Hopefully, my boy Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati ends up in a good situation though.
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We are a poverty franchise and at 21 years of age, I don't think I'll ever see a Washington Commander Super Bowl run in my lifetime. Thank you for your time, and at this point, I do not know why I even waste 17 Sunday's a year watching these losers. Carson Wentz is a mentally shot overpaid below-average quarterback that needs the perfect situation for even a chance to turn his career around. The problem is, he had the perfect situation in Indianapolis last year. That failed. Now he's with us.