According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, the Indianapolis Colts have acquired Philadelphia Eagles former franchise quarterback Carson Wentz for a draft compensation package that includes a 2021 third round pick and a conditional 2022 second round pick (that could turn into a first round pick):
Philadelphia has agreed to trade Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick that could turn into a first, league sources tell @mortreport and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 18, 2021
The seemingly never-ending trade saga has finally reached its inevitable conclusion—as Carson Wentz will be joining Indianapolis as their next starting quarterback.
It sounds like a good deal for the Colts and general manager Chris Ballard at first glance—as these are the 2022 conditional second round pick’s conditions:
The conditional second-rounder in 2022 becomes a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75 percent of the snaps or 70 percent and the team makes the playoffs. https://t.co/quAYwcz7bd
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 18, 2021
The former 2nd overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft is coming off a dreadful 2020 campaign, that saw him throw 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions this past season—before being benched late down the stretch in favor of rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts.
However, the hope is that by being reunited with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was previously Wentz’s offensive coordinator with the Eagles (2016-17), that he can regain his prior 2017 NFL All-Pro form. For it was in 2017, under Reich’s offensive tutelage, that Wentz threw for 33 touchdowns to 7 interceptions and was a legitimate NFL MVP candidate for the then 11-2 Eagles before suffering a season-ending torn ACL.
Wentz really hasn’t been the same type of star quarterback since—having seen his shine fade over the past three seasons.
That being said, Reich and him have had a positive working relationship in the past, and playing in the Colts head coach’s ‘quarterback-friendly’ offensive system and behind a strong offensive line (assuming Indy can shore up left tackle) and backed by a Jonathan Taylor-led power running game, it’s very possible Wentz could rebound in 2021.
Reich, as a former NFL quarterback himself, may know better than anyone on how to fix Wentz—and what ‘truly makes him tick’ from their past time together in Philadelphia.
Still only 28 years old and with his high draft pedigree—and former 2017 standout season to draw confidence from, Wentz still has the tantalizing talent to theoretically salvage.
He has a strong arm—and when healthy and fully going right, is the type of ‘dual-threat’ quarterback that is similar in playing style to former Colts franchise quarterback Andrew Luck—with the ability to make passes under duress and extend plays outside the pocket.
Simply put, he has the chance to be a really dynamic passer for the Colts behind center—something Indianapolis desperately needed more of this offseason at quarterback.
However, along with his high ceiling, also comes with it, a very low floor.
Wentz is due a $25.4M cap hit in 2021 and a $22M cap hit in 2022, but his contract also presents an ‘easy out’ for the Colts after his first two seasons—if he continues to struggle over that span. However, should he return to ‘2017 Wentz’ (or close to it), his contract actually runs until 2024—which Indianapolis would have no problem with it running until its final duration.
So, there you have it, Colts fans.
The ‘never-ending trade story’ is over, the ‘Wentz sweepstakes’ are finally decided, and for now, the Colts have ‘won’—especially with limited options elsewhere.
Although time will tell whether Wentz is another stopgap, failed reclamation project, or potentially the long-term answer as a starting franchise quarterback again for the Colts.