By Terrance Turner
March 9, 2022
The Indianapolis Colts are trading quarterback Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders in exchange for two third-round draft picks, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Colts’ return is thought to include two third-round picks. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo added the trade also includes a swap of 2022 second-round draft picks. The Colts now hold the No. 42 overall pick, while the Commanders have pick No. 47. Washington will pay the full $28 million due to Wentz for the 2022 season, which includes a $5 million roster bonus due next week.
The trade comes one week after Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew said the team had “canvassed the league effectively” to find a quarterback. ESPN previously reported that Washington has reached out to every team (including the Kansas City Chiefs!) to inquire about a quarterback’s availability and the cost. Washington has started 32 quarterbacks since it last won the Super Bowl following the 1991 season, including starting eight in the past three seasons.
Wentz spent all of one season in Indianapolis after being traded by the Philadelphia Eagles, with whom he spent four years. Indianapolis gave the Philadelphia Eagles a first- and third-round pick for him in February 2021. It was an attempt to find their next franchise quarterback following the retirement of Philip Rivers. Wentz threw 27 touchdowns and tied his career low in interceptions with seven last season, according to ESPN. His long-term status with the Colts came into question late in the season when he struggled in the team’s final two games where they had to win only one to make the playoffs.
In their regular-season finale, all the Colts had to do was beat the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14), one of the worst teams in the league. they couldn’t. Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, completed 23 of 32 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, according to jaguars.com. (Lawrence had thrown just two touchdown passes in his previous nine games.) By contrast, Wentz — who was sacked six times — completed just 58.6% of his passes on the day as the offense was only able to manage a field goal in its three first-half drives.
Wentz then came out in the second half and committed two turnovers. The first was a strip-sack fumble on the opening possession of the third quarter. (Jaguars linebacker Damien Wilson was able to sack Went, according to CBS Sports.) After a six-play drive that resulted in a punt following that turnover, Wentz coughed the ball up again as he threw an interception on the first play of the drive. Wilson was on the receiving end of that pick as well. The Colts lost, 26-11.