Carson Wentz Heading to Indy as Colts Finalize Trade with Eagles
After weeks of speculation and reports there was mutual interest between all parties involved, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts agreed to a deal that will send starting quarterback, Carson Wentz to Indy ahead of the upcoming season.
Wentz had one of his worst seasons as a starting quarterback in 2020-2021 season that saw him benched over the final few weeks of the season in favor of Jalen Hurts. Rumors started to fly shortly after that Wentz was unhappy in Philly and was asking to be traded. Many reporters who cover the NFL for a variety of outlets speculated the best spot for Wentz would be the Colts as it would reunite Wentz with Frank Reich, the Colts head coach who served as Philadelphia's Offensive Coordinator for two seasons, the second of which saw the team win Super Bowl 52.
That year was also Wentz's statistical best of his career to date. He threw for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions. Many attribute his success to Reich's play design and play calling in games.
It was reported the Chicago Bears were the other team seriously negotiating with the Eagles to acquire Wentz, however it was also reported Wentz preferred the Colts due to his connection with Reich. Ultimately, he got what he wanted, but since he did not have a no trade clause in his contract, had the Eagles and Bears come to an agreement, he would have been on his way to Chicago whether he liked it or not.
Early reports were that Philadelphia were wanting multiple draft picks, including a first round pick in this year's draft, in exchange for Wentz. A steep asking price for a guy who really struggled the past two seasons and ended up getting benched in the final weeks of last season. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, that's not what they ended up getting.
Whether or not Wentz will be an upgrade to Phillip Rivers, who retired shortly after the Colts' season ended in a Wild Card playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, will be seen. Wentz has a strong arm like Rivers, and has the ability to make plays with his legs, which Rivers could not. The biggest question will be, "can he stay healthy?" His injury history includes his Super Bowl winning season being cut short by a nasty ACL tear in his knee a few weeks before the playoffs, a fractured vertebrae in October of 2018, and a concussion in January 2020.
As a Colts fan, I'm cautiously optimistic this move will prove to be a good one for the team over the long term. At 28-years-old, Wentz could easily play another 8-10 years, if he can stay healthy of course, and if Frank Reich can re-work the magic he created during Wentz's first two seasons in the league, the team should be considered a Super Bowl contender for the next few years.
The question now becomes, what pending free agents of their own will the Colts be able to keep? Wentz's remaining contract isn't cheap, as spelled out by ESPN NFL Insider, Field Yates:
Fortunately, General Manager Chris Ballard has proven himself to be one of the best in the league when it comes to managing the team's money and contracts, and wouldn't have made the move if it didn't make sense financially.
That doesn't mean he won't have some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks. The team has several big names on both sides of the ball that will become unrestricted free agents when the new league starts March 17th including backup QB Jacoby Brissett, receiver T.Y. Hilton, and defensive end, Justin Houston, among others. Adding Wentz's contract to the payroll likely means at least a few of those players will be wearing another team's uniform when the 2021-2022 season kicks off in September.