Washington COs trade for Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz, sources say

INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts are trading quarterback Carson Wentz to Washington Commanders for a pick package, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Colts will receive commanders’ third-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023, sources told Schefter. The 2023 third-rounder can become a second-round selection if Wentz plays 70% of Washington’s snaps. The teams also traded second-round picks in 2022, with the Colts moving from No. 47 overall to No. 42.

Sources told Schefter that Washington will pay the full $28 million owed to Wentz for the 2022 season, which includes a $5 million bonus coming next week.

The Commanders offered the Seattle Seahawks three first-round picks for Russell Wilson, a source told ESPN’s John Keim, but Seattle opted to send him to the Denver Broncos in the AFC. Washington quickly moved on and negotiated with the Colts for Wentz.

The trade comes a week after Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew said the team had “effectively scoured the league” for a quarterback. Washington has thrown 32 quarterbacks since winning the Super Bowl after the 1991 season, including eight in the past three years.

Taylor Heinicke went 7-8 as a Washington starter last season, throwing for 3,419 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Washington has the NFL’s worst total QBR since the 2018 season and his 71 touchdown passes in that span also ranks 32nd. That’s a big reason the team went 24-41 in this stretch.

Wentz spent one season as the Colts’ quarterback after Indianapolis gave the Philadelphia Eagles first- and third-round picks for him in February 2021. It was an attempt to find their next quarterback from franchise after the retirement of Philip Rivers after the 2020 season.

The No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft, Wentz threw 27 touchdown passes and tied his career-low in interceptions with seven last season. His long-term status with the Colts was called into question at the end of the season, however, as he struggled in the team’s final two games when they only had to win one to win. qualify for the playoffs.

“I’d like to quit band-aiding,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in January. “I would like Carson to be the long-term answer or find someone who will be here for the next 10-12 years. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I can dream it, wish it, do it, whatever. as I can to find the solution, but you do your best with what you can do at the time.”

Wentz completed 59% of his passes, threw two touchdowns and suffered two turnovers in losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars to close the season. He’s thrown for at least 200 yards in just two of the last eight games. In the upset loss to the Jaguars in the season finale, Wentz posted a career-low 4.3 total QBR.

An MVP contender with the Eagles before tearing an ACL at the end of the 2017 season, Wentz lost his starting job to Jalen Hurts during the 2020 campaign, which led to his trade to Indianapolis. Wentz is heading to his third team in the past three seasons and will face his two former teams in 2022.

Wentz will play twice against the Eagles and travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts next season.

Wentz’s departure means the search for quarterback stability has continued for the Colts since Andrew Luck retired in August 2019. Jacoby Brissett hasn’t shown enough to prove to be the answer, Rivers was a quarterback at the end of his career and Wentz fell short in his only season at Indianapolis.

Coach Frank Reich will now have his fifth starting quarterback in as many seasons, Colts star linebacker Darius Leonard also tweeted.

Sam Ehlinger and James Morgan are the only quarterbacks currently on the Colts’ roster. Neither player has started an NFL game.

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