After make-shifting the quarterback position since the retirement of Andrew Luck, the Colts have secured the position for years to come.
Indianapolis acquired quarterback Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and conditional 2022 2nd round pick.
The latest move by Colts GM Chris Ballard reunites Wentz with head coach Frank Reich, who served as Wentz’ offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017.
In 2020, Wentz’ production dipped dramatically from the heights he reached in 2017 with Reich, when he set the foundation for the Eagles Super Bowl championship. With that said, not all the blame for the Eagles struggles should be blamed on the 28-year old QB.
Outside of his horrid 2020 campaign, Wentz has played solid football in his career
In his two seasons with Reich as his offensive coordinator, Wentz completed 61.5% of his passes, threw for 49 touchdowns, and produced an 88.8 quarterback rating.
After Reich left for Indianapolis, Wentz’ seemingly worked with a team filled with backup offensive lineman and third-string receivers. Even still, Wentz led the Eagles to two playoff appearances in three seasons and a division title in 2019.
There is little doubt that the Colts made the right move trading for Wentz, for a number of reasons.
1) The relationship of Frank Reich. If any coach in the league knows about Wentz’ from a physical or mental perspective, it’s Reich. The Colts decision to acquire him affirms fans that Indianapolis has done their due diligence and the reunited pairing has great potential.
2) The upside of Wentz. At just 28 years of age, Wentz’ prime years are still ahead of him.
Of course we cannot erase the 2020 campaign yet objectively, Wentz has been a top-10 quarterback since 2017. After posting the fourth-best quarterback rating in 2017 (101.9), Wentz ranked seventh (102.2) in 2018 and 13th (93.1) in 2019 respectively.
3) Low-risk, high reward. The Colts were considering drafting a franchise quarterback yet possessed the 21st overall pick. By only trading a third rounder, the Colts added a franchise quarterback at a low price tag.
The Eagles will carry Wentz’ $33.8 million cap hit in 2021 as the Colts will only possess a $25.4 million cap hit. (For reference, recently retired Phillip Rivers carried a $25 million cap hit in 2020.
With four year remaining on Wentz’ contract, the Colts will not eclipse $26 million against the cap and have the option to part ways after 2022.
Not only has Indianapolis secured their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, they still possess the 21st overall pick and can fill the void left behind by tackle Anthony Castonzo. The Colts have the 50th overall pick as well.
All subjectivity aside, the new change of scenery for Wentz gives him the opportunity to regain his footing in a league where he nearly secured an MVP trophy. The conditional 2022 second rounder would become a first-rounder if Wentz plays in 75% of the snaps next season or he plays in 70% of snaps and the Colts make the playoffs. Indianapolis would only lose the first-round selection if Wentz is healthy or if they make the playoffs, which is a great move in favor of the Colts.
The Colts became a better team today and Indy fans should be hopeful, if not eager, for the 2021 season.