Carson Wentz’s time with the Philadelphia Eagles looks like it’s coming to an end. After being benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts, Wentz has made it clear that he has no interest in being a backup after this season. This creates a challenging situation for Philly, as they have a rising star in Hurts but a disgruntled and expensive Wentz. He signed a $128 million extension in 2019, making it impossible to release him because of the cap hit and difficult to move him to a new team with enough cap space.
In the scenario, Philadelphia is done with Wentz and wants to move him; the Indianapolis Colts could be the best landing spot for the former No. 2 overall pick. Indy will be in the market for a quarterback after this season, and Wentz could fit right in with that franchise. Many things play in the Colts’ and Wentz’s favor should this trade come to fruition.
Jalen Hurts, not Carson Wentz, is the franchise QB for the Eagles
It’s unfortunate to say, but Carson Wentz played himself out of the starting quarterback spot, and possibly Philadelphia. He looks like a shell of himself, not playing with confidence and trying to do too much each play. His 15 interceptions on the year are the most in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference. His 57.7% completion percentage and 49.3 QBR further signifies how poor he has played this season.
The difference between Hurts and Wentz playing quarterback is obvious. Hurts’ mobility alone adds another wrinkle into the Eagles’ offense. In their win against the New Orleans Saints, Hurts rushed for over 100 yards and threw for over 100 yards. It won’t be like that every game, but having a dual-threat QB is more appealing in today’s NFL because of the matchup nightmares it causes defensive coordinators.
Hurts showed that he is more than a capable passer, shredding the Arizona Cardinals for 338 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Not only is his play impressive, but the energy he brings out of his teammates is just as remarkable. For the first time all season, the Eagles are playing with purpose and passion. The team seems to have embraced Hurts and are playing more motivated than the stagnant, lethargic way they play with Wentz.
When the Eagles drafted Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, many didn’t expect this. The rookie is most likely going to start the rest of the season, giving him more chances to prove he is Philadelphia’s future. It’s clear that he is the new franchise quarterback, and Wentz needs to find a new place to play since he isn’t interested in being a backup.
Frank Reich could be the solution to Carson Wentz’s problems
Carson Wentz would see a familiar face if the Eagles traded him to the Colts. Frank Reich, the offensive coordinator for Philadelphia from 2016-2017, is Indy’s head coach. Under Reich, Wentz played the best football of his career and was the 2017 MVP favorite before his season-ending knee injury. Reich has transformed the Colts offense into a squad that effectively runs the ball and uses that to open up the passing game.
Another reason Reich could help Wentz is because of their relationship off the field. Both men take their religion seriously, and Wentz valued that aspect of their relationship. Reich seemed to understand how to get the best out of the $128 million quarterback with patience, calmness, and responsibility. Since Reich left Philly, the Eagles haven’t had the same amount of success offensively, which is a telling sign.
Philip Rivers is the current quarterback for the Colts. He has played well this season, throwing for 3,735 yards, 22 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. However, he is 39-years old and on a one-year deal. Indy is going to be looking for a younger, more long-term quarterback this offseason. Wentz will be 28 by the end of this season, which is around the beginning of a quarterback’s prime years. Despite what he has shown this season, Wentz’s best days are ahead of him if the situation is right.
General Manager Chris Ballard has been exceptional at running the Colts’ front office. He isn’t afraid to take a risk on a player with promising potential. Wentz fits that description perfectly. Ballard should have more security in taking this risk since Reich is the head coach; he would vouch for Wentz and his talent. If there is anybody that can fix Carson Wentz, Frank Reich is that person.
Weapons would surround Carson Wentz on the Colts
One excuse people give Wentz is that he lacks weapons. Alshon Jeffrey isn’t the same player he once was. Zach Ertz and DeSean Jackson have been dealing with injuries. Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, and Miles Sanders have been decent but inconsistent. Wentz’s weapons are hardly among the NFL’s elite.
Throw in the offensive line’s injuries and a shaky defense; it gets harder to blame Wentz solely. If he were to make his way to Indy, he would have many weapons at his disposal. The Colts’ offensive line is one of the best in football, anchored by Quenton Nelson. The Eagles allowed Wentz to be sacked 50 times this season, the most of any QB.
Indy has a young stud in Jonathan Taylor in the backfield. Don’t forget about Marlon Mack, who is rehabbing an Achilles injury. His return next season gives the Colts a two-headed rushing attack. Michael Pittman Jr., Parris Campbell, and Zach Pascal give Wentz every kind of receiver he needs. If Indy brings back T.Y. Hilton, that adds another speedy veteran Wentz can use.
Defensively, the Colts are loaded. Led by Darius Leonard, Indy’s defense is one of the best in the NFL this season. Many of those pieces are coming back, which should benefit Wentz. Given the situation, the Indianapolis Colts seem like the perfect landing spot for Carson Wentz. If the Eagles are looking to move him this offseason, the Colts should be the first team calling them.
All stats courtesy of Football Reference