Colts GM Chris Ballard Just Delivered the Kiss of Death to Carson Wentz and His Indy Career

Following the team’s disgusting end-of-year collapse against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carson Wentz has been public enemy No. 1 for the Indianapolis Colts. Despite putting together a pretty impressive season on paper (3,563 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, only seven interceptions), Wentz could not win a seemingly easy game at the end of the campaign, leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard, in particular, is incredibly distraught about the whole ordeal. He’s referred to 2021 as one big failure for the Colts and refused to publicly commit to Wentz as the team’s starting quarterback in 2022.

Carson Wentz was supposed to be the Colts’ franchise QB

Since Andrew Luck retired back in 2019, the Colts have been in no man’s land regarding the quarterback position. Career backup Jacoby Brissett ran the offense in 2019 with little success before being succeeded by a 39-year-old Philip Rivers in 2020.

Rivers led the Colts to the playoffs on the back of an 11-win season. However, his declining arm strength and lack of overall athleticism proved too big a hurdle to overcome during the postseason. Indianapolis lost its wild-card game last year, paving the way for it to pursue a franchise-altering trade the following offseason.

Due to his connection with head coach Frank Reich, Wentz vaulted to the top of the Colts’ wish list. They happily traded a first- and third-round pick for the former Philadelphia Eagles starter, acquiring him with the hopes of having him under center for the next several years.

The Colts wanted Wentz because they genuinely believed he could lead them back to the postseason. Following his end-of-year collapse, it appears they’re performing a 180 on said logic.

Chris Ballard may have just handed Carson Wentz the kiss of death

Colts QB Carson Wentz.
Carson Wentz | Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

After the ugly Week 18 loss in Jacksonville, Ballard refused to commit to Wentz for the 2022 season. Just under two weeks later, Ballard is solidifying his stance, this time going as far as to say he needs to evaluate his options at QB altogether.

“I don’t care who you have at the position at the time — I think every year, you’ve got to evaluate it in full, both free agents and the draft. I mean, it’s that important,” Ballard said on the Colts Audio Network. “And it’s one that we’ll exhaust each and every year, and we do with our scouts and with our coaches.”

Obviously, Ballard is lying with this statement. Teams don’t evaluate positions they feel comfortable at. For example, the Colts aren’t “evaluating” their running back room following Jonathan Taylor’s record-setting season.

The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t “evaluating” their quarterback position. They have Patrick Mahomes under contract for a decade.

What Ballard is really saying here is that he is looking to move off Wentz, if possible. It’s a kiss of death for a player dealing with 100% of the blame from this past season’s failure.

What next for the Colts?

Ultimately, blaming Wentz for everything that went wrong in Jacksonville would be an incredibly foolish decision by Ballard. The defense struggled, the wide receivers weren’t getting open, and the coaching staff looked outclassed by a team without a head coach.

It was a collective failure by everyone involved — including Ballard. Outside of acquiring Wentz, Ballard did little to improve his roster this past offseason.

However, if Ballard is hell-bent on blaming Wentz for anything and everything, one shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a trade. Attempting to perform a swap deal with the Las Vegas Raiders for Derek Carr would make sense on paper.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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