The Carson Wentz trade has come and gone in Indy, and the Indianapolis Colts are now being forced to deal with the fallout of their decision. At first glance, it was a decent trade for Colts GM Chris Ballard. He got out of the entirety of Wentz’s contract while simultaneously snagging some draft capital in return.
However, as the quarterback market started heating up, more and more possible Wentz replacements began flying off the board. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson have all found new teams. The Colts are running out of options.
Now, current key Colts players are beginning to speak up about the trade.
Colts RB Jonathan Taylor criticizes the trading of Carson Wentz
Wentz clearly didn’t make many friends in the Indianapolis front office. However, more and more reports are suggesting that he was quite liked in the locker room.
Key Colts players Michael Pittman Jr. and Darius Leonard took to Twitter to express their displeasure in Wentz being moved at the beginning of the offseason. Now All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor is joining the conversation. During an interview with AP NFL reporter Rob Maadi, Taylor spoke in detail about the trade and how it was a confusing process to him.
“I’m definitely sad to see Carson go,” Taylor said. “He was amazing in the locker room and on the field as well. If you look at some of the plays he made on the field but off the field, he was an amazing guy always; he made sure to get in contact with everyone on the team.”
“We’ll have to wait and see; I’m not sure what direction we’ll go…”
Did Chris Ballard make the wrong decision on Carson Wentz?
Wentz is not a perfect quarterback. There’s no denying that. While he clearly has some elite traits and unique physical gifts, his inability to avoid silly mistakes hurt the Colts on more than one occasion in 2021. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that Wentz was statistically an upper-half quarterback this past season.
He passed for 3,500-plus yards and 27 touchdowns, and only threw seven interceptions. His 54.7 QBR ranked ninth in the league, and his 94.6 passer rating ranked 13th. The Colts front office can whine and complain about his mistakes all they want, but replacing that amount of production is no easy task.
Clearly, Jonathan Taylor feels the same way. He’s struggling to see what plan Ballard has in place to replace his old starting quarterback.
What next for the Colts?
Moving forward in Indy, the Colts desperately need to find a starting quarterback. Baker Mayfield and Matt Ryan are emerging as potential options. However, there’s an argument that neither are significant upgrades over Wentz — especially Mayfield.
Past that, the Colts have also done little in free agency in terms of improving their roster. They haven’t signed any wide receivers and still possess a glaring vacancy at left tackle. Finding a good quarterback is essential, but so is fielding a talented 53-man roster come Week 1.
No matter how you slice it, Ballard’s current plan of attack is confusing, and his players are staying to notice.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.