Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz will “probably” be traded or released before March 19, according to Chris Mortensen.
There's a belief that #Colts QB Carson Wentz will "'probably" be traded or released before March 19th, per @mortreport. That's when $15M in base salary becomes guaranteed. His future in Indianapolis looks "bleak."— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 13, 2022
After just one season as the Colts’ quarterback, it seems as though Wentz may be on his way out. Indianapolis faced two win-and-in scenarios in Weeks 17 and 18 but fell short. While Wentz isn’t entirely to blame for the team’s late-season collapse, he does shoulder a fair portion of the blame for his porous play against the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.
According to Zak Keefer, a writer for The Athletic, money has never been a concern for the Colts when it comes to deciding on their quarterback, and “they’ll eat the $15 million no problem.”
The vibe I’ve gotten the past several weeks, from Jim Irsay’s perspective at least, is money will **not** be the deciding factor here. In other words, if Colts decide to move on from Wentz, they’ll eat the $15 mil no problem. Question would be: who replaces him? https://t.co/rysWh8D5DN— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) February 13, 2022
Now, Indianapolis will have to determine if there are any trade partners and what would be a realistic return in draft compensation. Whether he’s traded or released, though, the Colts will have a fair amount of cap space to work with this off-season.
If traded before March 19, the Colts would “free up” all of Wentz’s $28 million and wouldn’t have to eat any dead cap, so the team may make it a priority to trade him to save themselves a solid chunk of cap space.
Not sure who would trade for him, but a trade (before 3/19) means zero dead money for Colts. Would free up all $28 million since the current guarantee is on his base salary. https://t.co/PaokJYhiZp— Kyle Rapoza (@ColtscapKyle) February 13, 2022
If the Colts do decide to part ways with Wentz, the question then becomes, as Keefer notes, who replaces him in 2022? Perhaps they go after Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers or Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Or maybe they view the 2022 season as another stop-gap year, similar to Philip Rivers in 2020.
After trading both a first-round and third-round pick for the former No. 2 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, it appears that Wentz is likely not the long-term answer the team had been hoping for.
For yet another off-season, the Colts will likely have questions at perhaps the most important position on an NFL team.