The Colts are already paying Wentz, whether they cut him or keep him. For a GM that has never used all his cap room, $13M in savings is not going to do much. And like it or not, the man that won 8 of 10 games during a stretch of the season and finished with a 27:7 TD:INT ratio, might just be the best shot Indy has at making a real push next season.
Is he the guy that can put the team on his back every game and carry them, no matter what? Not based on what we've seen of him in blue. But when the GM is adamant that it isn't about one guy, and you have this defense (presumably even better with a draft, new coach, and round of FAs coming in), and the best run game in football, are we really sure Jimmy Garopollo or a 2nd round rookie flier is going to be better for this team?
Don't forget, to get Jimmy G, it will cost picks and a lot of money. Understand $40 million quickly disappears when you sign another $25M QB. I’m no expert, and I, like you, just want to win. Sure I would love Rodgers. I’d even take Matt Ryan, to be honest. But those aren't happening. Both can pick their next destination, and Ashton Dulin, though a great all around football player, is not luring Rodgers away from anywhere. Oh, and Matt Ryan would cost the Falcons so much dead money ($44.55M), it would basically decimate that team.
I’d Love Russell Wilson, just like everyone else, even though he won fewer games than Wentz and put up strikingly similar numbers, despite throwing to the greatest mismatch WR we've seen maybe since Randy Moss, and a perennial 1000 yards per year guarantee in Tyler Lockett. Oh, and Russ also missed the playoffs. But it's Russ, and we know he is special. He gets the benefit of the doubt. Wentz hasn't earned that, I know.
To me, the Colts will ultimately decide to give it one more year with Wentz. I realize many extremely dialed in sources in Indy are saying otherwise. I mean, we don't need sources, Irsay himself is telling us with every Tweet. But there is down time in the NFL for a reason. It allows tempers to settle. Irsay is a business man and will not ultimately make an emotional decision. That's not to say he will keep Wentz. It’s just to say that his tweets to this point have been emotional, and they will use the next 30 days to truly dive in to what alternatives we actually have. Just remember, this isn't exactly a draft with a ton of high end talent. There isn't even a consensus “1st QB off the board", yet. If ever there were a year to be without that 1st round pick, it’s this year.
I would simply argue that, without Wentz missing training camp, the Colts don't start out 1-5. I'd argue that Wentz had no business playing the 2 weeks following the double ankle sprain, and that zapped his mobility and ability to run for the majority of the season. If the Colts aren't in ‘must win games’ those final two weeks, then are fans this mad at only Wentz? After all, he’s the 5th QB in 5 years, and they've all lost to bad teams on the road. And let’s not forget, as recently as January 26th, the day after Wentz put the team on his back and threw one of the best game winning passes of the season, experts were considering Indy a “must avoid matchup" if they made the playoffs.
Move on from Carson if you can. But to point all the blame at just him, is a recipe for repeated failure. The Colts have more problems than just Carson Wentz. It won't matter who is taking snaps from All-Pro Ryan Kelly next season, if they don't find a way to fix the weapons on this team. I’m curious what a guy that was considered damaged goods in his previous home, only to go 27:7 with two bum ankles, no training camp, and weaponry that consists of mainly UDFA superstars could do, if all those weapons were bumped down a spot or two on the target list.
If the Colts would have made the playoffs, everyone is using these same stats and flaws to show how promising our future looks. How Wentz made a ton of progress from 2020, and we expect more growth in 2022. How Indy is so well made, they won in spite of all the injuries, over throws, and lack of WRs/TEs. How Wentz would have been 1 of 5 QBs in NFL HISTORY, to make the playoffs after a 1-5 start. Keep in mind, if he fails again, it’s far easier to move on next offseason, when you have your first round pick. Add a good veteran backup, and bench Carson if you don't like what you see.
Bottom line, the Colts didn't win that one extra game, and they didn't make the playoffs. Wentz was a big part of that, but so was Q56, Darius Leonard, JT28, and many, many other people. Do the colts have a major problem, or do they simply have a recency bias problem?