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The Colts agree to trade Carson Wentz for Commanders

The Indianapolis Colts are switching from Carson Wentz after a season, sending him to a team he has known since his NFC East days.

The Colts agreed to trade Wentz with the Washington Commanders, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the deal could not materialize until the start of the new league year next week.

Washington is getting the 47th draft pick along with Wentz and sending Indianapolis numbers 42 and 73 this year and a conditional third place finisher from 2023 that could become a second according to Wentz’s playing time, according to a different person with knowledge direct from the move. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

Wentz, 29, has three years left on his contract with a salary cap of 28.3, 26.2 and 27.2 million in a row. The Philadelphia Eagles ’second 2016 overall pick spent just the 2021 season with Indianapolis, the team with a 9-8 record and losing the playoffs.

Announcement

This will be the sixth year in a row that the Colts will have a different headline from the opening day, though Jacoby Brissett took over when Andrew Luck lost the entire season in 2017 and again in 2019 when Luck abruptly announced his retirement in August.

While coach Frank Reich urged the Colts to acquire his former Eagles student 13 months ago and continued to support Wentz throughout the season and off-season.

“Stability is ideal, continuity is ideal, attach that,” Reich said last week at the NFL’s annual scouting combined. “I believe in Carson. I was neck and neck with him last year. I was a big part of that decision. To take him here and I think he’s going to be very successful as a quarterback, whether here or elsewhere.”

General manager Chris Ballard was not convinced.

In January, after Indy lost his last two games to miss the playoffs, Ballard said he wanted to have a quarterback who could play for 10 to 12 years, though he acknowledged that doesn’t always work that way.

Announcement

The same day Reich spoke in the combination, Ballard told reporters he wanted a quarterback who he believed could be a long-term solution, before quickly explaining that his words were not intended to suggest he did not believe in Wentz.

“As a long-term answer for us, I’m not there yet,” Ballard said. “You have to be right (in the quarterback) and even if you’re not right, you have to keep shooting. Away until you get it right. We have to do it right.”

It is unclear where Ballard and Reich will go, although there are many names being sought for free trade and agencies, starting next week.

Washington coach Ron Rivera obviously believes in Wentz. The move to acquire a former face of a division rival is the franchise’s latest attempt in the past to prop up a quarterback situation that has been changing for decades.

Washington has started 12 different QBs since acquiring veteran Alex Smith of Kansas City in 2018. That includes Smith, who broke his right leg 10 games in his tenure there.

Announcement

Adding Wentz is likely to relegate former incumbent Taylor Heinicke to a competition with Rivera favorite Kyle Allen for the substitute job.

Wentz played eight times against Washington, scoring 5-3 with 2,223 yards on the pass, 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. In six NFL seasons, he threw 3,008 yards, 140 TDs and 57 INTs.

The product of the state of North Dakota has suffered injuries most of his career. Most notably, Wentz tore the ACL in his left knee in 2017, paving the way for Nick Foles to take over and lead the Eagles to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

The wounds followed Indy as well. He missed most of the preseason after undergoing foot surgery, suffered a sprained ankle in both ankles at week 2 and then struggled until late after testing positive for COVID-19 after not getting vaccinated.

Washington, which last month changed its name to Commander, has not won it all since 1991 under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. Rivera has been given almost total control of football operations by owner Dan Snyder, who is being investigated after former employees filed allegations of sexual harassment.

Announcement

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The Colts agree to trade Carson Wentz for Commanders

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