Carson Wentz is coming back to the NFC East.
The former Eagles quarterback is being traded from the Indianapolis Colts to the Washington Commanders, NBC Sports Washington confirmed. ESPN first reported the trade.
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According to ESPN, Washington’s package for Wentz includes two third-round picks:
It’s hard to believe the Eagles got an eventual first-round pick for this guy just over a year ago.
This trade, of course, means the Eagles will play Wentz twice next season, once at FedExField and once at Lincoln Financial Field, where he’ll return to play the team that once drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick.
In addition to the two games against the Eagles in 2022, Wentz will also face the Colts in Indianapolis. And he'll face Doug Pederson's Jaguars at home.
Wentz, 29, lasted just one year in Indianapolis with Frank Reich and the Colts. His numbers weren’t bad in 2021. He threw for 3,563 yards with 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, but floundered down the stretch and the Colts’ brass has been non-committal all offseason.
Based on the way this is ending, it’s hard to believe the decision to move on from Wentz is all football related. It seems likely that some of the flaws in Wentz’s personality that we saw in Philadelphia turned up in Indy too.
Just last week at the NFL combine, Colts GM Chris Ballard had some downright icy comments about his quarterback, who he gave up a first-round pick to get.
“Ultimately, you have to have a guy you believe in and can win with,” Ballard said. “That will play some into it but ultimately we’ll make the decision we think is best both in the short and the long-term.”
That, of course, led to a follow-up question about why the Colts didn’t believe in Wentz.
“Not saying we don’t (believe in Wentz) but in the long-term best interest for us, I think as we sit down and work through if Carson is the long-term best answer or not is the best way I can put it,” he said. “We’re not there yet. I’m not there yet. That’s something we’ll talk about as a group and we’ll move forward with as a group. Whatever decision we make will be the best decision for us.”
Last February, the Eagles traded Wentz to the Colts for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional second-round pick. That pick turned into a first-rounder after Wentz played over 70% of Indianapolis’ snaps in 2021.
So the Eagles have the No. 16 pick in the draft from the Colts and Wentz is gone long before they’ll even get to use it.
There was a time not that long ago when Wentz appeared to be a budding star in the NFL. He was great in 2017, putting together an MVP-level season in his second year in the league before tearing his ACL in December in LA. He then watched Nick Foles lead his team to a Super Bowl run and parade and his career really never recovered since then.
Sure, there were some glimpses of the player he once was. There were some good plays in 2018. There was that stretch run in 2019, when he helped will the Eagles into the playoffs.
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But then came the disaster in 2020 that saw him get benched for rookie Jalen Hurts and saw his relationship with then-head coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles organization deteriorate to the point of no return. The Eagles didn’t necessarily want to trade Wentz last offseason but the damage was done and they ended up getting a lot back in the trade.
There were many who thought Reich was the right guy to resurrect Wentz’s career. After all, it was Reich who helped get the most out of Wentz in Philly. It was Reich who understood him best.
Welp, that lasted just one year.
And now Wentz is back in the NFC East, joining a franchise that has been stuck in the mud for a while. It’s hard to imagine this will have a happy ending for him or the newly-named Commanders.