INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts are trading quarterback Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders for a package of picks, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Colts will receive the Commanders’ third-round picks in 2022 and 2023, sources said. The 2023 third-rounder can become a second-round pick if Wentz plays 70% of Washington’s snaps. The teams also swapped second-round picks in 2022, with the Colts moving up from No. 47 overall to No. 42.
Sources told Schefter that Washington will pay the full $28 million due to Wentz for the 2022 season, which includes a $5 million bonus roster due next week.
The trade comes one week after Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew said the team had “canvassed the league effectively” to find a quarterback. Washington has started 32 quarterbacks since it last won the Super Bowl following the 1991 season, including starting eight in the past three seasons.
Taylor Heinicke went 7-8 as Washington’s starter last season, throwing for 3,419 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Wentz spent one season as the Colts’ quarterback after Indianapolis gave the Philadelphia Eagles a first- and third-round pick for him in February 2021. He was an attempt to find their next franchise quarterback following the retirement of Philip Rivers after the 2020 season.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Wentz threw 27 touchdown passes and tied his career low in interceptions with seven last season. His long-term status with the Colts came into question late in the season when he struggled in the team’s final two games where they had to win only one to make the playoffs.
“I’d like to quit Band-Aiding it,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in January. “I’d like for Carson to be the long-term answer or find somebody who will be here for the next 10 to 12 years. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I can dream about it, wish about it, do everything I can to figure out the solution, but you do the best with what you can do at the time.”
Wentz completed 59% of his passes, threw two touchdown passes and had two turnovers in losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars to close out the season. He threw for at least 200 yards in only two of the final eight games. In the upset loss to the Jaguars in the season finale, Wentz posted a career-low 4.3 Total QBR.
An MVP candidate with the Eagles before tearing his ACL late in the 2017 season, Wentz lost his starting job to Jalen Hurts during the 2020 season, which led to his trade to Indianapolis. Wentz is headed to his third team in the past three seasons and will face both of his former teams in 2022.
Wentz’s departure means the search for stability at quarterback continues for the Colts since the retirement of Andrew Luck in August 2019. Jacoby Brissett didn’t show enough to prove to be the answer, Rivers was a bridge-gap quarterback on the tail end of his career, and Wentz failed in his only season in Indianapolis.
Coach Frank Reich will now have his fifth starting quarterback in as many seasons, a situation star Colts linebacker Darius Leonard also highlighted on Twitter.
Here we go again! About to be 5 years with the Colts and 5 different QBs! Thank you Carson for everything this year my guy! Wish you nothing but the best!
—Darius Leonard (@dsleon45) March 9, 2022
Sam Ehlinger and James Morgan are the only quarterbacks currently on the Colts’ roster. Neither player has started an NFL game.
Information from ESPN’s John Keim was used in this report.