Carson Wentz Trade Does Little To Alter the NFC East

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(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Mar 10, 2022, 9:26 AM

A day after the Denver Broncos chose to trade for Russell Wilson, another starting quarterback is reportedly on the move.

Carson Wentz is being traded from the Indianapolis Colts to the Washington Commanders, according to ESPN. However, this likely will have little effect on the pecking order of the NFC East or NFL betting odds.

Carson Wentz Trade

According to ESPN, the Colts gave up third-round picks in 2022 and 2023 and swapped second-rounders this year with Washington. 

That 2023 pick could become a second-rounder if Wentz plays 70% of the snaps for his new team. The second-round swap this year means the Colts will pick at No. 42, up from No. 47.

Washington Commanders NFL Betting Odds

Before the move, Washington’s Super Bowl odds were +5000. The Commanders’ NFL odds to win the NFC were +2200 and to take the NFC East were +450. All three went completely unchanged after the news was publicized.

Indianapolis Colts NFL Betting Odds

The Colts are tied for the seventh-highest odds to win the AFC at +1400. Their AFC South odds are second behind the Titans at +140.

They’re tied for the 12th-highest Super Bowl betting odds at +2500.

Carson Wentz Contract

ESPN reported Wentz will receive $28 million from Washington for this coming season. That includes a $5 million roster bonus which he will receive next week.

Wentz signed a four-year, $128 million extension with the Eagles. He will be owed $20 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024 of base salary and then just over $6 million in roster bonuses each year. If released next year or after, there would be no cap hit.

Washington Commanders QB Situation

Taylor Heinicke was Washington’s starting quarterback for the majority of last season. He completed 65% of his passes for 3,419 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.

Last year, Wentz hit 62.4% of his throws for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He was ranked 16th by Football Outsiders’ DYAR metric, while Heinicke was 22nd.

Among quarterbacks in the top half of total snaps taken, Pro Football Focus ranked Wentz ninth on passes of 20-plus yards. That was ahead of Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, and Wilson.

But he struggled more in the intermediate and short areas of the field. And throughout his career, his play has been wildly inconsistent. While he can make spectacular throws, he’s also made unnecessarily dangerous ones.

That will need to be addressed by Washington’s coaching staff and offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

Wentz may face more pressure than he did before. The Colts were 13th last year by FO’s adjusted sack rate, while Washington was 24th. And according to PFF, Wentz was substantially better when he was kept clean compared to when he wasn’t.

Wentz won’t have as strong of a running game to rely on as he did in 2021. Jonathan Taylor was the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,811 yards to go with 18 touchdowns. 

However, the Commanders can turn to Antonio Gibson, who rushed for 1,037 yards, the sixth-most in the league. He’s also an effective pass catcher, so Wentz can rely on him if needed when under pressure.

Wentz can also depend on Terry McLaurin, a No. 1 receiver who’s totaled over 3,000 yards in his first three seasons.

In the end, Wentz’s erratic play does little to boost the Commanders. 

The Cowboys and Eagles are still more complete teams. Their defenses ranked higher than Washington’s in DVOA a year ago, and their offenses will be high-powered enough to compete for the division title.

Indianapolis Colts Future

The Colts don’t have a first-round pick this year following the trade for Wentz last offseason. That means they’ll likely be out of the market for one of the top QBs in this year’s draft class.

They could pick up a QB in free agency. However, a likely scenario is trading for one, like San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo. He was 10th in DYAR last season.

The 49ers will likely be looking to move on from his nearly $27 million cap hit next season. They traded up to draft Trey Lance out of North Dakota State third overall last year.

The Colts have the most cap space in the NFL at $69 million next season. They could also easily use some of their draft capital they received in the Wentz trade to pick up a slight upgrade at QB.

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About the Author

Colton Pool

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Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.