Carson Wentz Rumors: QB's Future with Colts Looks 'Bleak,' Likely to Be Traded or Cut

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 13, 2022

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) looks for a receiver during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Carson Wentz's tenure as starting quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts reportedly may be set to come to an end after just one season.

According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen (h/t Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus), the Colts will "probably" trade or release Wentz before March 19, when his $15 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed.

Mortensen added that Wentz's future in Indianapolis looks "bleak."

While Wentz didn't have a terrible statistical season in 2021, the campaign ended in disappointment for the Colts, as they lost their final two games of the season, finished 9-8 and missed the playoffs.

If the Colts do move on from Wentz, the final nail in his coffin may have been a 26-11 Week 18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. All the Colts needed to do in order to make the playoffs was beat a Jags team that went 3-14, but Wentz and Co. couldn't get it done.

Wentz was originally the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and early in his career, it looked like he was destined for superstardom.

In 2017, Wentz was the front-runner for the NFL MVP Award before tearing his ACL late in the season. Philly still won the Super Bowl without Wentz that year, as Nick Foles filled in and led the Eagles to a championship.

Wentz was never the same player after that injury, and things truly came crashing down in 2020.

In 12 starts that season, Wentz went 3-8-1 and completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns and an NFL-high 15 interceptions.

Wentz lost his starting job to then-rookie Jalen Hurts, and the Eagles decided to move on from Wentz during the offseason, trading him to Indy for a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 first-round pick.

There was some hope that Wentz's career could be resurrected by reuniting him with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was Wentz's offensive coordinator in Philadelphia when he enjoyed his greatest success.

Wentz largely leaned on superstar running back Jonathan Taylor and a strong defense, and things looked good for a while, as the Colts were 9-6 and in ideal position to make the playoffs.

Back-to-back losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jaguars ruined their playoff hopes, though, and Wentz has been viewed as one of the biggest scapegoats for the team's shortcomings.

Overall, Wentz did have a much better season in 2021 than he did 2020, completing 62.4 percent of his passes for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

Wentz simply wasn't good enough late in the season, though, throwing just 10 touchdown passes in the team's final eight games and throwing for more than 225 yards in a game just once during that stretch.

The Colts won a lot of games by running the football and playing strong defense, but the NFL is still a quarterback-driven league, and Wentz didn't perform at a high enough level.

There are several quarterback-needy teams in search of an answer at the position this offseason, however, and since a team can cut him after the 2022 campaign while incurring no dead cap space, per Spotrac, it is possible another team will take a chance on him if the Colts decide to move on.