NFL Rumors: Colts 'Actively Looking' for Another QB amid Carson Wentz Buzz

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 25, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - JANUARY 09: Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts on the field during pregame warm ups before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on January 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts are reportedly searching for an upgrade over Carson Wentz at quarterback ahead of the new league year March 16.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on where things stand with the Colts during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday:

🅿️at McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

Are the Colts moving on from Carson Wentz??<br><br>"I know they are actively looking for another QB because Chris Ballard is always trying to improve" ~<a href="https://twitter.com/RapSheet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RapSheet</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMSLive?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMSLive</a> <a href="https://t.co/cgobxjzNt8">pic.twitter.com/cgobxjzNt8</a>

Indy finds itself in a unique situation entering the offseason one year after trading its 2022 first-round pick as part of the blockbuster deal for Wentz.

The 29-year-old North Dakota State product didn't play poorly during his first year with the Colts. He tallied nearly four times as many touchdown passes (27) as interceptions (seven) and played all 17 games after some durability issues during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Those numbers don't tell the entire story, however, as Wentz was backed up by the NFL's second-ranked rushing attack, led by Jonathan Taylor. That created a lot of stacked boxes and light secondaries, which helped inflate his numbers.

When the Colts needed to pass, such as in a Week 17 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that kept them out of the playoffs, they couldn't do it consistently. Wentz finished that contest with just 185 passing yards with one touchdown and one pick.

That's why his mediocre Pro Football Focus grade (70.9) may appear out of step with his solid raw stats.

After the season ended, Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich didn't commit to Wentz as the team's starting quarterback.

"We've got to be better in the passing game," Reich told reporters. "It was definitely below our standards, and there's multiple reasons for that. We have to take ownership of that as coaches and players."

Wentz is under contract through 2024, but the Colts can save $28.3 million against the salary cap if they trade him or $13.3 million if they release him, per Spotrac.

They probably won't go that route unless they find a clear upgrade, and that's only likely to happen via trade because it's a lackluster year for free agents and draft prospects at the position.

The Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray, Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers and Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson are among the high-profile quarterbacks who've been mentioned in the rumor mill, but it's not a guarantee any of them will be traded.

NFL reporter Jordan Schultz reported earlier Friday that Colts owner Jim Irsay would "love" to make a deal for Wilson.

Any franchise-altering trade would be exceedingly difficult without a first-round pick in this year's draft, though.

While it appears the Colts will do their due diligence on another quarterback change in the coming months, it's impossible to rule out Wentz as their Week 1 starter next season.