A second-year starter for the Eagles in 2017 after being selected second overall out of North Dakota State, quarterback Carson Wentz guided Philadelphia to an 11-2 record and was a contender for MVP with 33 touchdowns and nearly 3,300 passing yards before tearing the ACL in his left knee. Wentz, who was viewed as a franchise quarterback when he was drafted, simply watched as Nick Foles took over and led the Eagles to the first Super Bowl title in Philadelphia’s history.
Wentz stuck around for three more seasons in Philly but was concussed in the only playoff game he ever started for the Eagles and eventually was replaced as the team’s starting quarterback by Jalen Hurts in the middle of his fifth year. The Eagles then traded Wentz to Indianapolis two offseasons ago where he went 9-8 with the Colts after missing almost the entire preseason due to foot surgery, spraining both ankles in Week 2 and then struggling down the stretch due to testing positive for COVID-19 following his failure to get vaccinated.
The Colts decided they were all set with Wentz after one season and dealt him to Washington prior to last season for two third-round draft picks. In addition to the picks, the Commander also surrendered $28.3 million in salary cap space to acquire Wentz. It was fairly obvious early on that the money and draft capital were wasted as Wentz was bad from the start and went just 2-4 as Washington’s starter before being benched due to poor play and injury.
When Commanders coach Ron Rivera turned back to Wentz after backup Taylor Heinicke struggled late in the season, the results were ugly as the 30-year-old tossed three picks in a loss to Cleveland that basically ended the team’s chances of contending for a playoff spot. Wentz was probably the biggest reason why Washington did not make the postseason as the Commanders finished at 8-8-1 overall and were 6-3-1 in games that he did not start.
Washington Keeps Cornering Market on Washed-Up QBs With Carson Wentz AddThe rebranded Commanders are giving up picks and paying major bucks to acquire Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts
Yesterday, in a move that was obviously coming, the Commanders cut bait with Wentz and released him into free agency, where he will hope to latch on with his fourth team in four seasons. Even in a league that is desperate for starting quarterbacks, Wentz may have some trouble finding employment as a starter as his body of work over seven seasons clearly shows that his MVP-caliber season was the outlier, not the norm.
It’s been a fairly spectacular fall from grace for Wentz, but one that is far from unprecedented in the NFL as teams have itchy trigger fingers when it comes to getting rid of quarterbacks. Even if this is it for Wentz and he never plays another down in the NFL, he’ll retire with nearly $130 million in career earnings and the Super Bowl ring that Foles, who’s banked about $86 million in his 11 NFL seasons, won him.