Carson Wentz released by Washington Commanders. Where could the QB play next? Bucs, Bills, Panthers, Cardinals?
Following his release, the former Washington Commanders quarterback will now be on the hunt for his 3rd team in as many years. What’s next for Carson Wentz?
While it may be that luck has not always been on the signal caller’s side, but the proof is in the pudding where his numbers are concerned. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the franchise took the decision to cut ties with him as it attempts to rebuild itself.
Carson Wentz’s time with the Commanders comes to an end.
According to reports on Monday, the Washington Commanders have released quarterback, Carson Wentz after just one season with the team. Wentz, who arrived last season after a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, was meant to revive his career following a season during which he lost his starting spot in Indianapolis, as well as with the Eagles who drafted him. The deal that brought the former first-round NFL Draft pick to the Commanders, saw two third-round picks and a swap of 2022 second-round picks involved to push it through. With the release, the franchise will now save $26.17 million in cap space, while greenlighting the advance of 2022 rookie, Sam Howell, who for the time being is Ron Rivera’s No. 1 choice on the depth chart. Where Wentz is concerned, the 30-year-old will now enter free agency. It’s worth mentioning, that Wentz actually signed a four-year, $128 million contract extension with the Eagles in 2019. Of that amount, he pocketed approximately $105 million with one non-guaranteed year remaining.
Carson Wentz by the numbers
In truth, Carson Wentz’s career so far has been one that might illicit some degree of sympathy. Consider for a moment, that this was a quarterback that was a starter for his first five seasons in Philly and was even in the MVP in the MVP conversation in his second season - rightly so - with an average of 253.5 passing yards per game, to go with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sadly, that momentum was brought to an abrupt end by the thing that all athletes fear, injury. In Week 14 of that campaign, Wentz suffered an ACL injury that ended his season, which saw him replaced by Nick Foles. Ultimately, the Eagles would go on to win the Super Bowl bringing even further bitterness to what was supposed to be a sweet moment.
Of course, the former No. 2 pick did return for another three seasons with the Eagles, but it was clear that he was not the same. In 2020, the Eagles went 3-8-1 with Wentz as the starter and that record was made even more damning by the fact that he led the league with 15 interceptions and 50 sacks against him. In the end, Wentz was benched and in stepped then rookie Jalen Hurts, after which the former was traded to the Colts. Unfortunately, the signal caller didn’t fare any better after his change of scenery. With a 9-8 record and no postseason trip, Wentz was offloaded after a single campaign, with Washington being the beneficiary. With the Commanders this past season, Wentz completed 62.3% of his passes for 219.4 yards and 11 touchdowns across eight games played. He also registered nine interceptions, while taking 26 sacks.
Where could Carson Wentz play next?
While it would be fair to say, that Carson Wentz probably won’t get a starting job in the NFL again, there are several teams that could veteran as a backup. With that in mind, here’s a look at some them.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Though we did say that his days as a starter are likely behind him, the Bucs could well represent his last shot. For starters, the franchise has next to no wiggle room where their cap is concerned, which means they definitely won’t be able to acquire any of the high-profile signal callers out there. Add to that, the fact that with their 19th pick in the upcoming Draft, they won’t be able to grab a new quarterback and you’ve got yourself a very real opportunity for Wentz. Indeed, he would represent a low-cost way of covering the position.
The key in this situation is head coach Frank Reich. The two men have worked together on two previous occasions with Reich having been head coach during Wentz’s time in Indianapolis, as well offensive coordinator for the Eagles, when the QB was on the roster. Indeed, it was Reich who pushed for the Colts to acquire him in 2021. Of course, the Panthers do have the No. 9 overall pick, which means they could very well opt to select a young quarterback, but that in itself could offer the team an opportunity to have Wentz as a backup and more importantly, mentor, for the incoming player.
Kansas City Chiefs
Strange though it may sound, the new Super Bowl champions are in fact in the market for a backup quarterback, after Chad Henne decided to retire after their win in the big game. With that, there is certainly a vacancy. With Patrick Mahomes history of untimely injuries, could it be that the veteran offers a plausible option in terms of cover? Stranger things have happened in the NFL.
As with the Chiefs, there is a vacancy of sorts. Current backup, Case Keenum, is set to become a free agent, which means the Bills could soon be in the market for a reinforcement. In addition to that, there’s also the somewhat more poetic aspect of things, which is to say that the Bills have taken a chance on a struggling QB before - think Mitchell Trubisky - such that it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for them to do so again.
There’s a strange situation developing in Arizona. Though it’s true that backup QB, Colt McCoy, still has another season on his deal, it’s hard to see the Cardinals simply settling with him while they wait for Kyler Murray to recover from the ACL tear that ended his season. What that means, is that there are likely to be a few week’s worth of games where the coveted starting spot is available, something that may prove very tempting to a signal caller who is trying to demonstrate that he’s still got what it takes to win in the NFL.