ASHBURN, Va. (WAVY/AP) — Quarterback Carson Wentz is returning to the NFC East.
The former Philadelphia Eagles QB is being traded from the Indianapolis Colts to the Washington Commanders, multiple sources report. The news was confirmed by the NFL.
Washington is getting the 47th pick in the draft along with Wentz and sending Indianapolis Nos. 42 and 73 this year and a 2023 conditional third-rounder that can become a second based on Wentz’s playing time, according to a different person with direct knowledge of the move. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.
Wentz, 29, has three years remaining on his contract with salary cap hits of $28.3, $26.2 and $27.2 million consecutively. The 2016 second overall pick of the Philadelphia Eagles spent just the 2021 season with Indianapolis, with the team going 9-8 and missing the playoffs.
This will be the sixth consecutive year the Colts will have a different opening day starter, though Jacoby Brissett took over when Andrew Luck missed the entire season in 2017 and again in 2019 when Luck abruptly announced his retirement in August.
The news comes a day after the Commanders weren’t able to get Russell Wilson, who ended up going to Denver, despite Washington offering three first round picks to the Seahawks, the Washington Post reported. The other major QB piece on the board was Aaron Rodgers, who opted to return to Green Bay for a four-year deal worth $200 million. It will make him the highest-paid player in NFL history.
While coach Frank Reich urged the Colts to acquire his former Eagles pupil 13 months ago and continued to support Wentz throughout the season and offseason, general manager Chris Ballard was less committed. In January, after Indy lost its final two games to miss the playoffs, he said he wanted to have a quarterback who could play 10 to 12 years, while acknowledging it doesn’t always work that way.
Last week, he told reporters at the NFL scouting combine he needed a quarterback he believed could be a long-term solution — before quickly explaining that didn’t mean he didn’t believe in Wentz.
Ron Rivera evidently does believe in Wentz. The move to acquire a former face of a division rival is the once-storied franchise’s latest attempt to shore up a quarterback situation that has been in flux for decades.
Washington has started 12 different QBs since acquiring veteran Alex Smith from Kansas City in 2018. That includes Smith, who broke his right leg 10 games into his tenure there.
Wentz has played against Washington eight times, going 5-3 with 2,223 yards passing, 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. In six NFL seasons, he has thrown for 3,008 yards, 140 TDs and 57 INTs.
The North Dakota State product has been dogged by injuries most of his career. Most notably, Wentz tore the ACL in his left knee in 2017, paving the way for Nick Foles to take over and lead the Eagles to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Washington, which last month rebranded as the Commanders, has not won it all since 1991 under Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. Rivera has been given almost total control of football operations by owner Dan Snyder, who is being investigated after former employees made sexual harassment claims.
Meanwhile Washington still has former ODU quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who went 7-8 in 15 starts in 2021. He had 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 39.9 QBR.