How Carson Wentz Can Resurrect his Career
Carson Wentz has been the talk of trade speculation ever since the NFL season ended. His performance, along with the rest of Philadelphia’s play, has diminished since they won Super Bowl 52 back in the 2017 NFL season. But a change of scenery could help Wentz, as well as the Eagles, in the long run.
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Carson Wentz was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft out of North Dakota State University. He has been solid as a QB can be prior to the 2020 season. However,he has not panned out to be the franchise QB of the future for the Eagles as evidenced with the selection of Jalen Hurts in the 2nd Round of the 2020 NFL draft. It’s only a matter of time until he is traded, but he could still save his career if a trade occurss with the right team.
Roller Coaster So Far
Wentz has posted solid QB stats, averaging around 3362 yards per season. Prior to 2020, Wentz had three straight seasons of seven interceptions, along with 20+ touchdowns, although he did miss 8 games total due to injury. Before his demoition against Green Bay, Wentz had 2620 yards, 16 TDs and 15 Ints, to go along with a career low 57.4% completion percentage.
The only true weapon he’s had during his career has been Zach Ertz. Yet as a TE, unless one is on the level of Travis Kelce or a Rob Gronkowski as far as career goes, a QBneeds wide receivers to help out — which is something Wentz has not had amid his career. As in, a true WR1. Some QBs make WRs good, and sometimes it’s vice-versa. If Wentz had a true deep threat at WR, his play may improve.
Carson Wentz signed a four year, $128 million extension, with $107 million guaranteed. He carries a dead cap hit of $24.5 million for next season and would be on the books for $31.2 million.
Run Game, Frank Reich a Big Factor
While most media pundits place a QB’s win/loss record on the QB, there are other factors that can play a part in how much blame should be put on the QB for losses. The defense regressing — like it did for the Eagles from the 2017 season to the 2018 season — surely can be attributed to more weight on Wentz’s shoulders. It certainly doesn’t help a QB when a defense gives up 21 points a game, because then that team relies on the QB to at least have the ability to put up 3 TDs if his run game doesn’t help him out.
Josh Adams led the Eagles in 2018 with 511 rushing yards and tied the team high with 3 rushing TDs, both down from 2017 totals of LeGarrette Blount with 766 rushing yards, and Corey Clement with 4 TDs. The team totals from the 2017 squad was 473 attempts for 2115 and 9 TDs, while the 2018 team had 398 attempts for 1570 yards and 12 TDs. So, while the TDs increased, the Eagles employed more pass plays and less run plays.
Frank Reich, like many offensive coordinators who come from successful offensive attacks, was offered a promotion to be a head coach in 2018. He was the offensive coordinator Wentz’s first two years in the league, but after the Super Bowl season the Eagles had, he soon moved to Indianapolis and has posted a record of 28-20 record in the three years since. The Colts have made the playoffs twice in three years, and they won the AFC South this past year. With Reich as coach, and Philip Rivers announcing his retirement, could Indy be the best spot for Wentz to get back to his early years?
Wentz to IND Makes Sense
First, take into consideration the familiarity of Reich and Wentz. As an offensive coordinator, Reich saw the productive play of Wentz. Too, play calling helps the QB. Over the three seasons Reich has been head coach for the Colts, the Colts have attempted no less than 400 carries on the ground.
The Colts finished the 2020 season with 1996 rushing yards and 20 TDs to go along with the ninth-ranked offense overall. They were led on the ground by 21-year-old rookie Jonathan Taylor, who in 15 games played accumulated 1169 yards and 11 TDs on the ground — both numbers that which Wentz has not had out of the backfield.
Second, improved offensive line play. While the Eagles do boast the 10th best center in the league per PFF in Jason Kelce, much of the rest of the offensive line is average at best. Lane Johnson, while posting the 12th best pass blocking grade, is 33 years old and not getting any younger. The left side of the Eagles offensive line also isn’t doing any favors for Wentz, whereas with the Colts, the team employs Quenton Nelson. At 25 years old, Nelson is going to be a staple on the Colts offensive line for years to come. Having a young and top 3 guard in the league should peak Wentz’s interest to at least give Indianapolis a chance if they decide to trade for him.
Finally, Indianapolis has the cap space to make a trade for Wentz to work, and still have money to spend to improve the receiving corps. The Colts currently have over $78 million in cap space to play around with. So, while Wentz’s cap hit will take that number down, Indianapolis will have ample money to sign a couple prized free agents to improve their team.
It might seem like a gamble for Wentz, but the Colts are a team that could turn the QB’s career around. If it pays off, the Colts could be a force in the AFC indefinitely.