The world is in a place where everyone wants to compete for slivers of validation in the select moments that they can break through and steal some attention— such is the way of a digital age and widespread accessibility of different markets.
The problem with the constant pushing of the “latest and greatest” is that it eliminates the possibility of two entities peacefully coexisting, or, in the case of debate, two ideas holding true simultaneously.
The reality of Carson Wentz’s trade to the Washington Commanders is this: it is not an inherently bad deal, and it is not a guaranteed hit. There are multiple outcomes that could all come true, and to dismiss the deal as anything less is a misjustice.
Five Truths About Carson Wentz’s Trade
Number one: Carson Wentz is going to head into the 2022 NFL season as the on-paper second-best quarterback in the NFC East, a fair margin behind Dak Prescott.
His main competition for the second spot is Jalen Hurts, who has thrown 22 touchdowns and 13 touchdowns and run for 13 touchdowns with 18 fumbles in two professional seasons. Hurts also averaged 140 yards passing and completed 59% of his passes for a Phili team that made the playoffs last season.
Daniel Jones, well, has played like he wants his next contract to match his nickname “Dimes.” Perhaps Brian Daboll can get the best out of him.
Number two: Carson Wentz is the best quarterback in Washington in somewhere between five and 17 years. He stacks up with Kirk Cousins, rookie Robert Griffin III, Jason Campbell, and Mark Brunell, just with much higher peaks and much lower valleys.
The Commanders desperately needed a franchise quarterback to steady their ship, and Wentz— at his best— is an MVP candidate, even if it is buried deep down inside of him somewhere.
Number three: Washington did not have to give up much to get him. The Commanders sent a second-round and two third-round draft picks to the Indianapolis Colts to acquire the QB, a smaller package than the Colts traded to the Philadelphia Eagles (one first and one third-round draft pick) and much less than what the Eagles gave up to move up and draft him.
Critics of the trade point to the fact that D.C. could have invested in a quarterback in the upcoming draft, but in a weak class that has teams around the league debating who the best prospect is, sacrificing a first-round pick on a position that, historically, goes 50/50 on busts in a good year, is less valuable than a proven commodity, even if he is not a perennial All-Pro.
Number four: Washington is taking a cap hit but will be able to cut bait after one year with no string attached if they want to.
Wentz is due to make $28,294,119 this year, the last one of the four-year deal he originally signed in Philadelphia and could hit the free-agent market in the summer if Washington does not want to retain him. This means that Wentz is in the ultimate “prove it” year, in a new home with only 17 regular-season games to prove his worth.
Washington’s new QB will make 175% of the next-highest paid player (Landon Collins) in 2022, which will raise expectations.
Finally, number five: Carson Wentz might be another piece left on the scrap heap, but he is better than anything Washington has on its roster.
Commanders fans are used to their team picking up older players past their prime or second-rate players that do not cost that much to fill out their roster, and Wentz is just the latest example. He was once a young player with infinite potential and was poised to win an MVP, but now, he is just a standard decent-good quarterback.
With that being said, Washington has not had a decent-good quarterback since Kirk Cousins left. The Commanders have deployed all of Taylor Heinicke, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Garrett Gilbert, Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Josh Johnson, and Mark Sanchez in the starting slot over the past four seasons, all of whom cannot sniff Wentz’s level of ability.
Last year’s starter and cult hero Taylor Heinicke makes big plays and is well-loved for his competitive spirit but proved he could not be a yearlong starter for a competitive franchise.
Carson Wentz is in for a rude awakening if he thinks that the clouds will part and the sky will magically open up in the nation’s capital— or, in Landover, Maryland.
His former team in Indy has the best offensive line in the league and the second-best running back-turned best-running back in the league after Derrick Henry got injured. Washington has a solid outfit up front and a nice, young back in Antonio Gibson, but neither compares to what he just had.
Wentz will, however, have a top-two, perhaps top-one receiver in the division with Terry McLaurin, as well as speed from Curtis Samuel and reliability with Logan Thomas. He lacked consistent playmakers aside from Taylor with the Colts and has been at his best when he has weapons.
Washington’s Super Bowl odds did not change after the Wentz trade, but their division chances should have improved.
Realistically, Carson Wentz has one season to save his reputation— and it is in Washington.