The Washington Commanders struck out on Russell Wilson, weren’t willing to wait on Jimmy Garoppolo and couldn’t make the risky play for Deshaun Watson given their own PR issues behind the scenes. All of that led to a trade for Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz, who departs Indyt after a single season.
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Let's take a look at where the trade leaves both franchises heading into 2022 NFL free agency.
WHAT WASHINGTON IS GETTING WITH WENTZ
Wentz is a slight upgrade for the Commanders, who trotted out Taylor Heinicke for the 2021 season. The former Colt and Philadelphia Eagle earned a 70.9 PFF grade last season that ranked 21st among quarterbacks. Heinicke, on the other hand, ranked 29th among the same group with a 59.4 mark. Wentz generated 1.56 PFF Wins Above Replacement (WAR) while Heinicke produced 0.7.
What does all of this tell us?
Washington is going to get better on offense, but only marginally. At the end of the day, this team is still likely to hover a game below a winning record with Wentz at the helm. Yes, Wentz did have that standout 2017 season that put him squarely in the MVP race, but that was a result of success in unstable areas.
When the Colts traded for Wentz last offseason, he was consistently a bad decision-maker and his mechanics were a mess, causing accuracy problems. This didn't change in Indianapolis, and the team fell out of a playoff spot in the final game of the season. After a solid first month and a half with the team, largely playing conservative football, Wentz’s inconsistency showed up. From Week 7 on, he owned a 4.4% turnover-worthy play rate, which tied for 26th among qualifying quarterbacks. Wentz threw only 50.1% of his non-screen passes accurately in Indianapolis, ranking 30th in the NFL.