The flags are flying half-mast for the Carson Wentz era in Washington. After only one season in the nation’s capital, it’s all been officially laid to rest.
Wentz, the former second overall pick for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 Draft, was released by the Commanders on Friday. He will be departing his third NFL team in just seven seasons. It’s been a far cry since the success he saw in his second season when he was an integral part of a Super Bowl Champion in The City of Brotherly Love.
He would be pushed out there after Nick Foles took the reigns and led the team to the title. After landing for one failed season with the Indianapolis Colts, he signed with Washington prior to the 2022 tilt. At the time, it was said that head coach Ron Rivera really lobbied for the signal caller to be ‘his guy’ in D.C.
Unfortunately, the team finished 8-8-1 (last in the NFC East) with Wentz, and the quarterback went just 2-5 in limited play as a starter. His final numbers for 2022 were pedestrian at best, as he posted just 11 touchdowns, along with nine interceptions and a meager 80.2 QB Rating.
There’s already been much speculation that Carson Wentz will NOT receive another shot at a starter’s role in the NFL any time soon, or possibly even ever again. Could he be destined to be a career backup now? Or even worse. Could he soon find his way out of The League, as some experts are now suggesting?
With this news just breaking, here’s a look at all three scenarios (Start, Sit, or Retire), and what the chances of each are for Carson Wentz in 2023.
3 Scenarios for Carson Wentz in 2023
#1- If Carson Wentz is going to be the number-one quarterback somewhere, it will likely be as a stopgap starter
Now 30 years of age and making his fourth stop in the NFL, it’s really difficult seeing Wentz able to win a top spot somewhere in The League in 2023. He’s been given plenty of opportunities. Now, he will have to climb back to the top of the mountain. It won’t just be a given anymore.
In order for that to happen, an established star will likely have to get hurt in training camp. This would be a case where he’s already been signed or is picked up ‘off the street’ as a free agent.
It’s also possible that a team like the Houston Texans, who will be grooming a future starter, would sign someone like Wentz to guide the ship. Even if it’s just for a season or two. At this point, that’s about all that the North Dakota State product can ask for at this point.
#2 – With his skill set and experience, he could be considered a valuable backup for a contending team
The most likely landing spot for Wentz will be on the sideline somewhere. Perhaps a couple of years wearing a baseball cap and calling in plays will give him some time to re-energize. It’s happened in the past, where a former starter had a stopover elsewhere before regrouping in a new area code. (see: the short tenure of Kurt Warner in between his Super Bowl stints in St. Louis and Arizona)
In 2023, however, his best role is likely as a trusty go-to guy in case the number one quarterback goes down with an injury. We’ve often seen that no team – no matter how special – ever seems to make it through a title run unscathed. Many times, a starter may miss a handful of games, leaving his co-pilot to take the wheel for a while. Meanwhile, Wentz is the kind of guy that could pull out some surprise wins for a good team.
It’s pretty easy to see him backing up a clearly established starter like Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrow. His talent and veteran presence would be a huge plus for any team in a position of luxury like that.
#3 – Could it really be over for Carson Wentz?
Some analysts have suggested that if Wentz doesn’t get the right deal, he might just call it quits. It’s certainly happened more frequently with successful young players today, as guys like Andrew Luck and Tony Romo are examples of this phenomenon. In what some might describe as a ‘take-the-money-and-run’ plan, many stars have fulfilled big money deals (or simply just walked away) for various personal reasons. Everything from concussions to general burnout has been a factor in those decisions.
If he has no prospects for 2023, Wentz will certainly not go broke or hungry. He signed a huge deal as a high draft pick and has been compensated well in his time in The League. So, is that enough to quell his competitive drive if things look bleak for next season?
Dan Orlovsky thinks so. The former Lions quarterback and ESPN NFL Live commentator believes that Wentz might be weighing that option.
“Maybe he’s done with football. He’s been beaten up a ton; he’s got a ton of injuries. He’s made himself a ton of money. Maybe Carson Wentz decides to leave the game and go live his life outside of football,” Orlovsky said.
With all the money that should be on the table – even in a backup role – it’s hard to see Carson Wentz not on an NFL field next season. Whether it be as a starter or as a backup. However? In the ever-changing world of pro sports, it’s hard to tell. Perhaps Wentz really has thrown his final pro pass.
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