Carson Wentz is one of those lucky individuals who’s received chance after chance to prove himself as a starting NFL quarterback. Hall of Famer Troy Aikman even suggests this is likely Wentz’ last opportunity to show the league he’s a franchise QB.
“I think that right now, Carson had an opportunity; it didn’t end well in Philadelphia, of course. He then got traded to Indianapolis. Didn’t go great for him there. They decided to make another change at that position, and now he’s landed in Washington.
“This is probably his last opportunity, just being blunt about it, to prove that he can be a franchise quarterback in the NFL.”
That revelation from Aikman came earlier this week during a conference call with media members when ESPN’s new Monday Night Football color analyst was asked about Wentz playing in Washington. I feel Aikman answered honestly, but I think he’s just a tad behind on this one.
Do the Commanders really see Wentz as their franchise leader for the next 5-10 years? The final chance Aikman refers to for Wentz happened last season with Indianapolis. I immediately thought of Wentz being a stopgap QB from the second this trade occurred between the Colts and Commanders. Carson is merely an expensive Band-Aid the Commanders pray hangs on during the season.
Wentz’s 2021 campaign wasn’t bad by any means. But it wasn’t great either. If we could take out the final two games of 2021 for Wentz against Las Vegas and Jacksonville, then OK. Those last two games for the Colts are where it feels like the bottom fell out for Carson and the Colts.
Going into Week 16, Indy was 9-6, needing one win in the last two weeks of the regular season to clinch a spot in the postseason. And, of course, the Colts lost both games, giving themselves an early start on winter vacation.
Aside from that, the reception to Wentz in previous locker rooms hasn’t always been warm. The things reported in Indy about Wentz are some of the same character traits (or flaws) we heard about in Philadelphia. Personality issues, lack of leadership, and an aversion to coaching, among other things.
It took five years for the Eagles to finally pull the plug on Wentz’s time in Philly. Colts owner Jim Irsay had seen enough of Wentz after 17 games to make the decision to ship him off to Washington and let them deal with him. Maybe Wentz is misunderstood? Or socially awkward? Whatever the reasoning, he’s been stuck with a label that’s tough to shake.
Once alleged character flaws become the reason for players not being able to stick on a team, the end isn’t long-off. It’s one thing to not live up to your draft status as a former No. 2 overall pick. But it’s another thing to be average, and every team you’ve played on thinks you have a shitty attitude.
We know professional sports and especially how the NFL works. If you can produce wins, they generally don’t care how crappy of a human being you are. The Cleveland Browns are about to trot out a guy with 22 civil lawsuits for sexual assault hovering over him as their starting QB. Forget morals. All they care about is winning and making money.
As for Wentz, I understand the sentiment of what Aikman said, and yes, he is running out of time. But it isn’t time as a franchise QB in this league. Once it didn’t work out with the Colts, I think any hopes of that ever happening vanished.
Wentz is in Washington to fill the void until they can find the next young QB to lead them into the future. Now that could take a couple of years, knowing Washington’s history at the QB position. But if the Commanders are looking at Wentz as the long-term answer to what ails them, they’re in for a rude awakening in the nation’s capital. A zebra doesn’t easily change its stripes.