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Wentz To Washington: What Does It Mean For The Eagles?

With Carson Wentz returning to the NFC East in 2022, how does this impact the Eagles? Should Eagles fans be excited or worried?

Another quarterback domino has fallen on the 2022 NFL offseason. Just a day after Aaron Rodgers signed a massive extension to stay in Green Bay and Russell Wilson was dealt in a blockbuster deal to the Denver Broncos, the Indianapolis Colts agreed to ship Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders for a package of draft picks.

Let’s take a deeper look at this notable transaction, and how it impacts all parties directly and indirectly involved, including the Philadelphia Eagles:

A Fresh Start (Again)

For starters, just one year after being acquired by the Indianapolis Colts to be their new franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz gets yet another fresh start in Washington.

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Wentz at first seemed to rebound in Indianapolis during the 2021 season and, overall, put up strong numbers. He finished the season with 3,563 yards passing, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions at a so-so 62.4% completion rating. Just looking at those stats from a distance, you would imagine Wentz did more than enough to gain the confidence of the franchise and keep his job.

However, those statistics are a bit misleading. What those statistics don’t show is the tragic collapse that he had during the closing weeks of the season. With the team fighting for playoff position, Wentz struggled against the Raiders in Week 16. He threw for just 148 yards on 16/27 passing, and the team fell 23-20.

Far more egregiously, Wentz and company were beat up by an abysmal post-Urban Meyer Jacksonville Jaguars squad. This was egregious. The loss ended their 9-8 campaign early. Wentz struggled mightily, throwing for just 185 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Jaguars, who finished 3-14, knocked the Colts out of the playoff hunt.

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Wentz actually led the team to take a step back from how they had performed with what was left of Phillip Rivers in 2020. Rivers had led them to 11-5 and a Wildcard playoff berth. Jim Irsay and company had seen enough to know that Wentz was not the guy to lead them back to the promised land.

So now, preparing for this seventh season, Wentz has earned his second (and probably last) fresh start. Wentz gets a chance with brand-new coaching staff to prove he can clean up some of his bad habits. Can Ron Rivera coach him out of his reckless ways? Can he get his head right, for the first time in years?

More to come from the Nation’s Capital.

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Go (Boo) Birds

What does it mean for Philly? This is going to be fun.

First off, there are many Carson Wentz loyalists in Philly. They try to blame Doug Pederson, Jalen Hurts, or the franchise for ruining Wentz’s run with the Eagles. They now get to see their man twice a year.

For the rest of us, who recognize that it was time for a change and are thrilled with Jalen Hurts’ progress in 2021, we get to prove the Wentz lovers wrong. Ben Simmons is going to have a rude welcome back to Philadelphia when the Nets come to town. Carson Wentz, meanwhile, is going to face a biblical tsunami of boos.

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In all seriousness, this will be a fascinating case study of a major trade in franchise history. After the 2021 season, it was clear to most that the Philadelphia Eagles had won the trade that sent Wentz to the Colts. The Eagles returned to the playoffs behind first-year starter Jalen Hurts and have three first-round picks in the 2022 draft. The Colts, meanwhile, have already pulled the plug on the Wentz experiment and re-gifted their quarterback for third-round picks and financial relief. That was a hefty price tag for a one-year rental.

That said, Wentz, if he can recapture the competitive fire that made him look like a superstar early in his career, has a chance to prove the doubters (and the franchise that drafted him) wrong. Wentz is going to a team with legitimate talent on both sides of the ball, and a legitimate number one wide receiver in Terry McLaurin.

Regardless of how this plays out, it will be a fascinating and fun season for Eagles fans.

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An Upgrade For Washington

After losing brand new starter Ryan Fitzpatrick just moments into Week One of the 2021 season, Washington turned to backup Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke did his best and even looked like a borderline viable starter at times. He finished the season with 3,419 yards, 20 touchdown passes, and 15 picks in his 16 appearances. He could only lead the Commanders to a 7-8 record in his starts. This was a clear disappointment for a team that had been predicted to challenge for the division.

Ron Rivera and company immediately started looking for an upgrade. The Commanders publicly struck out in the Russell Wilson sweepstakes. Dan Snyder’s team then determined that Wentz was a solid-enough upgrade to make an expensive investment and take on his full remaining contract from the Colts in the deal.

Is Wentz a safe gamble? No. We will have to wait and see what version of Wentz shows up in Washington. That said, his ceiling is miles above that of Heinicke. Whether or not he is worth the contract, he is a clear upgrade for the moment.

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The Commanders have a very good head coach in Rivera, a loaded defense, and solid weapons on offense. Once again, Washington will enter the 2022 season expecting to challenge the division. We will have to wait and see if they can catch the Eagles and the Cowboys (let’s assume that, either way, the Giants won’t be a threat).

An Intriguing Division

Even during their most mediocre, NFC Least-est seasons, there is no shortage of storylines and legendary rivalries in this division. With Wentz returning to the Northeast to play his old team twice a year, the drama just kicked up a notch.

This is going to be fun. More to come from Philly.

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Written By

Raptors fan since '95, Eagles fan since I can remember. Anthropologist turned logistics professional turned hopeful sports writer. Dog dad of three. Excited to share my passion for sports!

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