The quarterback carousel keeps on turning. If you thought the Russell Wilson trade was going to be the only move this offseason, it took just one day for you to be proven wrong. Just one day after Seattle shipped Wilson to Denver, Indianapolis sent Carson Wentz to Washington. Wentz didn’t get the same return as Wilson, but the Colts still got a decent haul from the Commanders, who were reportedly trying very hard to acquire Wilson. Indianapolis will get Washington’s third-round pick in 2022, a conditional third-round pick in 2023 that can turn into a second-round pick, and will swap second-round picks with Washington in 2022, moving up five spots.
This trade is less surprising than the one Seattle made because it was pretty clear that the Colts were not going to go forward with Wentz leading their team. Although nothing was formally said on either front, the rumors of Indianapolis looking to trade Wentz were very convincing. Additionally, the Colts traded for Wentz last offseason, so they are moving on from the quarterback after just one season. Indianapolis had decent success in 2021 too, which makes the moves even more shocking. They went 9-8 with Wentz under center and would have made the playoffs if they didn’t lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 18 in one of the weirdest outcomes in NFL history. Wentz didn’t have the greatest season by any means but he did throw for 3,563 yards with a 27-to-7 touchdown to interception ratio.
Indianapolis’s decision to move on from Wentz leaves them in an awkward situation going forward. Unlike the Seahawks, the Colts are closer to being in a win-now mode than they are to blowing everything up. They have some of the best young talent in the league with players such as Jonathan Taylor, Darius Leonard, and Quenton Nelson. They are also in a very winnable division given that two of the other teams (Jacksonville and Houston) are picking in the top three in the upcoming draft. The Colts have most of a winning roster in place, they are just missing one more piece, but it is the most important one.
Finding a quarterback for the 2022 season is now the number one priority for the Indianapolis front office. As I mentioned when writing about the Seahawks, the 2022 draft class is not very promising at the quarterback position. That means that drafting a quarterback is probably not in the cards for the Colts. The most likely option for them is to try to make a trade for a quarterback. I know that sounds a bit wild considering they traded for a quarterback last offseason and just traded that quarterback away. But Indianapolis needs to find a quarterback that can lead them to the playoffs, and they need to find him quickly.
The name that is being thrown out for the Colts the most right now is Jimmy Garoppolo. There have been rumors stating their interest in Garoppolo so it seems like he is their number one target right now. Jimmy G could certainly work for the Colts. He is basically a version of Wentz with less potential but also less risk. He would be fully capable of handing the ball off to Jonathan Taylor, which is really all the Indianapolis quarterback needs to do. If Garoppolo doesn’t end up in Indy, there are some other options they could turn to. The free agency class is also regarded as weak but someone like Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston, or Marcus Mariota could be an option. The most likely backup plan would also be through trade. There currently aren’t any obviously tenuous quarterback situations but the Colts should be the first one to call if one were to pop up. Some potential candidates for a trade could be Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, or Baker Mayfield. It is not a guarantee that one of those quarterbacks I listed will be the Indianapolis quarterback at the start of the season. But whoever that quarterback is, he is probably not on the Colts’ roster right now. If Garoppolo is really the guy they want then they should be able to get that done but they might need to act quick. There is going to be a lot more quarterback movement this offseason and a few moves will probably come out of nowhere. Quarterbacks are going to be a hot commodity so Indy needs to make a move as soon as possible.