Colts GM Chris Ballard won’t commit to Carson Wentz remaining in Indianapolis for 2022 season

The Colts had hoped that they solved their quarterback situation after trading for Carson Wentz last offseason, but after a tumultuous 2021 campaign that saw them miss the playoffs, his future in Indy seems like it’s in doubt after just one year. On Thursday, Colts general manager Chris Ballard said that he does not regret acquiring Wentz, but also wouldn’t commit to having him for the 2022 season. 

“When we made the decision to make a move on Carson, at the time of the decision, we felt good about it,” said Ballard, via Stephen Holder of The Athletic. “And I still don’t regret it. … I won’t make a comment on who’s going to be here and who’s not going to be here. That’s not fair.”

The Colts traded a first- and third-round pick for Wentz in a deal with the Eagles last offseason and did not get the immediate returns they had hoped for. Overall, it was an up-and-down first season for the quarterback. There were moments where he did look something close to the MVP candidate he was in 2017, but then there were other moments where he was the quarterback that Philly ultimately gave up on, particularly down the stretch.

Indy lost its final two games of the regular season, including a disastrous road loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 18. All the Colts needed to do to punch their ticket into the playoffs was beat the Jaguars — who ended up with the worst record in the NFL — and were unable to do so. A large part of that was thanks to the poor play from Wentz, who turned the football over twice in that loss.

“We got on a roll there and were playing really good ball until the final two weeks of the season,” said Ballard. “We have processes in place. I’m not going to overreact. But I’m pissed. We embarrassed ourselves.”

Wentz currently carries a $28.3 million cap number for the 2022 season, but the Colts could look to get out from under a chunk of that rather easily if they were to move off him. If they cut him, they could save $13.3 million in cap space and would have a dead cap number of $15 million. Of course, they could also look to trade Wentz, but it doesn’t seem likely that they’d get the same return they paid last offseason. 

No matter which road they ultimately go down in that regard, it does seem like the Colts will at least consider another option at quarterback over the course of this offseason, leaving Wentz’s NFL future in doubt once again.

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