Washington Commanders trading for Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz, sources say

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts are trading quarterback Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders for a package of draft picks, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

The Colts will receive the Commanders' third-round picks in 2022 and 2023, sources told Schefter. The 2023 third-rounder can become a second-round selection if Wentz plays 70% of Washington's snaps. The teams also swapped second-round picks in 2022, with the Colts moving up from No. 47 overall to No. 42, and the Commanders are getting a 2022 seventh-round pick.

Sources told Schefter that Washington will pay the full $28 million due to Wentz for the 2022 season, which includes a $5 million roster bonus coming next week.

The Commanders offered three first-round picks to the Seattle Seahawks for Russell Wilson, a source told ESPN's John Keim, but Seattle opted to send him to the Denver Broncos in the AFC. Washington quickly moved on and negotiated with the Colts for Wentz.

The trade comes one week after Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew said the team had "canvassed the league effectively" to find a quarterback. Washington has started 32 quarterbacks since it last won the Super Bowl following the 1991 season, including eight in the past three years.

Taylor Heinicke went 7-8 as Washington's starter last season, throwing for 3,419 yards with 20 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

Washington owns the NFL's worst total QBR since the 2018 season and its 71 touchdown passes in that span also rank 32nd. That's a big reason the team has gone 24-41 in that stretch.

Wentz spent one season as the Colts' quarterback after Indianapolis gave the Philadelphia Eagles first- and third-round picks for him in February 2021. It was an attempt to find their next franchise quarterback following the retirement of Philip Rivers after the 2020 season.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Wentz threw 27 touchdown passes and tied his career low in interceptions with seven last season. His long-term status with the Colts came into question late in the season, however, as he struggled in the team's final two games, when it had to win only one to make the playoffs.

"I'd like to quit Band-Aiding it," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in January. "I'd like for Carson to be the long-term answer or find somebody who will be here for the next 10 to 12 years. Sometimes it doesn't work out that way. I can dream about it, wish about it, do everything I can to figure out the solution, but you do the best with what you can do at the time."

Wentz completed 59% of his passes, threw two touchdown passes and had two turnovers in losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars to close out the season. He threw for at least 200 yards in only two of the final eight games. In the upset loss to the Jaguars in the season finale, Wentz posted a career-low 4.3 total QBR.

An MVP candidate with the Eagles before tearing an ACL late in the 2017 season, Wentz lost his starting job to Jalen Hurts during the 2020 campaign, which led to his trade to Indianapolis. Wentz is headed to his third team in the past three seasons and will face both of his former teams in 2022.

Wentz will play the Eagles twice and travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts next season.

Wentz's departure means the search for stability at quarterback continues for the Colts since the retirement of Andrew Luck in August 2019. Jacoby Brissett didn't show enough to prove to be the answer, Rivers was a bridge-gap quarterback at the tail end of his career and Wentz failed in his only season in Indianapolis.

Coach Frank Reich will now have his fifth starting quarterback in as many seasons, a situation star Colts linebacker Darius Leonard also highlighted on Twitter.

Sam Ehlinger and James Morgan are the only quarterbacks currently on the Colts' roster. Neither player has started an NFL game.