Carson Wentz certainly sounds optimistic that his trade to the Indianapolis Colts is just what he needed for the sake of his career.
Wentz said his trade from Philadelphia to Indianapolis reignited his passion for football, and his up-and-down career path has readied him for this challenge.
“I really feel like I have a new passion for the game,” Wentz recently told Valley News Live, via Jonathan X. Simmons of the Indianapolis Star. “I’ve been high, I’ve been injured, I’ve been, now, benched, I’ve been traded, I’ve kinda seen a lot in five years, so whatever the game throws at me I’m ready.”
This is certainly what the Colts are hoping for. Wentz has played at a high level in the NFL before, but Wentz in 2020 bore little resemblance to the MVP candidate he was in 2017. Indianapolis is betting they can help him rediscover that form, though he might have to adjust some of his own habits to make that happen.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver TY Hilton was once a consistent 1,000-yard receiver, but he’s failed to hit that mark in three of the last four seasons. Despite that, Hilton appears to have some hope of things changing for 2021.
Hilton said Monday that he’s looking forward to more deep shots from new quarterback Carson Wentz, adding that he is impressed with Wentz’s arm strength and is excited about what they’ve already worked on together.
Every one of Hilton’s 1,000-yard seasons came with quarterback Andrew Luck throwing to him. He dipped below the thousand yard mark in 2017, when Luck missed the year with a shoulder injury. He hasn’t hit the mark since Luck’s abrupt retirement, struggling to develop the same rapport with Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers. That’s shown in his longest receptions for the year. With Luck, the number was routinely over 70 yards, but his longest reception in the last two years has been a 50-yarder in 2020.
Injuries have been an issue for Hilton as well as the inconsistent quarterback play. The hope is that pairing Wentz with Frank Reich could breathe new life into the quarterback’s career, which would benefit receivers like Hilton as well. Maybe that’s part of why Hilton apparently turned down some extra cash to remain in Indianapolis.
Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via CC-BY 4.0
There are many people who believe the Philadelphia Eagles should have tried to make things work with Carson Wentz rather than replacing him with Jalen Hurts, but few feel more strongly about it than ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
Kiper has been very outspoken in criticizing the Eagles for trading Wentz. He reiterated his thoughts on Tuesday’s edition of “Get Up!” and ripped Philly for making the deal. Kiper also unloaded on the Chicago Bears for not making a real effort to acquire Wentz.
“A ridiculously stupid move is the way to sum it up,” Kiper said. “Even dumber than that was the Bears not giving up the 20th overall pick and (a third-rounder) and trying to get Carson Wentz. … Carson Wentz is a young man, who is a proven MVP guy, who did things in three years that very few NFL quarterbacks have done.”
Kiper attributed Wentz’s struggles last season to all the injuries the Eagles had on offense.
“The injuries were catastrophic,” he added. “(Not all teams) have catastrophic injuries to offensive linemen before the season even begins — receivers, tight ends, running back — and we’re gonna blame the quarterback and send him packing for virtually nothing? This was, again, one of the most ridiculously stupid moves probably in the history of the NFL.”
The Colts traded a third-round pick and a conditional second-rounder that could turn into a first for Wentz. Kiper felt that was an “early Christmas present” for Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich.
Kiper was high on Wentz when Wentz was coming out of North Dakota State in 2016, and apparently his opinion has not changed much. There have been some reports that called Wentz’s work ethic with the Eagles into question, but Kiper clearly is not buying them. Time will tell if his enthusiasm about the trade is warranted.
Carson Wentz has a new jersey number after being shutdown by a teammate.
Wentz will be wearing jersey No. 2 with the Indianapolis Colts. The news was first shared by Eagles fan/huge Wentz fan, Giovanni the Philly Sports Podcaster.
The Colts confirmed the change by sharing a photo of Wentz on Twitter with No. 2 on his jersey.
Wentz wore No. 11 in his first five NFL seasons, all spent with the Philadelphia Eagles. But that number was already worn by Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who wanted to keep the digits, leading Wentz to pick something new.
Now it will be a new team, new era, and new number for Wentz. It’s a perfect chance for him to start fresh in Indy. He already seems to be making some progress with his new teammates too.
Carson Wentz is already getting to work with some of his new teammates.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. shared a photo on his Instagram account Saturday. The photo showed him with teammates Wentz and Dezmon Patmon. The trio apparently were working out together in California.
Pittman’s comment about the post indicates he is expecting big things from Wentz.
“Can’t wait to see this guy in Lucas Oil, gonna be a show” he wrote.
Wentz had a poor season last year for the Eagles, which led the team to trade him to the Colts. But in 2017, Wentz was a Pro Bowler and MVP candidate until suffering a torn ACL. In 2019, he passed for 4,039 yards, 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The talent is still there. It will be up to Frank Reich and players like Pittman to try and bring the best out of Wentz.
This photo also signifies we can probably put this controversy to rest.
Jason Peters has spent the last 12 years of his career with the Eagles, so there are few players in NFL history who are more familiar with the challenges that come along with playing in Philadelphia. The way Peters sees it, those challenges may have ultimately run Carson Wentz out of town.
During a Thursday appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Peters was asked why things didn’t work out for Wentz in Philly. He spoke about how difficult it is to play in a demanding city.
“Nothing really went wrong on that. He was just in Philadelphia,” Peters said, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. “It’s a hard city to play for. … You gotta bring it every year or Philadelphia will eat you up.”
Wentz would likely disagree. While Eagles fans called for him to be benched last year when he was struggling, he never made it seem like he felt too much pressure playing in Philly. Rather, it sounds like Wentz had significant issues with his head coach and didn’t trust the coaching staff.
There were also some unflattering reports about Wentz not being a great leader. That could be the type of thing Peters is referring to, as the media is notoriously tougher in cities like Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Chicago.
Whatever the case, Wentz wanted a fresh start. Peters has been around long enough to know how a disgruntled quarterback can make a team implode. If the QB wants out, the reasons don’t really matter.
Carson Wentz is beginning a new chapter of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, and he will apparently be doing it with a new jersey number.
Wentz wore No. 11 with the Philadelphia Eagles and in college at North Dakota State. That number is currently worn by Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who is entering his second season with the team. In a recent interview with TMZ, Pittman said he did not want to give up No. 11 for Wentz and the quarterback was very understanding.
“I spoke with him, and he was just seeing how locked in I was to No. 11 and I told him I was locked in,” Pittman said. “He was like, ‘That’s cool, bro, because I’m probably gonna switch anyway,’ so it went really well.”
Pittman had nothing but positive things to say about Wentz. He praised the QB for not trying to pressure him to give up the number.
“He didn’t try to press me or anything like that. He asked me very respectfully, and I just appreciated him for that,” Pittman added. “Lots of guys with his status would come in and demand it and stuff like that. I just think he’s a really great dude, and I get to keep 11, so it was a win for me.”
Wentz is coming off a horrible season, and many people have given up on him. He may like the idea of a fresh start with a new number. He also hasn’t really accomplished enough in his career to justify demanding No. 11 with a new team, though it’s somewhat surprising that Pittman isn’t willing to negotiate.
We have seen players pay some steep prices for jersey numbers in the past, but Wentz obviously doesn’t feel strongly enough about No. 11.
Carson Wentz has quickly gone from one of the most promising young quarterbacks in football to a reclamation project, and it sounds like he did himself few favors with the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
In his latest piece for NBC Sports on Monday, Peter King listed several takeaways from conversations he had with people who were familiar with Wentz’s situation in 2020. One of the takeaways is that the former second overall pick did not respond to coaching and “(tuned) out much of what he was being taught.” Wentz reportedly did not trust Doug Pederson and the Eagles’ coaching staff. The same was true of Wentz’s feelings toward the front office after they drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round last year.
King also noted that Wentz “saw ghosts” and rushed many of his throws because he lost trust in his offensive line.
This is not the first time we have heard that Wentz was upset about the Eagles drafting Hurts. You can understand why, as no young quarterback wants to feel the team is looking to potentially replace him. However, Wentz had an opportunity to respond to that by working even harder and trying to prove he is a franchise cornerstone. Instead, he went the opposite route.
If you remember, there was an unflattering report a while back about Wentz being a poor leader who was not well-liked by his teammates. Multiple players shot it down, but there has been a very clear narrative surrounding Wentz over the past few seasons.
Wentz wanted to go to the Indianapolis Colts because of his relationship with head coach Frank Reich. Time will tell if the two get along better than Wentz did with his former coaches.
The Philadelphia Eagles came away with a second- and third-round draft pick in exchange for quarterback Carson Wentz, and it’s a trade that apparently left a sour taste in the team’s mouth.
The Eagles shipped Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for the pair of draft picks, with the second-round pick potentially becoming a first-rounder if Wentz plays enough. While the organization clearly felt it had to move Wentz and thinks it got fair market value for him, there is apparently a sense of disappointment with how things played out.
“Not thrilled,” ESPN’s Tim McManus said Friday on “Get Up!”, via Sam Marsdale of 247Sports. “They recognize the return they got vs. what they invested in (Wentz) does not match up. The reality is they were selling at a low point. Carson Wentz was coming off one of the worst years of his career — one of the worst years of any quarterback in the NFL last year — he’s due to make $47 million over the next two seasons and he’s got some questions about coachability that he needs to answer. That was known throughout the league. The market was pretty warm. There was one team really hot after him because of Frank Reich’s connection to Wentz, and that was the Colts. So I don’t think the Eagles wake up happy to this, but they recognize it was fair market value, all things considered.”
The Eagles picked Wentz second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, developed him briefly into an MVP candidate, signed him to an enormous contract, and then watched as it all fell apart. It’s only logical that they’d be disappointed and upset with how that played out. The Eagles knew they were moving Wentz at a low point, which just shows how much they felt they had to get rid of him. When you hear about how things went in the locker room in 2020, it’s easy to see why.
Carson Wentz said farewell to Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia in an Instagram message on Friday.
Wentz thanks his teammates, coaches, and the fans in Philadelphia, adding that he hopes to continue charitable efforts in the area moving forward. He also added that he is “excited” to join the Indianapolis Colts, who agreed to acquire him in a trade on Thursday.
Notably, Wentz does thank his former coach Doug Pederson, even though the two apparently fell out quite spectacularly in 2020.
It’s yet to be seen how Eagles fans remember Wentz. He was awesome for the team in the first part of his career, but things completely came off the rails in 2020. Ultimately, he was the team’s quarterback for a good part of a Super Bowl season, and that has to mean something once the bad feelings from the trade subside.