The Carson Wentz trade is official over and done with. The 28-year-old quarterback will get an opportunity to steer his career back on track, alongside Frank Reich on the Indianapolis Colts.
Wentz leaves the Philadelphia Eagles behind after messy second half of the season led to an eventual break-up. Former head coach Doug Pederson benched his struggling starter in favor of 2020 draft pick Jalen Hurts. Ensuing reports detailed a fractured relationship between Wentz and the organization, just a few years after he helped them win a Super Bowl.
In Indianapolis, Wentz will re-unite with Reich, who was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia when the former No. 2 overall pick reached his peak. After a down year in 2020, the 28-year-old hopes to turn things around in a new situation.
Wentz made his first press conference appearance for the Colts on Thursday and addressed a variety of topics about his disappointing ending in Philadelphia. Among the topics he discussed were his feelings about being benched late in the year.
“I’m not gonna sugar coat it. It’s not fun…” Wentz said, via The Athletic’s Stephen Holder. “A lot of things, I don’t know why they happened or why they went the way that they did. But you have to look at yourself in the mirror as a man.”
On being benched: "I'm not gonna sugar coat it. It's not fun… A lot of things, I don't know why they happened or why they went the way that they did. But you have to look at yourself in the mirror as a man."
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 18, 2021
Pederson, who the Eagles fired following the 2020 campaign, also spoke about the decision to bench Wentz last season. Despite reports that the relationship between the duo was permanently fractured, the former head coach said he’s still rooting for the quarterback in Indy.
“I understand where Carson’s coming from because it’s difficult. When you’re the starter and things like this happen and you basically get benched. Our season wasn’t going the way we wanted it to go and it’s difficult. It’s difficult for any player to go through that. . . . You’ve got to have the conversations, you’ve got to have the open-door policy, and you’ve got to communicate, and felt like we did that. . . .
“I still have a lot of respect [for Wentz] and we drafted him five years ago to be the guy and I’m excited to see what he does with the Colts now. And he has a fresh start too. I think that’s something that players go through in their careers. . . . I know that’s what he’s looking forward to and I’m excited to watch his career moving forward.”
We’ll have to wait and see which version of Carson Wentz shows up with the Colts. If he can return close to his 2017 Pro Bowl form, Indianapolis should find itself in the running for the AFC.