Now that the NFL Draft is over, we should see the veteran free agent market pick up, with players like Carson Wentz finding a new home for the 2023 season. Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, has seen plenty of highs and lows in his seven-year career spanning three different teams.
Soon enough, Wentz will have a fourth team. With the 30-year-old QB back to 100% after getting hurt with the Washington Commanders, Wentz is viewed as one of, if not the top free agent quarterback available in free agency.
Yet, the days of Wentz entering the season as the presumed starter are over after being cast away from Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and most recently Washington. Considering the Commanders still don’t have an established long-term QB on the roster, the fact that they were willing to jettison Wentz from their depth chart may be telling.
Still, at least one NFL team will be interested in adding Wentz to the roster as a backup quarterback, providing insight to the team’s starter while helping prepare for their next opponent during the season. But which teams are the best fits for Wentz?
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As mentioned, aside from the last two teams on this list, Wentz’s days as the QB1 are over. That’s why he’d be a great fit for a team with an established QB, where the former North Dakota State product could spend a season re-calibrating as he adjusts to life as a backup in the NFL.
But what better landing spot than Jacksonville, where Wentz would rejoin Doug Pederson, who he found great success with from 2016-2020 in Philadelphia? Sure, the ending wasn’t great, with both Pederson and Wentz being told to leave, but the two can have a laugh about it all now, with the coach leading a playoff team.
Wentz, well, maybe working with Pederson can provide an early preview of life after football, giving him a chance to see if he’d want to join Pederson’s coaching staff someday.
But make no mistake, in this scenario, Wentz would still lace up the cleats, being ready to go at a moment’s notice.
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Much like joining Jacksonville, Wentz touching down in Cincinnati would be all about helping Joe Burrow continue to be the best QB he can be, helping him prepare for a long postseason. The Bengals don’t have an experienced backup, with only former undrafted QB Jake Browning on the roster behind Burrow.
At this stage in free agency, Wentz isn’t in a position to command top dollar, meaning the Bengals could be a perfect fit for the QB, who likely aren’t looking to invest too much in the position behind Burrow.
Yet, we’ve seen the franchise QB go down with an injury before. Should that nightmare situation play out again, the Bengals’ season would be over. Perhaps with Wentz already up to speed, the Bengals could avoid a similar situation playing out in 2023.
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New England Patriots
Let’s crank up the pressure in New England, shall we? Sure, both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe could use all the reps they can handle as they re-learn a new offense under Bill O’Brien, but having another capable QB on hand may not be the worst idea.
By all appearances, Jones is entrenched as the team’s starter, but what if we see similar growing pains in year three of the QB’s development? Coach Bill Belichick likely won’t have the patience for another slow start, which likely gets Zappe another chance. However, what if a player like Wentz could come in during training camp, quickly showing he can not only pick up the offense but also operate it with ease? Perhaps the Patriots would suddenly have a tough decision on their hands.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently admitted to being open to adding another veteran QB to the depth chart behind Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask. While GM Jason Licht indicated they’re not necessarily searching for a solution who could compete for a starting gig, why not add another capable QB as they seek to identify a long-term starter?
Wentz arguably has as much upside as Mayfield and Trask, so why not consider possibly adding the most talented QB to the roster? Either way, Wentz will soon have a new team, and joining a Buccaneers team with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin might not be a bad career choice for the well-traveled veteran.
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