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Carson Wentz opens up on feeling wanted by Washington Commanders

Matt Johnson

Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz has faced plenty of criticisms and skepticism in recent years. As he dives into a fresh start with a new organization, the 29-year-old quarterback seems to be in a better place.

Wentz, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, is with his third NFL team in three years. He seemingly burned bridges on his previous stops, with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts elated to move on from him.

With his reputation at an all-time low, Washington seemingly helped inject confidence into the 2017 NFL MVP candidate. By trading for him this offseason – moving multiple Day 2 picks at a time when no other team would – the Commanders’ front office showed it wanted Wentz.

Related: Indianapolis Colts ‘soured’ on Carson Wentz midway through 2021 season

Before training camp even began, Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera reminded Wentz about his importance to the franchise. He repeatedly told the franchise quarterback that he is wanted by the entire organization and that they have all the confidence in the world in his abilities.

  • Carson Wentz stats: 3,563 passing yards, 27-7 TD-INT ratio, 94.6 QB rating, 9-8 record

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Wentz addressed how he is feeling with his new team and how it impacts him to feel wanted by the Commanders’ coaching staff.

“I think for anybody, it just builds confidence. It builds confidence within myself. I will always think that I’m a confident person, but hearing it from somebody else, from the head coach, definitely instills that confidence more.”

Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz on feeling wanted by NFL team (H/T NBC Sports Washington)

It’s worth mentioning that Wentz was wanted by the Colts a year ago. Frank Reich pushed for Indianapolis to acquire a quarterback he had a very close relationship with, even if it meant trading a future first-round pick. Unfortunately for Wentz, things went south quickly and the entire organization was ready to move on from him less than a year into the partnership.

Teammates respond to criticisms from Carson Wentz

NFL: Washington Commanders Training Camp
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There have been plenty of reports about players and coaches in Philadelphia and Indianapolis taking issue with Wentz’s personality, leadership and accountability. At the end of his Eagles’ tenure, reports emerged of him routinely tuning out coaches and rejecting criticism regarding his in-game mistakes.

It’s a sentiment that some in the locker room seemed to share. Unidentified Eagles players indicated after the 2020 season that Wentz was a selfish quarterback and played favorites. While there haven’t been similar reports from Colts players, there were familiar complaints from those with authority in the organization.

Related: Concerning pattern of Carson Wentz issues suggest bleak future

NFL players talk and Commanders’ defensive linemen Jonathan Allen has heard plenty of the rumors about his new teammate. Despite his own criticisms of Wentz in the past, he wanted to save judgment until he saw him up close and the impression Wentz has made thus far is positive.

“What he does on a day-to-day basis will tell me everything I need to know about him. He came in, he worked, he involved himself with the team and he’s exactly what we want from a quarterback. So, I have no questions.”

Washington Commanders defensive lineman Jonathan Allen on Carson Wentz (H/T NBC Sports)

Of course, similar things were said a year ago when Wentz first arrived in Indianapolis and started practicing with his new teammates. It all just means this will come down to performance and whether or not Wentz can provide more stable play than the prior two seasons. If he can do that, there’s no reason to think he won’t be the Commanders’ quarterback in 2023.