Wentz’s tenure in Indianapolis proved to be drama-filled with a ton of issues behind the scenes. He was seen as a bad teammate, a selfish player and someone who viewed himself as being better than he actually is.
On the field, Wentz played pretty well for the most part in his only season with Indianapolis. However, he struggled down the stretch. That included a disastrous performance in a season-ending Week 18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With Wentz now off the books, Indianapolis has the most cap room to spend heading into NFL free agency. It also has a roster general manager Chris Ballard firmly believes can contend if the Colts are able to find a starter-caliber quarterback. Below, we look at four options for Indianapolis heading into free agency.
Indianapolis Colts bring in Teddy Bridgewater
It was noted back in December that Bridgewater is looking for $25 million annually once free agency starts. He’s not going to get that. Heck, it would be an absolute shock if the former Pro Bowler received anywhere near that from another team. It’s also an open question whether Teddy would even be an upgrade over Wentz.
- Carson Wentz stats: 62.4% completion, 3,563 yards, 28 total TD, 7 INT, 94.6 rating
- Teddy Bridgewater stats: 66.9% completion, 3,052 yards, 20 total TD, 7 INT, 94.9 rating
Those are similar numbers. They also lead us to believe that Indianapolis could swoop in and land Bridgewater on a team-friendly deal while picking up a young quarterback after the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Indianapolis Colts trade for Jimmy Garoppolo
Coming off his second NFC Championship Game appearance in three seasons, Jimmy Garoppolo will be dealt from the 49ers here within the next few weeks. Both the quarterback and his team had made it clear that Trey Lance is the future under center in Northern California, leading to increased trade chatter.
“I was talking to John (Lynch) yesterday about finding the right destination. I just want to go to a place where they want to win.”Jimmy Garoppolo to reporters (February 1, 2022)
Garoppolo’s stats might leave a lot to be desired. But he’s a proven winner. The Super Bowl signal caller has posted a career 33-14 regular-season record as a starter. Since Andrew Luck’s retirement ahead of the 2019 season, Colts quarterbacks are a combined 27-22. There’s also something to be said about Garoppolo’s status as a team leader. He’s the antithesis of Wentz in that regard and has drawn recent interest from Indianapolis after Wentz was traded.
Related: 2022 NFL mock draft
Indianapolis Colts find long-term replacement in NFL Draft
Indianapolis swapped second-round picks and added a third-round selection in 2022 as part of the Wentz trade. Ballard and Co. now have a chance to actually move up into the first round if they find a quarterback to their liking.
For a Colts team that will be starting its fifth quarterback in as many seasons, finding a long-term replacement might be in the cards here. While it’s doubtful they’ll be able to move up for someone like Malik Willis, the likes of Sam Howell and Matt Corral could make sense. In this scenario, Indy would add a stopgap free-agent quarterback rather than hitting the trade block.
Indianapolis Colts trade for Derek Carr
It’s an open question whether Carr will be available this offseason. The Raiders’ new brass has said everyhing publicly that indicates he will be Las Vegas’ Week 1 starter. However, the fact that this three-time Pro Bowler wants an extension that will pay him $35 million annually could change the Raiders’ thought process.
Perhaps, head coach Josh McDaniels and Co. look to pull off a blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson. If so, Carr would be expendable. He’d also be a marked upgrade over Wentz in Indianapolis. The only issue here is that the Colts would likely have to exhaust their second-round pick in 2022, a future first-round selection and more draft capital to land Derek Carr.