By Max Harper
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Colts will “probably” trade or release Wentz “by March 18,” just before he is due guaranteed $7 million on March 19.
According to The Athletic, that is also when Wentz’s $6.29 million roster bonus is due. As of now, the Colts owe Wentz $15 million for the 2022 season. If the Colts move on from Wentz before then, the franchise would not have to pay out the other $13.29 million.
Wentz, acquired from the Eagles in a trade a year ago, struggled throughout his first season with the Colts just as he did late during his time in Philadelphia. Mortensen described Wentz’s future with the Colts as “bleak.”
Entering the final two weeks of the regular season, the Colts were 9-6 and needed to win one of their last two games to essentially lock up a playoff spot. Instead, the Colts lost to the Las Vegas Raiders and then were shocked on the road by the last-place Jacksonville Jaguars. Wentz, as he was for much of the season, was largely ineffective. He also committed two costly turnovers in the Jaguars loss, which kept the Colts out of the postseason.
Wentz, 29, was the No. 2 overall pick of the Eagles in 2016. He showed flashes of brilliance early in his career, including MVP-caliber play during the 2017 season. But Wentz went down with a season-ending knee injury that season and watched as backup Nick Foles led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl victory.
Wentz returned in 2018 but dealt with a back injury. His play largely declined from there, culminating in a 2020 season in which he completed just 57.4% of his passes and threw 15 interceptions before he was benched.
Following the benching, Wentz wanted out of Philadelphia and the team was able to trade him to the Colts for two draft picks, including a conditional second-round pick that turned into a first-rounder thanks to Wentz playing a required amount of snaps.