Commanders fans shouldn’t overreact to Jim Irsay’s damning Carson Wentz comments
By Jerry Trotta
If we’ve learned anything since the Washington Commanders acquired Carson Wentz from the Colts, it’s that non-Washington fans don’t endorse the move. At face value, giving up draft capital while taking on a $28 million cap hit for a quarterback who still succumbs under pressure isn’t a smart business move.
What really matters, though, is that Wentz represents a stern upgrade at the most important position in the sport and he was the best QB available at the time … unless you prefer Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota or Mitch Trubisky.
Yes, Wentz failed to get the Colts a win against the lowly Jaguars in the final game of last season that would’ve seen them punch a playoff ticket. The 29-year-old was objectively brutal in that game and committed a pair of mind-numbing turnovers that contributed to the loss.
Given owner Jim Irsay’s indignant reaction to the collapse, it felt like Wentz’s time in Indianapolis had run its course. By the time the Combine had rolled around in March, the Colts decided to pull the plug on the former first-rounder.
In many ways, Wentz has been made the scapegoat for the Colts’ late-season capitulation. Just 24 hours after head coach Frank Reich said Wentz shouldn’t be the fall guy, Irsay went in the polar opposite direction.
Some would say he went for Wentz’s jugular.
"“I think the worst thing you can do is have a mistake and try to keep living with it going forward,” Irsay said of the Wentz trade. “For us, it was something we had to move away from as a franchise. It was very obvious.”"
An owner going scorched earth on a player is virtually unheard of, even for a hands-on owner like Irsay. That’s exactly why Commanders fans shouldn’t overreact to the these damning comments. Irsay is the only one inside the Colts organization who has come out and eviscerated Wentz publicly.
It just doesn’t align with what Reich and several of Wentz’s now-former teammates said in their emotional farewell letters and messages, the majority of which lauded his character, leadership and ability as a quarterback.
Irsay’s shots feel more personal than anything. Perhaps the owner is so desperate to resolve the Colts’ QB carousel that kicked off when Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired in 2019 that he’s deflecting his anger onto Wentz?
For the life of us, we can’t comprehend what could’ve possibly went down inside Indianapolis’ building that prompted Irsay to not meet with Wentz after the season and then berate the QB on a public platform at every turn.
For anyone unaware of what we’re referring to in regard to the meeting, Wentz, reached out to Irsay after the season when he had found out his status with the franchise was on shaky ground, according to The Athletic.
Wentz tried setting up a meeting with the Colts owner to “clear the air,” but the owner declined because he was out of town. In most circumstances, an owner — out of respect to his players, even ones of whom they don’t think highly– would make the meeting and discuss that player’s future face to face. Irsay, though, left Wentz out to try before reconvening with him at a later date.
Maybe Colts general manager Chris Ballard wanted Wentz gone, too, but his unceremonious departure feels owner-driven more than anything else. The juxtaposition between Frank Reich (and Colts players) and Irsay in speaking about Wentz is night and day and proves something doesn’t add up.
Whatever Irsay has against Wentz, the owner driving the QB out of town came off disturbingly personal. That’s nothing Commanders fans should be scared off by. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that the more we hear Irsay talk football and about Wentz, the better we feel about him as Washington’s quarterback.
Please, Wentz, ball out and make Irsay eat these words. It’s one thing to be candid and speak from the heart. It’s something entirely different to pin an organizational failure on one player and humiliate him publicly.
Because of that, Irsay — not Wentz — is the real loser in all of this.