Will Carson Wentz stay with the Colts if they go through the playoffs?

The selection of Sam Howell by the Washington leaders somewhat distracted from the fact that this was Carson Wentz’s team. How long that’s the case, though, is the million-dollar question fans are asking.

Having joined his third team in several seasons, the former second general selection is hoping to enjoy a long period of success in the nation’s capital. Building on Ron Rivera’s praise of Wentz, this sentiment was reciprocated by the leaders.

Of course, Wentz’s arrival in Washington was polarizing.

After QB played a large role in the Colts’ collapse at the end of the season, when they underperformed in losses to the Raiders and Jaguars, the Indianapolis front office made the seemingly quick decision to cut the bait with Wentz.

Or was the verdict reached before the last two matches? According to Colts general manager Chris Ballard, the front office was still looking at alternative options even if Wentz led the team to the playoffs.

It looks like Carson Wentz could be traded or released even if he leads the Colts to the playoffs.

Here’s what Ballard told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

I think we’re still having some tough discussions (about moving on from Wentz). Just the way we reduced the sprawl, and we knew we needed to make some improvements in this area.

The only thing that Jim and Frank and I think is when we know something isn’t right, don’t just try to justify it. Let’s go ahead. We all knew we were going to lay eggs on our faces. It is what it is, but at the end of the day it is about doing the right thing for the organization. I think even if we did end up in qualifying, we’d have some tough discussions going forward.

Initially seen as a move decided by owner Jim Irsai, Ballard’s interview with Florio indicated that the Colts team, including coach Frank Reich, had questions about Wentz’s long-term outlook even before the team surrendered in weeks 17 and 18.

Over his last four games in 2021, Wentz completed less than 56 percent of his passes for 615 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.

This included fumbling back against Jacksonville, throwing only 57 yards in the win over the Patriots and taking several back-break bags due to his tendency to hold the ball for long in hopes of making something out of nothing.

Right now the ponies are laughing last, but they were a lot in the quarterback purgatory before the hawks chased Deshaun Watson. Their pursuit of embattled superstar Matt Ryan prompted him to seek a deal from Atlanta and Indy pounced and snatched him up in a third round in the 2022 draft.

Once again, the ponies’ luck had plenty in Ryan’s net. Had it not been for the Hawks to chase Watson, their remaining options would have been Jimmy Garoppolo, who is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, and Baker Mayfield, who appears to want no team, free-traveling agent or potential draft pick.

It doesn’t seem great that Ballard and Co thought about offloading Wentz before the team collapsed, but that shouldn’t change what Washington fans think about Wentz. We’ve said it many times since the trade, but it’s worth repeating after Ballard’s comments: Wentz has been made the down guy for a regulatory failure.

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