It feels like ancient history that the Indianapolis Colts traded for Carson Wentz.
And it feels like blasphemy that they caught as much criticism as they did for it.
The Los Angeles Rams went ahead and surrendered Jared Goff AND two first-round picks for Matthew Stafford.
The San Francisco 49ers traded three first-round picks to move up to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft — and they’re also reportedly seeking a first-rounder for Jimmy Garoppolo.
And then on Monday general manager Chris Ballard probably received the greatest validation of his deal for Wentz yet.
The New York Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers for a package almost comparable to what Wentz went for.
The first reason why this is so significant is that the Colts traded their No. 3 pick to the Jets in 2018 for a truckload of other selections (many of whom ended up being important contributors on this current Colts team) and New York used that pick on Darnold. After three seasons, the Jets are done, and they got barely anything in return.
That’s the historical aspect of all of this.
Now, for the Wentz acquisition. The Colts surrendered a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-rounder in exchange for a guy in Wentz who was a former MVP candidate. The Jets and Eagles got a similar haul after trading their former QBs, and Darnold has yet to prove 20% of what Wentz has showed the world during his time in the NFL.
You could point to Wentz’s bloated extension as a big reason for that, but at least if this works out, the Colts could keep him for four years. If not, they traded a third-rounder and a second-rounder and took a chance on one of the few options on the market that could help elevate one of the more complete rosters in the league. Many would argue it’s a risk worth taking.
What’s even crazier? Darnold was once considered a Colts’ trade target this offseason. Though Indy giving up the assortment of draft picks the Panthers did probably would’ve felt like somewhat of a win, it’s now clear the move for Wentz was the most shrewd of all, since now every QB who was considered to be a trade candidate aside from Garoppolo has been moved.
Now, Ballard will once again let the results speak for themselves.