Colts: Timeline of Frank Reich’s interest in Carson Wentz is wild

The Indianapolis Colts were linked with a slew of quarterbacks after 2020 starter Philip Rivers announced his retirement just a few weeks into the offseason.

We speculated about a potential trade for Deshaun Watson, signing Dak Prescott if he reached free agency or acquiring another stopgap option on the open market as the worst-case scenario if all else failed.

Even Sam Darnold, a one-time Colts draft pick (kind of!) was mentioned as a potential suitor.

In spite of all those rumors, however, it always felt deep down that Carson Wentz, given his ties to head coach Frank Reich, was going to be the answer.

When all was said and done, Indianapolis acquired the 28-year-old quarterback from Philadelphia in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2022, which can only be considered a steal given his enormous upside.

Getting back to the Colts’ long-standing interest in Wentz, Reich revealed the complete timeline in terms of when he started envisioning pursuing the former No. 2 overall pick.

To say that it’s earlier than we anticipated would be an understatement.

During an appearance on the Colts’ docuseries “With The Next Pick,” Reich admitted that his interest in Wentz first started when he was benched by the Eagles in Week 12 (!) of last season. In case you forgot, Rivers was still under contract at that point.

“Honestly I thought towards the end of the year — when things started going south there in Philadelphia — I thought ‘ah that’d probably never happen,'” Reich said. “We were open toward the possibility of talking about it. What’s the right way to go about this? How deep is our conviction about him as our quarterback?”

To think that Reich first visualized Wentz as the Colts’ starting quarterback in the middle of last season — during which he consistently raved about what Rivers was doing under center — further proves anybody who slammed the trade failed to see the bigger picture.

If your head coach was THIS sold on a quarterback and managed to acquire him for two inconsequential draft picks, you should have absolutely zero qualms with the deal. As far as conviction is concerned, Reich couldn’t have more in Wentz if he tried.

“It’s just a natural fit in so many ways,” Reich continued. “I know Carson and I know Indianapolis. This just feels right to me … I just felt like he (Wentz) got it. The way that he looks at the game and plays the game. It’s the way I think it should be played at that position. There are some guys that just love the process. . .You can just feel the energy he has for the game, his teammates, competing. My conviction is very deep.”

There’s no doubting that Reich and the Colts are taking a massive gamble by handing the keys of their offense to Wentz, who was unwatchable for most of last season.

However, we can say with the utmost confidence that, despite the fact that he hasn’t even had an official practice with his new team, this trade was a win for Indianapolis.

It’s not always about getting the biggest star. Getting the best fit is much more important, and it’s clear that Reich and Wentz were destined to be paired together in the NFL again after the success they enjoyed together with the Eagles back in 2017.