The Indianapolis Colts‘ decision to trade for Carson Wentz last offseason was always viewed as a risk, even by the quarterback’s biggest apologists.
While Wentz played some of the best football of his career for most of 2021, his performance down the stretch of the regular season served as an untimely reminder why the Eagles were so content cutting bait with him.
Wentz is under contract for three more seasons and Indy is just one year removed from trading a third- and first-round pick for him. Despite that, the team has seemingly made up its mind about cutting or trading him before his $15 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 19.
It seems like a matter of when, not if, the Colts move on from Wentz, and fans have been driving themselves up a wall to figure out who leaked the news to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen last weekend.
According to The Athletic’s Bob Kravitz, the source wasn’t Chris Ballard or Frank Reich, but owner Jim Irsay.
Did Colts owner Jim Irsay leak the Carson Wentz cut news?
Here’s how Kravitz landed on Irsay as the source.
"Clearly, it wasn’t Ballard, who, even if he felt that way, would never share that kind of information at the risk of diminishing Wentz’s trade value — such as it is or might be. Nor was it Reich, who was the driving force behind the deal that sent first- and third-rounders to Philadelphia; there’s no way he was going to whisper in a reporter’s ear that his preferred quarterback was on his way out.It had to be Irsay, who has been very vocal about his anger and disappointment with Wentz and the way his quarterback, and team in general, fell to pieces the final two weeks, playing themselves right out of a playoff spot that was a 98 percent guarantee prior to the Vegas game. His private plane-side videos, made with the engines roaring, made it abundantly clear: He’s over Wentz after just one season."
Kravitz continued to note that Irsay was “embarrassed” after the Colts’ crashed out of the playoffs in historic fashion.
Throw in the fact that Kravitz’s colleague Zak Keefer reported from “Irsay’s perspective” that money won’t be a deciding factor in Wentz’s future, implying that Irsay would happily eat the $15 million dead cap charge if it meant appointing an upgrade, and it’s easy to connect the dots back to the Super Bowl-hungry owner.
If Irsay was, in fact, the source behind the leak, then Wentz is as good as gone. For an owner who transitioned from one generational quarterback in Peyton Manning to another in Andrew Luck, he doesn’t have the patience to watch another season go up in flames because his QB can’t get the job done in high-leverage situations.
Yes, football is a team sport, but you can’t watch the Colts’ final two games against the Raiders and Jaguars — both losses when just one win would’ve seen them clinch a playoff berth — and not attribute most of the blame to Wentz.
Based on this report, it seems like Irsay sees it that way, too.