Commanders Backup QB Sounds Off on Ex-Eagle Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz

Getty Carson Wentz in his 2022 introductory presser in Washington.

When the Washington Commanders gave up three draft picks to acquire Carson Wentz from Indianapolis, it was assumed he’d be their starting quarterback. Don’t pass go. Don’t collect $200. Throw Wentz in at QB1.

And that has been the case throughout spring workouts and OTA sessions in D.C. The one-time franchise quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles has been taking all the first-team reps, a trend that will continue once training camp begins. He has been oozing confidence and spreading it to his teammates, according to Washington head coach Ron Rivera. He even compared him to Philip Rivers.

“Sometimes you really see the confidence in the things that he does very well and you can see that confidence spreading to everybody else around him,” Rivera told reporters, via Pro Football Talk. “So that was probably the biggest thing, really, to me, was watching how he kind of fit in and was getting acclimated.”

That’s all well and good. Except for one thing: Wentz’s would-be backup, Taylor Heinicke, has another reason for Wentz’s automatic ascension up the depth chart. It centers on the $28.3 million that Wentz is owed for the 2022 season.

“You look at the NFL and, at the end of the day, it’s kind of a business,” Heinicke said, via CBS Sports. “And if you’re paying someone $30 million and you’re paying someone else $2 million, you’re paying this guy $30 million to play, you know? And that’s not me — you know, Carson’s a great QB, and you see it through OTAs and minicamp. And I hope he goes out there and succeeds. Again, my job is just to back him up.”

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Wentz Posts Motivational Message on Instagram

This marks Wentz’s third new team in two years following his controversial benching and highly-publicized trade out of Philly in 2021. His numbers have generally been good, but character concerns – real or perceived – leaked out during both stops.

Wentz threw for 3,563 yards and 27 touchdowns (7 interceptions) while completing 62.4% of his passes last year for the Colts, then got shown the door. Now he’s set to begin his seventh NFL season, with everyone in Washington feeling confident in his abilities. The 29-year-old quarterback took to Instagram to express his excitement.

Terry McLaurin Continues to Hold Out

Terry McLaurin has missed the first two days of mandatory minicamp in Washington, doubling down on his desire for a new contract. The star receiver also skipped voluntary OTA sessions as he seeks a new deal in line with the top players at the position. Some experts have cited A.J. Brown’s $100 million deal as the new benchmark and main reason why McLaurin feels underpaid.

Meanwhile, contract negotiations have been ongoing between the two sides but nothing appears imminent. Rivera is hopeful that they will hammer out a deal before Week 1. McLaurin is missing out on important reps with Wentz this summer. It’s something outsiders see as a potential problem. Not Wentz.

“I’ve spoken with Terry quite a bit,” Wentz said, via NBC Sports Washington. “I’ve been around him a couple times already, so excited for when we do get back out on that field together.”

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