It doesn’t take a soothsayer to know the Indianapolis Colts want to see a franchise quarterback in the near future. Whether that means they take one in the upcoming NFL draft or inquire about Carson Wentz has been a hot topic of discussion.
On Thursday, Colts GM Chris Ballard attempted to peel back the curtain on his next magic trick. The Colts went 11-5 and nearly upset the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round of the playoffs with 39-year-old Philip Rivers. The future Hall of Famer may or not be part of Indianapolis’ plans in 2021 considering he was on a one-year contract.
Wentz’s name has been a popular solution, at least around the rumor mill, due to the fact he’s only 28 years old and has an established relationship with Colts head coach Frank Reich. But Ballard sounded like he was more interested in exploring his options in the first round. Indianapolis holds the 21st overall pick in April’s draft.
“I promise you, we get the importance of the quarterback position,” Ballard told reporters, via CBS Sports. “But the difference between just taking one and taking the right one is the key, in our minds. We’ll explore it. We’ll examine it. We’ll go to A to Z on it, I promise you. That position never leaves my mind. And it’s something that we wanna get fixed, but there’s gotta be a little bit of timing and luck when you get it.”
Colts GM Chris Ballard on his search for his franchise QB: "Taking one will get y’all off my ass for a little bit, but the second that guy doesn’t play well? I’m gonna be the first one run out of the building … I promise you that position never leaves my mind." pic.twitter.com/KWyaXhdGOH
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 14, 2021
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The Wentz-Reich Relationship Won’t Go Away
Look, it’s easy to see why every pundit and basement blogger has been predicting Wentz ending up in Indianapolis. The one-time franchise quarterback for the Eagles is still only 28 years old and should have plenty of tread left on his oft-injured tires. Wentz threw for 7,078 yards and 49 touchdowns (21 interceptions) under Reich’s two-year watch when he was the offensive coordinator in Philly. He nearly won NFL MVP in 2017 in what remains his career-best year.
To be fair, Reich led them to the Super Bowl.
The Eagles haven’t been the same since he left and Pederson seems to have lost the respect of his locker room.
Plus with Wentz’s contract, he really isn’t going anywhere. They need a new coach who can salvage that relationship.
— Alec (@Alectricityyy) January 11, 2021
So the Wentz-Reich connection is real and makes sense. However, that is assuming the Eagles even want to trade Wentz. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie didn’t sound like someone ready to part ways with a guy who just received a $128 contract extension. Plus, the billionaire kind of loves the kid from North Dakota State. If reports are true, Lurie chose Wentz over his Super Bowl-winning head coach. They are now married both financially and emotionally.
“He has his heart in the right place and he’s really dedicated off-season, on-season – he’s just what you want,” Lurie said of Wentz. “It behooves us as a team with a new coach, a new coaching staff, to be able to really get him back to that elite progression where he was capable of.”
Eagles Almost Fired Reich in 2016
Another surprising nugget to leak out earlier this week revolved around Reich’s first year in Philly. According to the Associated Press’ Rob Maaddi, the Eagles wanted to fire Reich in 2016 after a stagnant offense (337.4 yards per game, 22nd-best) fueled a 7-9 record. The Eagles missed the playoffs.
I'm told by 2 people with direct knowledge of the situation that Doug Pederson stood up for Frank Reich when management wanted to fire him as OC after the 2016 season. Reich stayed, #Eagles won the Super Bowl the next season and the #Colts hired him away as head coach.
— Rob Maaddi (@RobMaaddi) January 12, 2021
Interestingly, outgoing head coach Doug Pederson was the one who stuck up for Reich and instructed Eagles management (Lurie, GM Howie Roseman) not to get rid of the coach. What happened next? Well, you know that story. Reich stayed and Wentz played out of his mind before getting injured. The Eagles won the Super Bowl and Reich eventually left to take the head-coaching gig in Indianapolis in 2018. Go figure.
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