Wentz searches for fourth team in four seasons after leaving Commanders | Washington Commanders Story-level
The Washington Commanders released Carson Wentz on Monday, an expected move that ends a failed season-long experiment with the veteran quarterback.
After giving up draft picks to acquire him in a trade with Indianapolis last March, the Commanders were able to get out of the last two years of Wentz’s contract without any salary cap penalties.
Wentz threw for 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games, going 2-5 as a starter. His season was stuck around a broken finger that sidelined him for several weeks.
When Taylor Heinicke struggled late in the season, coach Ron Rivera turned to Wentz, who had three interceptions in a loss to Cleveland, a performance that helped push Washington out of playoff contention.
From then on, Rivera did not think about giving Wentz the job back. Rookie Sam Howell begins the finale of the regular season and enters offseason training as the starting QB. The former No. 2 overall pick was an MVP candidate in 2017 before injury ended his season. The Eagles won that season’s Super Bowl, thanks in part to the stellar play of Wentz’s backup, Nick Foles. Since then, injuries and inconsistency have derailed his career.
Wentz, on the other hand, faces an uncertain future at age 30. If he does sign, he would join his fourth NFL team in as many seasons after starring in Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Washington.
Commanders also released veteran safety Bobby McCain, whose presence was made redundant by the appearance of Darrick Forrest. McCain’s release saves approximately $2.32 million in salary cap space.
McCain, 29, had four interceptions in 34 games over two seasons with Washington, but none in 2022 for a defense that often played three safeties on the field at a time.
Next, the commanders must decide what to make of standout defensive tackle Daron Payne, who led the team with a career-high 11.5 sacks and could get a big payday in free agency. Putting the franchise tag on him at a price of $18.9 million, far less than the money saved by firing Wentz, is one option.
If Payne returns, Washington’s defense will once again have high expectations, especially with Chase Young fully healthy after recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee.
The Commanders are expected to change more on offense than defense after hiring Kansas City Chiefs’ two-time Super Bowl-winning assistant Eric Bieniemy as coordinator and assistant head coach. That includes at quarterback after Wentz was shown the door.