The Washington Commanders are one of the teams that will be taking a ride on the quarterback carousel again this upcoming off-season. In 2022, the carousel landed on Carson Wentz, as they acquired him from the Indianapolis Colts for draft capital.
Any Colts fan could have told the Commanders that the deal wasn’t going to work out in their favor and they would have been right. Wentz was great in his first two games, leading the team to 55 points scored and throwing seven touchdowns. However, in his next four games, the team scored only 47 points and he threw three touchdowns.
Wentz broke his finger in the sixth game of the season, which landed him on IR. He wouldn’t return until Week 16, giving way to Taylor Heinicke over that time. The team rallied around Heinicke, as he went 5-3-1 as the starter, but their inability to score in the red zone ultimately doomed them.
In a must-win game in Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns, the team turned back to Wentz. Just like in the 2021 season when the Colts needed a win, Wentz provided the team with a dud, ending their playoff hopes.
With Sam Howell being the only quarterback with guaranteed money for 2023 on the roster, the Commanders will assuredly be in the market for a veteran this offseason. According to a former NFL executive that spoke to NFL Anaylsis Network, one player that they reportedly already have their eyes on is Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders.
“The Commanders are a team who are already doing background work on a potential trade for Derek Carr. Washington thinks he could be their franchise quarterback to take them back to the playoffs. I wouldn’t be shocked if that’s where he ends up.”
Carr struggled this season and was benched the final two games, but he would be a huge upgrade over Wentz and Heinicke. All of the pieces for him to succeed would be in place as the Commanders have a strong running game led by Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Robinson and a potentially explosive passing game with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson.
Washington also has Jack Del Rio on their coaching staff, another appealing thing to Carr. el Rio was the Raiders’ head coach from 2015-2017 and oversaw three of Carr’s best professional seasons. While Del Rio wouldn’t be working directly with Carr as the defensive coordinator, that familiarity can only help him transition to a new franchise.