Say what you want about the handful of questionable draft picks or trades the New England Patriots have made in recent years … but they’ve NEVER made as fatal an error as what the Indianapolis Colts just did.
Before the 2021 season, Indy went out and traded their 2021 third-round pick as well as a conditional 2022 second-round pick (that recently turned into a first-rounder) for veteran quarterback Carson Wentz, who had one of the most undesirable contracts in the entire NFL.
After just one year with the Colts, his time might be done based on what we’re hearing this offseason, meaning general manager Chris Ballard surrendered two extremely valuable assets for one year of average QB play that didn’t even result in a postseason berth.
Did we mention that the postseason berth could’ve been achieved had the Colts beaten the NFL-worst Jaguars in the final game of the season? Wentz played a role in the unraveling and he’s about to pay for it.
The Colts’ disastrous QB situation should have Patriots fans feeling grateful.
After Wentz’s controversial 2021 season with the Colts, it’s become evident owner Jim Irsay isn’t going to stand for this kind of product after promising the fans more success and less heartbreak. Now, he’s willing to eat a $15 million cap hit just to move on and figure out a better solution because that’s how badly the frustration has boiled over.
Though the Colts had a fun run with former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, his premature retirement put the franchise in a tailspin, which featured two years of Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers and left fans wondering what could have been if they’d had a younger, better and more mobile QB under center.
Then they thought they got it. But Wentz’s problems in Philly persisted in Indianapolis despite the presence of head coach Frank Reich, who helped guide him through his MVP-caliber 2017 season as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator.
Meanwhile, the Patriots had 20 pristine years of Tom Brady, one year of turmoil during a season upended by a global pandemic with Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer under center, and quickly transitioned to the Mac Jones era, which looks like it’ll last a decade or so. Jones was the best performing QB of the 2021 class despite being the last one selected in the first round. Bill Belichick making it look effortless once again while every other team struggles with consistency or manageable production from the most important areas of the roster.
And just think about this: the Colts went from Manning to Luck, which seemed like one of the best situations a franchise could experience. And it’s resulted in TWO Super Bowl appearances (one victory) over a 21-season span. Tom Brady’s 20-year run resulted in nine appearances and six victories, and Jones’ start to his career after his rookie season suggests promise on the championship front should he develop properly.
How about some offseason gratitude, Patriots fans? No franchise has even come close to having it as good as you since 2000. Whenever you think about complaining about something football related, just remember how much worse it could truly be … because we witness it across the league each and every year.