The Washington Commanders finally released quarterback Carson Wentz Monday, freeing up over $26 million in salary-cap space for 2023.
The move was not a surprise as Washington was Wentz’s third team in three seasons. Wentz appeared in eight games for the Commanders and made seven starts, finishing with a 2-5 record as the starting quarterback.
Now, it’s fair to speculate what’s next for Wentz. It’s doubtful any NFL team will sign Wentz as a starting quarterback in 2023. However, like the Commanders were in 2022, NFL teams are desperate for quarterbacks. All it takes is one team to sign Wentz and give him a chance to start.
After Wentz’s release Monday, CBS named five potential landing spots for him in 2023. Here are those five landing spots and what CBS had to say about each one.
Yes, the Frank Reich connection makes sense. But perhaps Reich had enough of Wentz in 2021 with the Colts. This is a possible destination because the Panthers need help at quarterback.
The Panthers will be in the quarterback market this offseason either via the NFL Draft or with a splash in the trade or free agency market. While Wentz likely will not factor into the discussion to be Carolina’s starter, he could reunite with head coach Frank Reich — who made the pitch for the Colts to acquire him in 2021 — as a backup. Reich has been with Wentz on multiple stops during his NFL career. On top of being his head coach in Indy, Reich was his offensive coordinator during his days with the Philadelphia Eagles, so these two have quite the history. If the Panthers do decide to dip into the draft and take a young quarterback with their No. 9 overall pick, Wentz could prove to be a valuable figure in helping develop that signal-caller into Reich’s offense, which he’s very familiar with.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are without Tom Brady, leaving the inexperienced Kyle Trask under center. It would make sense to sign a veteran to pair and/or compete with Trask. Would Wentz sign with a team knowing he’s not a guaranteed starter? If he wants to continue his career, he will.
This might be his best chance of remaining a starter in the NFL. The Buccaneers have a horrid cap situation this offseason, which may keep them out of the running for some of the upper-echelon quarterbacks who are expected to be on the market. They also own the 19th pick in the draft, which is out of the range for where this year’s crop of young quarterbacks is expected to come off the board. If they want a veteran to help push Kyle Trask in training camp, Wentz may be a cost-effective way to do it.
Kansas City Chiefs
What a perfect situation. He’d never have to play and make that backup money. Sure, he’s used to earning starting QB money, but being the backup to Patrick Mahomes could give him some job security as he’d never need to play.
The defending champions are in need of a backup quarterback after Chad Henne decided to retire following the win over Philadelphia in Super Bowl LVII. Wentz could be the latest veteran to slide in behind Patrick Mahomes as insurance, which has proven to be a necessity for K.C. in recent years. Henne had been thrust into a number of key situations during his tenure, including a brief moment in the AFC divisional round this year. With that in mind, Wentz could be a solid QB2 behind the league MVP.
Another ideal situation. He’d be Josh Allen’s backup and wouldn’t need to play. He could play for a great team, take a break out of the spotlight and try to rehab his career for another shot later.
The Bills are no strangers to bringing aboard highly drafted quarterbacks who have seen a fall from grace. They did so with Mitchell Trubisky back in 2021, and Wentz could be the latest veteran looking for a reset behind Josh Allen. Fellow veteran Case Keenum, who served as the Bills backup last year, is set to be a free agent later this offseason.
An immediate chance at playing time with Kyler Murray out early in the season with a knee injury. Can he beat out another former Washington quarterback Colt McCoy? McCoy can play if he can stay healthy, which has been an issue. He’s done well in relief of Murray. Does new head coach Jonathan Gannon want Wentz to begin his coaching career? Seems like a tough sell.
The Cardinals do have Colt McCoy under contract through next season, so there may not be much interest in Wentz, but this is another situation where a starting job could be available. Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL late last season, which puts his ability to be ready by Week 1 very much in doubt. So, there could be a multi-week window for a quarterback to get starts. That should be an appealing situation for Wentz as it’d give him an opportunity to try and turn around his career as a starter.