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Washington Commanders' trade for Carson Wentz Does Not Move Markets

Washington Commanders' trade for Carson Wentz Does Not Move Markets
Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts on the field during pregame warm ups before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Free Picks Julio Aguilar/Getty Images via AFP.

The Washington Commanders reportedly traded for a new starting quarterback on Wednesday, but it does not look like it will have a major impact in NFL betting markets. We break down the Commanders’ trade for Carson Wentz.

The Washington Commanders reportedly acquired QB Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday, March 9. Coming off a failed one-year stint with the Colts, Wentz’s relocation had next-to-no impact on NFL betting markets for the 2022 season. However, he should bring some improvement to Washington as the expected replacement for QB Taylor Heinicke.

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How Carson Wentz Trade Impacts Commanders

Wentz, 29, has 85 career NFL starts under his belt but it has been a while since he was a positive difference-maker. In 2017, he finished third in MVP voting as the starter for the Philadelphia Eagles. He led the NFL in QBR (78.5) when he threw 33 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in 13 games. Wentz suffered a torn ACL late that season and has not been able to get back to that level of play since the injury.

Wentz started all 17 games for the Colts last season, going 9-8. He threw 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His QBR of 54.7 was tied with Russell Wilson for ninth among qualified passers. Wentz’s quarterback rating of 94.6 was 13th in the league. 

He also averaged 6.9 yards per pass attempt, so while those ratings are efficient enough, Wentz’s style is closer to game manager territory, and he struggled late in the regular season when the Colts were fighting for a playoff spot.

As a result, the Commanders’ odds to win the Super Bowl or even the NFC East shifted a little, but not dramatically. The sportsbooks seemed to delight in how little the market changed for the Commanders with news of the Wentz acquisition.

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How Carson Wentz Trade Impacts Colts

This leaves the Colts with a hole to fill at the most important position, but it has not shifted Indianapolis’ title odds and it still has the second-best odds to win the AFC South. 

Indianapolis will have an offense that is focused on star running back Jonathan Taylor, but there are quarterback options available. Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Trevor Siemian, and Tyrod Taylor are among the free agents on the market while Jimmy Garoppolo and Deshaun Watson are potential trade targets.  

Could the Colts still be a competitive squad with one of those quarterbacks instead of Wentz? That seems like a reasonable enough position to take and that’s why the Colts have not seen a significant shift in odds in the wake of the news announcing Wentz’s departure.

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Recommendation

There was not much appeal to the Commanders before the addition of Wentz and while he might be an upgrade at the position, it is not a significant improvement. As such, any interest in the futures markets can probably wait to see how the Commanders handle the rest of the offseason.

The same goes for the Colts. Losing Wentz does not move the needle enough until we know how they are going to handle finding a replacement. The market does not seem to think that it will be that difficult for Indianapolis to at least break even on its change at quarterback.

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