The Colts offseason has abrubtly started with their Week 18 surprise loss to the last place Jaguars. QB Carson Wentz seemed to solidify his role with a strong second half to the season, but his play this past Sunday will leave plenty with a bad taste in their mouth.
If the Colts hadn’t sacrificed a 1st & 3rd round pick to acquire Wentz this past February, would it be a slam dunk that he would be handed the starting QB job in 2022? Let’s take a look at what the rest of his contract looks like from a stability standpoint.
The deal has 3 years, $81.705M remaining, including $28.294M in 2022, $26.176M in 2023, & $27.235M in 2024.
Guarantees & Dead Cap
$15M of his 2022 salary is already fully guaranteed, representing the only dead cap on the contract currently. If the Colts were to find a trade partner for Wentz this March, they could move him without taking on any dead cap, saving $13M of cap for the upcoming season. The date to watch is March 18th, when the remaining $7M of his 2022 salary full guarantees & a $6.29M roster bonus is paid.
While unlikely, if Indy decides to outright release Carson Wentz before March 18th, they’d be responsible for his $15M of guaranteed salary, and nothing more. After 2022, the contract is in a pay-as-you-go format, with no early guarantees to deal with.
Despite a treacherous final weekend, Wentz actually stabilized the Indy offense for the better part of 2021. Factor in the ceiling for Jonathan Taylor, and ample cap space to add weapons to this roster in March, and it makes sense to let Carson take the reins for this team through 2022. The contract offers a free out after that, making Indy’s life much easier thereafter.x