It’s a question that needs to be asked as the Colts off-season rolls on and the Los Angeles Rams are a game away from playing in the Super Bowl. The talk heading into last season was how the Colts were the logical destination for Stafford’s services after the retirement of Philip Rivers and a seismic gap in the quarterback room. It made all the sense in the world for a team that was built to win and just missing a quarterback but apparently officials inside the Colts organization weren’t high on Stafford but were sold on Carson Wentz. The Rams were more than willing to ship two first-round picks, a third-round pick and quarterback Jared Goff to Detroit in exchange for Stafford while the Colts decided to ship their 2021 third-round pick and what became their 2022 first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Wentz’s services.
“Watching Stafford on Sunday I couldn’t help but think ‘how the hell did the Colts think Carson Wentz was better than Matthew Stafford?” – Kevin Bowen
Stafford’s 2021 stats dwarf Wentz’s in nearly every category: 41 touchdowns to Wentz’s 27, over 1,300 more passing yards, almost fiver percentage points higher in completion percentage and higher totals in quarterback rating and QBR, whichever you prefer. The one stat that Wentz wins over Stafford is the interceptions, where Stafford ran away with 17 interceptions to Carson’s 7. Of course, you can credit Stafford’s monster statistics to the fact that he’s throwing to guys like Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, Van Jefferson, etc. The Rams have given him plenty of weapons to throw to and overhauled their defense with the likes of Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller. The Rams are unquestionably going for it or have “all chips in” as Colts owner Jim Irsay would say.
While the Rams are riding Stafford to the NFC Championship Game, the Colts are questioning if Wentz will even be under center in 2022 or if it’s best to just rip the Band-Aid off and start over. They’ve already lost their 2022 first-round pick but do they want to commit $28 million to a quarterback they truly don’t believe in? It’s a situation the team put itself in when they determined Detroit’s asking price for Stafford was too rich for a guy they didn’t believe could bring them to the next level. Yet they determined Wentz was that guy and they found themselves on the outside looking in on the playoffs altogether. Who in the building actually determined Stafford wasn’t worth the cost is anyone’s guess but we’ve heard on countless occasions that multiple people within the Colts organization were not high on Stafford.
With no Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck walking through the door, the Colts are on the quarterback rollercoaster so many other teams have experienced for decades. Can they get out from under it? Of course they can. But it could take time and there is no quick fix at the moment. The calls for Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson are loud but without much merit considering the lack of immediate draft capital the Colts have and the financial burdens those quarterbacks would deal to their current respective teams. This year’s draft class is also supposedly not very strong in the quarterback category, even if it was the Colts would have to part with even more draft pick to move up.
We’ll see where this takes us but the fact that head evaluators of the Colts decided Wentz was the guy over Stafford, regardless of compensation, should call into question what exactly is being evaluated when it comes to talent.
The full discussion about Wentz/Stafford and quarterbacks who could be available in the off-season is all discussed in the clip below and for all things Colts-related, be sure to listen to Kevin & Query every weekday morning from 7-10 on 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan!