The worst place to be in all of sports is the middle. It might be fine for your attendance, at least until your fan base catches on and starts to revolt (See: Marvin Lewis; Bengals). But if your ultimate pursuit is a trophy, then shooting for the middle is an awful, awful idea. It's exactly what the Washington Commanders continue to do with their choice of quarterback.
You order your Championship Trophies and Title Belts from TrophySmack after winning your fantasy titles, so you already know the importance of making moves in order to win a championship. Unfortunately, Washington doesn’t seem to understand this concept at all. They seem destined to be a middling franchise for as long as Daniel Synder owns the majority of the franchise.
Washington Continues to Disappoint at Quarterback
There are a few paths that Washington could have taken to upgrade at the quarterback position significantly. Even after Russ Wilson shut down their attempts to trade for him, Washington could have instead turned their attention to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. While Watson carries baggage, he’s not any more toxic than the owner of the franchise.
Assuming Washington couldn’t secure Watson, their other option would have been to tank in 2022 and attempt to position themselves for one of 2023’s prospects like Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud at quarterback. Instead, Washington decided to take a half measure and traded for Carson Wentz; something they have done many times before.
Trade terms, per sources…— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2022
🏈2022 third-round pick
🏈2023 third-round pick that can become a second if Carson Wentz plays 70 percent of plays.
🏈2022 second-round pick
🏈QB Carson Wentz
🏈2022 second-round pick.
Washington has traded for a quarterback nine times in the past 23 seasons, and the veterans signed off the street haven’t been much more effective. We won’t dive into the mishaps of those guys, but it seems as if the franchise has found another perfect match.
Is Carson Wentz an Upgrade?
Wentz now moves to his third franchise in as many years, with more whispers of how awful a teammate he is. But, even if Wentz wasn’t a horrible, terrible teammate (Spoiler alert, he is), the fact remains that he’s exceedingly average. While his stats bounced back in 2021 to acceptable levels, that’s only in comparison to his 2020 season when Wentz was one of the worst three quarterbacks in the league.
Don’t be fooled by his seven interceptions last year, either. Yes, seven is a great total until you realize that six of those seven interceptions happened in the second half of his games, you know, crunch time. Winners find a way to win, and losers… well, they get Participation Ribbons.
Since his superb 2017 season, Wentz has seen QBR drop every season except for last year’s “bounce back” from his horrendous 2020 campaign. Over his career, his winning percentage is a pedestrian 52-percent, and excluding his anomalous 2017 season, his career winning percentage is 46-percent.
Frankly, as pointed at by my friend Jody Smith, it’s debatable if Wentz is even an upgrade over last year's starter Tyler Heinicke.
dropbacks: Wentz 575, Heinicke 574— #TagsStrong💪 (@JodySmithNFL) March 9, 2022
yards per attempt: 6.9. 6.9
on-target throws: Wentz 72.2%, Heinicke 71.5%
pass yds/game: Wentz 209.6, Heinicke 213.7
intended air yds/game: Wentz 223.8, Heinicke 228.6
Average would be fine if the Commanders just let Heinicke start the 2022 season. Instead, they didn't upgrade at the quarterback position, gave up five slots in the second round of the NFL Draft, and gave up third-round picks in 2022 and 2023. The painful part is they are on the hook for the entire $28 million owed to Wentz in 2022 and now are forced to cut Landon Collins to create space.
Trading for Wentz is the type of move that will keep the Commanders right in the mix for another .500ish season, when what they need to do is embrace the suck, bottom out, and go 3-14 similar to their 2019 season. Hell, they might even improve by a couple of wins this season and get to pick around 15 in 2023, completely negating any chance they have at finally acquiring their first franchise quarterback since… Kirk Cousins.
Be the Best or Be the Worst
Half measures aren’t good enough. Either be really good or really bad because in between is the worst place to stay. Unfortunately, Washington will spend the 2022 season being just good enough to not be good enough, while too good to be bad. In the end, it kills their chances at garnering the draft capital needed to secure a franchise quarterback.
In short, Washington’s only chance of securing a trophy anytime soon would be to buy their own at TrophySmack.
This is Shane's first article for TrophySmack so be sure to let him know on social media how much you loved or hated it! He appreciates both! You can find him on Twitter @ShaneistheWorst
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