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Commanders acquiring QB Carson Wentz from Colts in trade

The Washington Commanders searched high and low and finally found their new starting quarterback.

Washington has agreed to acquire quarterback Carson Wentz in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday. The trade cannot be finalized until the new league year begins March 16.

The pending deal involves a 2022 third-round pick and next year's third-rounder that can convert to a second-rounder based on incentives. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo added the trade also includes a swap of 2022 second-round draft picks. The Colts now hold the No. 42 overall pick, while the Commanders have pick no. 47.

ESPN first reported the news.

Wentz spent just one season in Indy after the Colts shipped a conditional second-round pick, which turned into a first-rounder, and a third-round selection to the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason.

Four days after the trade was reported, Wentz tweeted out his thanks to "Colts nation" and noted he was "looking forward to getting to Washington."

Colts head coach Frank Reich believed he could reform Wentz into the MVP candidate we briefly saw in 2017 under Reich's tutelage as an Eagles assistant. The QB showed some flashes but struggled for long stretches last season. Wentz cratered down the stretch, throwing for fewer than 300 yards in his final five games -- four of which were under 190 yards passing. In a Week 15 win over New England, the Colts escaped while Wentz threw for a measly 57 yards. The Colts' offense played around the QB, not led by him.

In Week 18, Wentz threw a horrific INT and struggled against the league-worst Jacksonville Jaguars as the Colts missed the postseason.

After Indy missed the postseason, an irate owner Jim Irsay suggested significant changes would come. After bringing back most of the coaching staff and front office, the QB was the only leg left to swap out.

Now the Colts become the latest team in need of a signal-caller. Rapoport noted Wednesday that Indy is expected to be in the mix for Jimmy Garoppolo, but any deal for the 49ers QB isn't expected until closer to the draft, given that he underwent shoulder surgery this week.

While Wentz didn't shine in Indy, the Colts found a desperate taker in Washington.

As head coach Ron Rivera noted during the NFL Scouting Combine, the Commanders made calls on every potential quarterback. In the end, they ended up with Wentz. It isn't the splash trade for Russell Wilson that Washington fans had hoped for, but in terms of running an offense, Wentz can be an upgrade on Taylor Heinicke.

Wentz now returns to the NFC East where he'll face the Eagles twice this season after a one-year sojourn from the division.

The quarterback is under contract for the next three years, but there is no guaranteed salary beyond 2022. For Washington, they can test-drive Wentz for a year. If it works out, the Commanders have a starting quarterback at a solid price. If not, they can cut bait next offseason and return to the drawing board.

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