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Commanders release QB Carson Wentz after one season

Carson Wentz's tenure in Washington has come to an end after one season.

The Commanders on Monday announced the release of Wentz. The 30-year-old quarterback will now be allowed to sign with a team ahead of the new league year starting on March 15.

Washington also released slot cornerback/safety Bobby McCain in addition to Wentz on Monday.

Wentz's release isn't all that surprising considering the nature of his first season in Washington.

Acquired from the Colts ahead of the 2022 season, Wentz started the team's first six games, leading the Commanders to a 2-4 start, but a fractured finger on his throwing hand suffered during Week 6 shelved the QB for an extended period of time, giving Taylor Heinicke an opportunity to start.

Heinicke proceeded to author the Commanders' best run of the 2022 season, earning wins in five of the next six games and catapulting Washington into playoff contention amid a competitive NFC field. Heinicke unlocked Washington's talent-heavy receiving and backfield corps, and head coach Ron Rivera was confident enough to name him the starter going forward despite Wentz nearing an eventual return.

But Washington would soon hit a wall following a Week 14 bye, which was preceded by a disappointing tie in Week 13. The Heinicke-led Commanders returned with a bad home loss to the New York Giants in Week 15 and Rivera quickly pulled the plug on his QB midway through a road loss to the San Francisco 49ers, giving a healthy Wentz a chance at reclaiming the job.

Wentz was named the starter the following week against the Browns in a must-win home game that would keep Washington's playoff hopes alive. He threw a season-high three interceptions in the 24-10 defeat, and was subsequently benched once again for the season finale.

Rookie Sam Howell started that final game for the Commanders and led Washington to an exciting home win over the rival Cowboys. Rivera said after the season that Howell was likely the Commanders' top QB entering the 2023 offseason.

Therein lied Wentz's fate in Washington, and the veteran will soon find himself on his third team in as many seasons. Once an MVP-caliber QB for an Eagles team that went on to win a Super Bowl with him injured on the sidelines, the twice-traded Wentz has been a failing project in consecutive seasons.

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