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Colts Owner Jim Irsay Calls Carson Wentz Era ‘A Mistake,’ ‘Very Obvious’ For Indy to Move On

The Carson Wentz era in Indianapolis flamed out rather abruptly and based on recent comments made by Colts owner Jim Irsay, frustrations still linger about the end of the team’s 2021 season. 

Speaking from the NFL’s annual league meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., Irsay spoke at length about the reasons for trading Wentz after the quarterback spent just one year with the team.

“I think the worst thing you can do is have a mistake and try to keep living with it going forward,” Irsay said, via Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star. “For us, it was something we had to move away from as a franchise. It was very obvious.”

Irsay pointed specifically to the Colts’ loss to the league-worst Jaguars in the final game of the regular season as a reason for moving on from Wentz. After the 26–11 defeat shut Indianapolis out of the postseason, the team’s owner immediately recognized the need for a change.

“No disrespect to Jacksonville, but I mean, they’re the worst team in the league. You play well and hard for the first quarter or so, and they’re looking to go to their locker room and clean it out. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Irsay said. “You say, ‘My God, there’s something wrong here.’ It needs to be corrected. I think that we feel like we did.”

Irsay directed a hefty portion of the blame at Wentz for his dismal performance in the Colts’ regular-season finale.

“Your guy’s gotta pick you up and carry you through Jacksonville,” Irsay said. “He has to do it. Not an option. Has to. No excuses, no explanations.”

Indianapolis managed to move on from Wentz earlier this offseason, trading him to Washington in exchange for two third-round picks (one of which is a conditional second-rounder) and a 2022 second-round pick-swap. The Colts followed that deal up by acquiring Matt Ryan from the Falcons.

Wentz, who began his career with the Eagles as the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft, had a strong statistical season in ’21. He threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and only seven interceptions while completing 62.4% of his passes. 

However, Irsay felt like the team’s chemistry was off with Wentz under center, signaling that it was time to make a change.

“For us, the fit just wasn’t right. I don’t know why,” Irsay explained. “A lot of times you don’t know why, but you know it isn’t, and it was important for us to move in a different direction.”

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