INDIANAPOLIS – Carson Wentz sought a fresh start, and that’s precisely what he’s getting in his new NFL home.
Frank Reich, his former coordinator in Philadelphia and currently head coach with the Indianapolis Colts, categorized Wentz’s relocation as “a win-win deal.’’
The deal was a trade that became official Wednesday. The Colts acquired their starting quarterback while sending the Eagles a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-rounder.
Wentz sought a reboot to his career following an error-plagued 2020 when he suffered 15 interceptions and 50 sacks, both NFL highs. He was benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts for the final four games.
“Obviously it was a rough year there in Philly,’’ Reich said Wednesday evening during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Things happen. This league is complicated, right? It’s tough.
“It’s the NFL and sometimes things happen and it’s best to get a clean and fresh start. I’m happy we were able to come away with a win-win deal. I think a trade between us and the Eagles that in many respects was very fair and we’re excited about it.
“We’re excited about the fresh start with Carson and what he can bring to this team.’’
Wentz, he added, is “highly intelligent, is big, strong and can make all those big-time throws you need to make to be a big-time NFL quarterback.’’
Familiarity helped convince the Colts to make the move for Wentz. Reich was his offensive coordinator in 2016-17. Wentz was a frontrunner for MVP honors in ’17 – 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, a 101.9 rating, an 11-2 start by the Eagles – before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
“There’s no doubt it’ll help,’’ Reich said of his relationship with Wentz. “Had a very close relationship with Philip (Rivers) and I think that really helped . . . just a belief in the person and . . . a genuine man-to-man friendship and camaraderie and the respect of fighting to get better all the time. I think very highly of him.’’
Wentz also won’t face a steep learning curve with the Colts.
“He knows a lot of the offense,’’ Reich said. “We’ve continued to add since I was with him in ’17. I think the offense is even better than it was in ’17 when it was Doug Pederson running the ship there and I was working with Doug.
“We’ve continued to make advances in the offense that will benefit Carson and our offense and our team.’’
Jacoby Brissett, last year’s backup, signed a one-year, $7.5 million free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins. For now, Wentz’s backup is 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason.
“We’re excited about his development,’’ Reich said, adding the lack of preseason games limited Eason’s progress as a rookie. “We’ll continue to keep all those options open, everything from signing a veteran to drafting somebody.
“It’s one of those decisions that doesn’t have to be made right now, but certainly Jacob is in the mix.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.