Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard says a playoff appearance would not have guaranteed Carson Wentz another opportunity in 2022. Last offseason, the Colts traded for former second overall pick Wentz. The Colts were in a great position to earn a playoff spot but they failed to do so after picking up two stunning losses in Weeks 17 and 18.
In Week 17, the Colts suffered a 23-20 home defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders. In their regular season finale, the Colts were beaten by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were one of the worst teams in the NFL last year. Wentz didn't perform well in the key game versus the Jaguars and the Colts traded him to the Washington Commanders this offseason.
“I think we still would’ve had some hard discussions,” Ballard said, as quoted on Pro Football Talk. “Just the way we played down the stretch, and we knew we needed to make some improvements in that area.
The one thing I think [owner] Jim [Irsay] and I and [coach] Frank [Reich] are when we know something’s not a good fit, don’t just try to justify it. Let’s move forward. We all knew we were going to get egg on our face.
That is what it is, but at the end of the day it’s about doing the right thing for the organization. I think even if we would’ve ended up in the playoffs, we would’ve had some hard discussions going forward”.
The Colts replaced Wentz with Matt Ryan
The Colts were the absolute favorite to beat the Jaguars and reach the playoffs. The Jaguars had nothing to play for and losing to the Colts would have only improved their draft position.
Somehow, the Jaguars managed to lose that game. Many labeled the Colts' loss as "embarassing." "I mean it stung, I’m not going to lie to you,” Ballard said. “I went into a dark place, too.
I’ll tell you what losing does, and especially the way it happened. It really makes you take a hard look at everything you’re doing and probably makes some harder decisions that you might not have made. So really evaluating everything we’re doing from top to bottom.
It’s a prideful group. It’s a prideful organization. An owner that really wants to win. An organization that wants to win. We think we have a good football team and needed some change and needed some tweaks. We think we were able to do good work this offseason to get us moving back in the right direction”. This offseason, the Colts traded for veteran quarterback Ryan.