Why the Commanders traded for Carson Wentz instead of Jimmy Garoppolo

And now, a tale of two teams with bizarre quarterback luck.

The Commanders traded for Carson Wentz at something of a confusing price this offseason, bringing the former Eagles quarterback back to the NFC East, as Ron Rivera tries to rekindle his career once again.

As it turns out, Wentz wasn’t Plan A for the Commanders.

According to ESPN, the Commanders were in position to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, but a balky shoulder that led to surgery took Washington out of the running for the passer’s services. When Garoppolo’s shoulder wasn’t healing as planned, and his target date of recovery set for training camp in July, Washington looked in another direction to fill in their QB spot. Enter Wentz.

MORE: NFL power rankings — Where Commanders, 49ers stand entering Week 3

Garoppolo’s market went from hefty to non-existent in the months leading up to the shoulder surgery. Reminiscent of 2021, there was a decent amount of quarterback movement this offseason: The Colts, Broncos, Seahawks, Falcons and Browns all ended up with new passers, and most were considered decent fits for Garoppolo.

Garoppolo’s contract proved to be a hinderance in trade talks, while the shoulder proved to be a true roadblock.

During Rivera’s tenure in Washington, the Commanders haven’t exactly made quarterback a top priority for the team. The team signed Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2021, who would miss the remainder of the season after injuring himself in Week 1. Taylor Heinicke would fill in.

This offseason, Washington drafted North Carolina’s Sam Howell in the fifth round, a month after they traded for Wentz from Indianapolis. 

On the other coast, things seem to have worked out, albeit slightly backwards, for the 49ers. Garoppolo would restructure his deal to keep him in the Bay Area, and he was thrust back into action in Week 2 after 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance went down with a season-ending ankle injury.

As for Washington, well, they may be wondering ‘what if’ should the Wentz experiment doesn’t work out.

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