Perhaps the Washington Commanders stumbled into gold in two other teams' trash in Carson Wentz. But one former D.C. columnist isn't buying whatever hype the team seems to be spinning out about their new starting QB.
Wentz was traded to Washington after being run out of Indianapolis and Philadelphia, and it's really that simple, says Jason Reid, a senior NFL writer at ESPN who previously covered the Washington Redskins for years as a columnist for The Washington Post.
Reid's new book, "Rise of the Black Quarterback: What It Means for America," hits shelves today. Reid was a guest of The Sports Junkies on Tuesday and was asked how he thinks Wentz will work out in Washington.
"Here's the situation," Reid began. "Anybody who's been in D.C., I mean you know, it's all about quarterback play, especially in D.C. because of how bad things have been for so long."
"Carson Wentz was shipped out by his last two teams," he said. "It would be surprising to me if he has a career renaissance in D.C. with all of the other things swirling around the team. And fellas, never believe players when they say, 'Well we don't think about that stuff.' Everything adds up. So, I would be surprised if they have a good season under Carson Wentz."
"I would be also surprised if Jack Del Rio has a Joe Gibbs-type run here," he added. "Not in terms of success, but I'm just talking in terms of the number of years. The pressure here is always palpable, because of everything surrounding the owner, because of all the missteps on the field, because of all the mistakes in player personnel. And look, I think there are good people in that organization trying to do good. I really do believe that.
"I think Jason Wright is trying to do the right thing. I think the people in player personnel are trying to do the right thing. The people in broadcasting. I think they're trying to do the right thing, but the culture starts at the top. And fellas, we really don't need to talk about what's at the top of that culture."
Asked if he'd go over or under 8.5 wins on the season for the Commanders, Reid replied, "Oh, I'm not gonna even let you get that out. I'm way under 8.5."
"Oh, are you?" Jason Bishop asked. "Way under?"
"Way under?" John Auville chimed in. "So you're like five or six wins under?"
"Listen guys, they play 17 games now," Reid said. "The quarterback was run out of his last two teams. Not just traded, but run out. They had to get him out of town. If this team wins six games, I think that would be a very, very good season."
"But they did that with Taylor Heinicke last year, is what people would argue," replied John-Paul Flaim.
"And it's a softer schedule," added Auville.
"It's a softer schedule on paper. Like we can talk about paper, but once these guys start lining up and plays are run and people are hitting each other, the schedule don't look so soft, then," Reid said.
"Look, could Carson Wentz have a career renaissance there," he continued. "Could he lead this team to the playoffs with 10 or 11 victories? Look, anything is possible and hope springs eternal. But when you're telling me that the guy under center was not just traded from his last two teams in consecutive offseasons, but run out of town, to me, that's not a good sign."