Colts GM Ballard won't commit to Wentz for 2022
"At the time (of the trade), we felt it was the right decision," said Ballard, according to Zak Keefer of The Athletic. "I'm not going to make a comment on who is going to be here next year and who isn't. ... I thought Carson did some good things, and I thought there are some things he needs to do a lot better."
The Colts failed to seal a wild-card spot in the final two weeks of the campaign. They lost to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 17 before the Jacksonville Jaguars - who previously had two wins - convincingly beat Indianapolis in the regular-season finale.
Colts owner Jim Irsay made it clear the team will undergo significant changes Monday. However, he said the club won't part ways with Ballard or head coach Frank Reich.
Indianapolis obtained Wentz in the offseason from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick and a 2021 third-round pick. After a poor final year with the Eagles, Wentz had a solid debut campaign until the last two weeks.
He completed just 59% of his passes for 166.5 yards per game and had two touchdowns against one interception versus the Raiders and Jaguars.
"Make the layups," Ballard said he told Wentz in a meeting after the season, according to Stephen Holder of The Athletic. "The throw in Arizona was incredible. Maybe only two or three other QBs can make it. But make the layups."
The quarterback carries a $15-million dead-money hit in 2022, and Indy's lack of draft capital will likely limit its ability to find a replacement. Still, Ballard won't shy away from exploring all options.
"I think we'll look at everything," he said, per Holder. "There are solutions. Sometimes they're ideal, sometimes they're not. But we'll look at everything."
The GM didn't hold back when asked about the Colts' inability to make the postseason.
"We embarrassed ourselves," said Ballard, according to Keefer. "Embarrassed our owner. Embarrassed our city."