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Saving Washington’s 2023 second-round pick

Washington Commanders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

At this point, it feels a bit like piling on, but so be it. I have nothing personal against Carson Wentz, but I don’t want to see him take another snap in the Burgundy and Gold. The primary reason for that is that I want Washington to keep winning, and it’s pretty clear that Taylor Heinicke gives the team the best chance to keep doing so.

Even if Ron Rivera lacks the fortitude to pull the trigger on that decision once and for all:

But a secondary consideration is the clause within Wentz’s trade agreement that converts the 2023 third round pick that Washington sent to Indianapolis into a second round pick if Carson takes 70% of the snaps this season.

In his 6 starts so far this season (2-4), Carson posted the following snap counts:

Week 1 - 77

Week 2 - 74

Week 3 - 77

Week 4 - 74

Week 5 - 63

Week 6 - 57

So, in those 6 games, he took 422 snaps, or about 70 snaps per game. But let’s look at Taylor’s snaps over the last 4 games for comparison:

Week 7 - 74

Week 8 - 61

Week 9 - 64

Week 10 - 83

That’s a total of 282 snaps over 4 games for an average of just about 71 snaps per game, remarkably consistent between the two different quarterbacks.

I’ll err of the side of being a bit conservative, using the 71 snaps per game estimate, in order to extrapolate the total number of snaps over the course of the entire season. With that assumption, there will be around 1,201 total snaps this year. Carson has already taken 35% of those snaps, in six games. There are seven games left in the season, and Taylor has already been announced as the starter in Week 11.

Washington Commanders v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After Houston, that leaves six more games in the season. If Carson starts all six of those games, he very likely hits the 70% threshold, and Washington loses its 2023 second round pick to the Colts.

But let’s say Carson sits against the Falcons as well. Is it possible he could hit the 70% mark then? For this purpose, let’s assume a worse case scenario:

Weeks 1 - 10 - 704 snaps (already set in stone)

Week 11 - 61 snaps (Taylor against the Texans)

Week 12 - 61 snaps (Taylor against the Falcons)

Weeks 13-17 - 415 snaps (Wentz takes an incredible 83 snaps per game through the end of the season)

Under those assumptions, the total snap count boosts to 1,241, with Carson taking 837 of those snaps. That would get him to slightly above 67% of the snaps for the season overall, just shy of the mark necessary to convert the draft pick.

Conclusion

Many have wondered aloud what it might take, in terms of Carson starting games throughout the rest of the season, to potentially hit that 70% snap count threshold. This exercise pretty clearly lays those conditions out. They are as follows:

  1. With the Texans game off the table, Wentz has the possibility of starting up to 6 more games this season.
  2. If he does start all six of those games, beginning the with Falcons’ game, he very likely hits the 70% threshold based on the average snap counts per game this season.
  3. If he starts five or fewer games this season, it’s highly unlikely he’ll pass the 70% threshold, even if he happens to hit exorbitantly high snap counts in all those games.

In short, If Washington wants to preserve its 2023 second round pick, Carson Wentz should not be allowed to start more than five more games this season. If it wants to remain in the Wild Card hunt, it shouldn’t start him in any more games this season.

Poll

How many more games do you want to see Carson Wentz start this season?

  • 2%
    6
    (51 votes)
  • 3%
    5
    (85 votes)
  • 16%
    Between 1 and 4
    (424 votes)
  • 77%
    0
    (1938 votes)
2498 votes total Vote Now