Carson Wentz

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Offense

After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second reduction in NFL salary cap history last year, the 2022 cap made a record jump. This year’s salary ceiling ($208.2MM) checks in $25.7MM north of the 2021 figure.

While quarterbacks’ salaries will continue to lead the way, a handful of blockers and skill-position players carry sizable cap numbers for 2022. A few of the quarterbacks that lead the way this year may not be tied to those numbers once the regular season begins. The 49ers, Browns and Ravens have made efforts to alter these figures via trades or extensions.

Here are the top 2022 salary cap hits on the offensive side of the ball:

  1. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $38.6MM
  2. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $35.79MM
  3. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $31.42MM
  4. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $31.15MM
  5. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Packers): $28.53MM
  6. Carson Wentz, QB (Commanders): $28.29MM
  7. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $26.95MM
  8. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $24MM
  9. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $23.02MM
  10. Kenny Golladay, WR (Giants): $21.2MM
  11. Garett Bolles, T (Broncos): $21MM
  12. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $19.73MM
  13. Derek Carr, QB (Raiders): $19.38MM
  14. D.J. Humphries, T (Cardinals): $19.33MM
  15. Keenan Allen, WR (Chargers): $19.2MM
  16. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $18.9MM
  17. Sam Darnold, QB (Panthers): 18.89MM
  18. Baker Mayfield, QB (Browns): $18.89MM
  19. Matt Ryan, QB (Colts): $18.7MM
  20. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $18.55MM
  21. Donovan Smith, T (Buccaneers): $18.4MM
  22. Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Cowboys): $18.22MM
  23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals): $17.95MM
  24. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $17.8MM
  25. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $17.71MM
  • The Chiefs’ cap sheet looks a bit different this year, with Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu off the roster. But Mahomes’ cap number rockets from $7.4MM in 2021 to the league’s second-largest figure in 2022. This marks the first time Mahomes’ 10-year contract is set to count more than $10MM toward Kansas City’s cap, with the AFC West champs not yet restructuring the deal this year.
  • Tied to a few lucrative extensions since relocating to Minnesota, Cousins’ third Vikings deal dropped his cap number from $45MM. The fifth-year Vikings QB’s cap number is set to climb past $36MM in 2023.
  • Prior to negotiating his landmark extension in March, Rodgers was set to count more than $46MM on the Packers’ payroll.
  • The 49ers are aiming to move Garoppolo’s nonguaranteed money off their payroll. That figure becomes guaranteed in Week 1, providing a key date for the franchise. San Francisco is prepared to let Garoppolo negotiate contract adjustments with other teams to facilitate a trade.
  • Wilson counts $26MM on the Seahawks’ 2022 payroll, due to the dead money the NFC West franchise incurred by trading its 10-year starter in March.
  • Jackson, Darnold and Mayfield are attached to fifth-year option salaries. Jackson’s is higher due to the former MVP having made two Pro Bowls compared to his 2018 first-round peers’ zero. The 2020 CBA separated fifth-year option values by playing time and accomplishments. The Browns and Panthers have engaged in off-and-on negotiations on divvying up Mayfield’s salary for months, while a Jackson extension remains on the radar.
  • Golladay’s cap number jumped from $4.47MM last year to the highest non-quarterback figure among offensive players. The Giants wideout’s four-year deal calls for $21MM-plus cap hits from 2023-24.
  • Prior to being traded to the Colts, who adjusted their new starter’s contract, Ryan was set to carry an NFL-record $48MM cap hit this year. The Falcons are carrying a league-record $40.5MM dead-money charge after dealing their 14-year starter.
  • The Texans restructured Tunsil’s deal in March, dropping his 2022 cap hit from $26.6MM to its present figure. Because of the adjustment, Tunsil’s 2023 cap number resides at $35.2MM

Contract information courtesy of Over The Cap 

Commanders Notes: Wentz, Samuel, Ownership

It’s been a strange journey for Carson Wentz. Even though the quarterback is now with his third pro team, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera is confident that this time will be the charm.

All those guys come out and say, man, this guy was a good teammate, this was a guy that pulled us tighter, this was a guy that helped us get where we are or headed toward — you feel positive about that, you really do,” Rivera told Rich Eisen (audio link via “And it’s an exciting thing to hear that, that his teammates spoke of him in that fashion.”

Wentz was widely panned for his Week 18 showing against the Jaguars, the loss that cost the Colts a playoff spot. He also clashed with team brass throughout the year, leading some to question Wentz’s character. Still, Rivera & Co. see real potential in the former No. 2 overall pick, especially after he posted a solid 27-7 TD-INT ratio.

The one thing I do look at is the fact that at one point he was 11-2 [in 2017],” said Rivera. “And, of course, he hurt his knee in a year he was talked about in the MVP conversation. So, there’s a lot of things that go into play, a lot of things happen. But, to us, this was a positive. We were looking for a guy of his stature, with his kind of ability. So to be able to pick him up and make the deal for him, we feel very positive about that.”

Here’s more from D.C.:

  • Curtis Samuel hardly played for his new squad last year, but the wide receiver says he’s ready to go full speed (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post). “I’ve been training and working out, and I haven’t been limited to anything,” he said. “I’ve been doing pretty much everything that I used to be able to do — running fast, cutting fast. I’m just feeling good overall, and I’m excited about it. This upcoming season, I got a lot of goals.” In the 2021 offseason, Samuel inked a three-year deal worth up to $35.25MM with $24.5MM guaranteed. Unfortunately, his groin injury limited him to just five games last year.
  • A former Commanders exec submitted a 22-page letter to the Federal Trade Commission, detailing years of alleged financial impropriety. The Commanders have responded, calling the allegations “baseless,” “false and reckless,” and based on “pure speculation,” (via’s John Keim).

Jim Irsay, Chris Ballard Address Colts’ Latest QB Change

While it was not difficult to see Jim Irsay as the driving force behind the Colts’ decision to abandon their Carson Wentz effort after one season, the owner effectively confirmed this Tuesday.

GM Chris Ballard called the Irsay-initiated meeting after the Colts’ Week 18 loss “an ass-chewing,” and the longtime owner certainly appears to have identified Wentz as the main problem. Irsay’s refusal to meet with Wentz, following reports the Colts were done with him, preceded the team trading the former No. 2 overall pick to Washington earlier this month.

No disrespect to Jacksonville, but I mean, they’re the worst team in the league. You play well and hard for the first quarter or so, and they’re looking to go to their locker room and clean it out. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Irsay said, via the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson. “You say, ‘My God, there’s something wrong here.’ It needs to be corrected. I think that we feel like we did.”

Moving away from Wentz became the “obvious” decision, per Irsay, who was grateful the Deshaun Watson saga led to Matt Ryan becoming available (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Zak Keefer). Wentz finished with a career-low 4.3 QBR against the Jaguars, who were two-touchdown underdogs, and Irsay criticized the since-traded passer for his failure to lift the team as its season-defining upset took shape. Irsay met with Colts leaders and determined a Wentz-related disconnect existed, per Erickson.

It is safe to say Wentz will have sufficient motivation going into the 2022 season, considering persistent criticism aimed his way over the past several weeks. Frank Reich said this week he believes Wentz can still be a top-10 quarterback, adding “You guys know how I feel about him,” but “you have to make the move that you think is right,” via The Athletic’s Stephen Holder (subscription required). Reich was the last of the Colts’ power trio to reach the conclusion the team needed to trade Wentz, Holder adds. Given Reich’s pre-Indianapolis connection to the QB, this hesitancy makes sense.

That was a good debate. That went back and forth,” Ballard said, via Holder, of talks between he, Reich and Irsay on Wentz’s future. “Look, I mean, Carson was productive for us. Let’s be real here. [He threw] 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. My job is to look not only at the short term but also the long-term implications. And I think sometimes you hang on just because you made a move and you don’t want the world to see you in a negative viewpoint. We gotta always do the right thing no matter how it might make me look. I just thought it was the right move for us short- and long-term.”

NFC East Notes: Wentz, Luck, Gallup, Giants

Before acquiring Carson Wentz, the Commanders scoured the league for their next passer. They made a three-first-rounder offer for Russell Wilson and pursued Aaron Rodgers. Those avenues closed quickly, leading Washington to Wentz. The team made a list of eight QBs it viewed as a satisfactory upgrade, with John Keim of noting this included Deshaun Watson. It is unclear if the team pursued Watson, but Texans GM Nick Caserio pointed out there were more interested teams than the four finalists. The Commanders’ search, which involved Ron Rivera participating in an lengthy QB-centered discussion with three-time Super Bowl champion HC Joe Gibbs, also included a consideration of Andrew Luck. That did not get off the ground, per Keim. Luck has been retired for three seasons now and has dropped some weight from his playing days. Wentz resided somewhere on the Commanders’ eight-man list, with his 6-foot-5 frame appealing to his new team. The Colts initially told the NFC East team he was not available, but that changed at the Combine and led to a deal.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Given a five-year, $57.5MM Cowboys contract, Michael Gallup is coming off an ACL tear sustained in Week 17. The fifth-year receiver is unlikely to be ready by Week 1, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Dallas is obviously looking at Gallup’s long-term trajectory, having jettisoned Amari Cooper to keep his former sidekick at a lower rate. But the team may need to stash Gallup on the PUP list or make him an active-roster non-participant to start the season, depending on his timetable.
  • The Giants added multiple interior offensive linemen — Mark Glowinski and Jon Feliciano — last week but are still in need at right tackle. They sent key personnel to Mississippi State prospect Charles Cross‘ pro day Tuesday. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and assistant O-line coach Tony Sparano Jr. were on-hand in Starkville, Miss., per’s Zack Rosenblatt. Cross said the Giants and Jets have been the teams most interested thus far. Cross is viewed as this draft’s third-best tackle prospect, behind Alabama’s Evan Neal and North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu. The Giants hold two top-10 picks — Nos. 5 and 7 — and will not surprise anyone if they use one of them on an O-lineman.
  • James Bradberry and Saquon Barkley remain Giants, but Bradberry’s $21.9MM cap number jumps out on the team’s payroll. The Giants will probably have to jettison Bradberry, even if they would prefer to keep him, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano writes, due to their cap situation. Big Blue has discussed Barkley and Bradberry in trades, and while they may hang onto the latter until draft weekend, dumping the talented cornerback later in the offseason remains in play. Bradberry’s through-2022 deal already contains a void year, but the Giants would save $11.5MM by designating him as a post-June 1 cut. A trade before or after June 1 would free up more than $12MM in funds, though it remains to be seen how late of a draft pick the Giants would accept for their No. 1 corner.

Latest On Colts, Commanders’ Carson Wentz Trade

To say the Colts soured on Carson Wentz probably undersells this situation. While Indianapolis landed a reasonable return for its latest one-and-done starter, the team did not play this process coyly.

The Colts’ decision-makers publicly did not commit to Wentz, after Jim Irsay called a meeting in the wake of the team’s end-of-season collapse. The Colts were drifting away from Wentz before those two losses, per The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, who adds in an expansive piece the former No. 2 overall pick’s leadership qualities — or lack thereof — bothered the team to the point it could not count on its recent hired gun.

Well aware of the Colts’ course change, Wentz attempted to meet with Irsay in the past month. Irsay declined that meeting, Keefer reports, effectively ending the Wentz era before the team’s Wednesday trade with Washington. The Wentz deal leaves the Colts as a clear have-not at quarterback, but the team steadfastly abandoned ship after one season. Whomever Indianapolis starts in Week 1 of next season will be the sixth different passer to open a Colts season in the past six years.

The Colts did get the Commanders to pay up, relatively speaking. Washington initially offered fourth- and sixth-round picks for Wentz, Keefer notes. Indianapolis moved the terms to two thirds — the 2023 third can move to a second based on playing time, similar to the first-rounder exchanged in 2021’s Colts-Eagles swap — and a swap of second-round picks. The Colts now hold the No. 42 pick in the 2022 draft, climbing up five spots. Indy does not have a first-rounder in this draft, having traded it to Philly for Wentz.

Washington had offered three first-round picks for Russell Wilson, per Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan (on Twitter). The Commanders offered at least that, per the Washington Post’s Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala, but the Seahawks traded Wilson to the Broncos. Washington let it be known it was seeking a veteran quarterback, and while Deshaun Watson was also on the team’s radar, it pulled the trigger on the Wentz trade. Indeed, Wilson refused to waive his no-trade clause for the Commanders, Charles Robinson of tweets. By all accounts, Wilson had zeroed in on Denver this offseason.

As for Wentz’s Colts fit, Keefer adds the franchise’s issues with the sixth-year veteran began before Week 1 of last year. A lack of leadership and a resistance to hard coaching — a complaint mentioned in the fallout from Wentz’s Eagles run — invited early Colts doubt about Wentz. Irsay had also expressed frustration about Wentz’s refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Wentz landed on the reserve/COVID list before the season and ahead of Week 17. Although Wentz finished the season with a 27-7 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio, he topped 200 passing yards just twice in his final eight games and ended the season with a career-low 4.3 QBR against the Jaguars.

Colts To Trade Carson Wentz To Commanders

The Colts have agreed to trade Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of In exchange, the Commanders will send their 2022 third-round pick and their 2023 third-round pick to the Colts. The ’23 third-rounder can also convert to a second-round choice if Wentz plays on 70% of Washington’s snaps in 2022. The deal will also see a swap of second-round picks with the Colts moving from No. 47 to No. 42. Schefter adds that the Commanders are also receiving the Colts’ 2022 seventh-round pick (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Details On Commanders’ Offer For Russell Wilson]

Colts GM Chris Ballard recently indicated that he was “still working through” the Wentz situation with head coach Frank Reich and owner Jim Irsay. Ultimately, following Tuesday’s Russell Wilson blockbuster, they’ve chosen to move their own starter and reshape the quarterback position. The Colts — who already had about $37MM in available cap room — have carved out even more space by trading Wentz.

When we made the decision, after Philip [Rivers] retired and we made the decision to make a move on Carson, at the time of the decision we felt good about it and I still don’t regret the decision at the time,” Ballard said in January. “Sitting here today, just so y’all know, I won’t make a comment on who is going to be here next year and who is not going to be here next year. That’s not fair to any player.”

The QB was widely panned for his Week 18 performance against the Jaguars, the loss that cost the Colts a playoff berth. He also clashed with team brass throughout the year and even rankled Irsay. Still, despite all the issues, Wentz managed to finish the year with a 27-7 TD-INT ratio while placing ninth in league-wide QBR.

The Commanders were previously linked to Wilson and said to have interest in 49ers signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo. Ultimately, they didn’t want to wait on the Niners, choosing instead to pivot to Wentz. (The Colts, meanwhile, could consider Jimmy G as their next QB, as Ian Rapoport of tweets.)

Wentz, 30 in December, may be a consolation prize, but he’s still a strong pickup Ron Rivera & Co. They’ll have Wentz under contract at a $22MM salary this year with a $6.294MM roster bonus. After that, they’ve got him for two more seasons. In 2023, he’s due $20MM in salary with a $6.176MM roster bonus. In 2024, that salary increases to $21MM with a $6.235MM bonus payout.

The Colts will now move on to their fifth starting quarterback in Ballard’s sixth year at the helm. So far, they’ve gone through Jacoby Brissett, Andrew Luck, Rivers, and Wentz — none of those players served as the primary starter in back-to-back seasons. Now, Wentz is out less than one year after his arrival in Indianapolis.

As noted by’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the Colts sent a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 first-round choice to the Eagles for Wentz. The Colts now have one rocky year and significantly less draft capital to show for it. The Eagles, meanwhile, went on to parlay the third-rounder into a trade up for DeVonta Smith, and they’re still set to pick at No. 16 overall in April.

Colts GM Chris Ballard On Carson Wentz

The Colts are “still working through” their quarterback situation, GM Chris Ballard says (Twitter link via Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star).
With that in mind, Ballard says that he’ll make a decision on “what’s best for the team” in the next ten days along with head coach Frank Reich and owner Jim Irsay

Wentz was widely panned for his Week 18 performance against the Jaguars, the loss that cost the Colts a playoff berth. He also clashed with team brass throughout the year and even rankled Irsay. Ballard has yet to give Wentz a vote of confidence, a sign that they could be ready to move on.

When we made the decision, after Philip [Rivers] retired and we made the decision to make a move on Carson, at the time of the decision we felt good about it and I still don’t regret the decision at the time,” Ballard said in January. “Sitting here today, just so y’all know, I won’t make a comment on who is going to be here next year and who is not going to be here next year. That’s not fair to any player.”

Still, the Colts are projected to have upwards of $37MM in cap room this year — good for seventh in the league — and that’s with Wentz on the books. It’s also worth noting that he managed to finish ninth in QBR, despite so-so production from his wide receivers. Given Wentz’s solid 27-7 TD-INT ratio in 2021, the Colts still have reason to keep him. But, if they don’t, Wentz could fetch at least some draft capital in a trade.

Releasing Wentz would save the Colts another $13MM, if they do so by March 19. If he stays, he’ll be under contract with a $28MM cap number for the coming year.

Latest On Trade Market For Carson Wentz, Jimmy Garoppolo

Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo will be popular names on this website throughout the offseason, but their respective teams may have difficulties finding trade partners suitors. According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, interest in Wentz and Garoppolo has been “lukewarm as best.”

Wentz got the majority of the blame for the Colts ugly Week 18 loss to the Jaguars, and the quarterback’s decision to go through the season unvaccinated (which caused him to miss a week of practice leading up to the Colts’ Week 17 loss to the Raiders) drew the ire of some Colts decision makers, including owner Jim Irsay. Chris Ballard‘s noncommitment to Wentz exiting the season provided a fairly clear indication the team is not sold on its starter.

So, despite giving up a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 first to acquire the former Eagles QB, the Colts now have Wentz on the block. The Colts could save $13MM by cutting Wentz before March 19. Should Wentz stay a Colt, he will be attached to a $28MM cap number.

The writing was on the wall for Garoppolo in San Francisco when the organization gave up a haul to draft Trey Lance with the third-overall pick. Despite an uncertain future, the veteran still went 9-6 in his 15 starts this past season (plus a pair of postseason victories). We heard recently that the 49ers were seeking a Day 2 choice for the 30-year-old. Garoppolo’s contract includes a $24.2MM salary in 2022.

Latest On Colts, Carson Wentz

The Colts’ January collapse has put Carson Wentz‘s tenure with the franchise in jeopardy. Despite the team giving up a hefty trade haul for the former Eagles starter — a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 first — a weekend report indicated Wentz may well be a one-and-done in Indianapolis.

Wentz’s role in the Colts’ final two losses has moved the team to consider outside options, according to Dan Graziano of Chris Ballard‘s noncommitment to Wentz exiting the season provided a fairly clear indication the team is not sold on its starter, despite decent numbers in his first season back with Frank Reich.

After the unvaccinated quarterback struggled upon return from his COVID-19 contraction, which caused him to miss a week of practice leading up to the Colts’ Week 17 loss to the Raiders, he failed to come through again in Jacksonville in one of the uglier regular-season losses in recent NFL history. Wentz’s decision to go through the season unvaccinated did not sit well with Jim Irsay, Zak Keefer of The Athletic notes (subscription required), and the Week 18 loss to the Jaguars prompted a meeting during which the owner, Ballard and Reich discussed Wentz at length.

The Colts have not made a decision on Wentz,’s Mike Wells notes, but it is not difficult to see which way they are leaning. The six-year vet’s chances of being given a second shot probably hinge on Indianapolis’ search for a replacement. The Colts would save $13MM by cutting Wentz before March 19. Should Wentz stay a Colt, he will be attached to a $28MM cap number.

Finding an upgrade is not automatic here. Aaron Rodgers has been connected to the Broncos most frequently as an outside destination, but signs are starting to point to the four-time MVP staying with the Packers. No strong indicator has yet emerged to point Russell Wilson out of Seattle, and the Vikings are preparing to keep Kirk Cousins. Derek Carr is going into the final year of his contract, and the Raiders have changed regimes. But Josh McDaniels is believed to hold Carr in high regard. None of this is set just yet, but unless the Colts view Jimmy Garoppolo as an upgrade, the team would fight an uphill battle thanks to having given up its 2022 first-rounder for Wentz. The Colts’ lack of a first-rounder also removes them from the mix to add one of this year’s top prospects.

Availability aside, this would be an intriguing destination for one of the potentially available QBs. The Colts rostered three defensive Pro Bowlers and have one of the NFL’s top offensive lines. They intend to extend Quenton Nelson this year, locking down their All-Pro left guard after reaching long-term agreements with center Ryan Kelly and right tackle Braden Smith. The team does need help at wide receiver, which makes Wentz’s 27-7 TD-INT ratio and ninth-place QBR finish last season look fairly impressive. But Indy’s roster is in good shape otherwise. Even with Wentz’s contract on the books, the Colts are projected to hold more than $37MM in cap space — seventh-most in the league.

QB Wentz’s Future With Colts In Question

Reports have been circulating concerning the future of quarterback Carson Wentz in Indianapolis. It started earlier today when ESPN’s Chris Mortensen went on “NFL Countdown” and stated that, “By March 18, (Wentz) will probably be traded or released.” 

The Colts traded for Wentz last offseason. Wentz played well for most of the year, throwing for 3,563 yards while tossing 27 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions. However, Wentz’s struggles down the stretch cost the Colts a playoff spot as they lost their final two games.

$15MM of Wentz’s salary for 2022 was guaranteed last March and the remaining $7MM of his 2022 salary will be guaranteed on March 18. March 18 is also the date that triggers a fully guaranteed roster bonus of $6.3MM for Wentz. So if the team were to cut Wentz before then, they would only be on the hook for the $15MM guaranteed last year and would save the $13.3MM due to him next month.

Joel Corry, who writes for CBS Sports on NFL contracts and salary caps, tweeted out some skepticism about releasing Wentz. He points out that the price the Colts paid to obtain Wentz last year (a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick) doesn’t point to a one-year rental.

The best case scenario is likely finding a trade candidate willing to take on Wentz’s full contract. They wouldn’t have much leverage in the negotiations, though, considering they’d be asking a team to take on a contract they don’t want to take on themselves. A more likely scenario would see the Colts include Wentz in conversations with a trade candidate wherein they can agree to a re-worked contract that works for both Wentz and the new team. That way, they can attempt to redeem some of the value they gave up to get Wentz last year while allowing them to move on from the sixth-year quarterback.

Whatever route they plan on taking, the Colts have a little over a month to navigate it. There are certainly some quarterback needy teams that would consider Wentz an upgrade and may have the cap space to take on a contract that would keep Wentz happy.