Recapping Combine comments about Wentz, Watson and other QBs


The NFL Combine is where college prospects work out their bodies and every pro head coach and general manager work out their vocal cords by talking about their respective franchises.

And — insert the most resounding "duh" ever here — plenty of those coaches and GMs have spent the week in Indianapolis discussing their quarterbacks.

So, because the Commanders are clearly feeling inspired by the thought of potentially acquiring someone else's QB, here's a roundup of what was said about a plethora of passers that Washington is likely keeping tabs on.

Russell Wilson

A day after Wilson himself went on The TODAY Show and declared that, "Seattle's the place I'm at right now and I love it," Pete Carroll told reporters at the Combine that, while there has been chatter with other clubs featuring Wilson's name, he doesn't see a Wilson trade unfolding this offseason.

"That's commonplace for us to have conversations with teams about all of the players, particularly marquee players, and that's not changed," Carroll said. "We have no intention of making any move there, but the conversations, [GM] John [Schneider] has to field those, he always has."

Wilson might be the most sought-after quarterback among Commanders fans, but all of that craving for Wilson doesn't mean a thing until Seattle decides to legitimately make their elite, Super Bowl-winning leader available. Judging by Carroll's podium session, that hasn't happened yet.

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers isn't coming to Washington, which is why he gets second billing to Wilson in this particular story. However, the defending NFL MVP is probably the one with the keys to the quarterback carousel — do carousels use keys? — and until he settles on his future, everyone else is simply waiting around.

"There's no new updates," Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said in his Indy presser. "Obviously we’re planning for a lot of different scenarios."

Rodgers could retire, elect to remain with Green Bay or choose to demand a trade, which are the "scenarios" that Gutekunst mentioned. 

"Once we kind of get the situation with Aaron figured out, then everything can kind of follow," he said.

With that quote, Gutekunst was referring to the Packers specifically. He might as well have been speaking for the NFL as a whole.

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Deshaun Watson

Much like Rodgers' case, words were spilled about Watson. Were they meaningful words? Eh, not really.

"Once the information becomes more relevant or prevalent, we’ll handle it accordingly," GM Nick Caserio said. "My philosophy from the beginning has always been to do the right thing by the Houston Texans organization."

So, Watson's standing with the league and his current employer over his sexual misconduct allegations remains as murky as ever. Should that matter be cleared up, then he'll instantly become a target for all QB-needy squads, including Washington.

The matter must be cleared up, though.

Jimmy Garoppolo 

Garoppolo is set to undergo shoulder surgery that'll prevent him from throwing until July, which is far from ideal — got another resounding "duh" at your disposal? — but also shouldn't impact his trade appeal too, too much.

GM John Lynch acknowledged that Garoppolo is drawing serious interest from "a lot of teams" and that the negotiations are "active and fluid." It of course behooves Lynch to say that in order to make Jimmy G seem like a hot commodity, but it is notable that Lynch then went on to broadcast his investment in the guy currently behind Garoppolo.

"It's pretty obvious that we put a lot into Trey Lance," Lynch said. "And [we're] loving the development of Trey."

There's a widespread belief that Garoppolo's days with San Francisco are dwindling, and Lynch did nothing in Indianapolis to dispel that belief.

Carson Wentz

Speaking of belief, the Colts didn't show much when it comes to Wentz.

"We’re not there yet," Chris Ballard said in regards to whether he thinks Wentz is the team's long-term quarterback. "I’m not there yet. And that’s something that we’ll talk about as a group and move forward. And whatever decision we make will be the best one for us."

Head coach Frank Reich then came in with the other half of the doubt sandwich that Ballard started assembling. At first, Reich's assessment sounds like a positive one, before he adds an important qualifier.

"I stuck my neck out for him," Reich said about Wentz. "I believe he’s going to continue to have a lot of success at quarterback. That might be here, that might not be here."

If the Commanders want Wentz, it sure seems like they'll have their shot to get him soon.

Kyler Murray

While Indy was busy loving Wentz as much as a golfer loves giant bodies of water between them and the hole, the Cardinals did what they could to demonstrate their appreciation for Murray, who recently demanded a contract extension through his agent.

"Our long-term goal here is to have Kyler be our quarterback," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He understands that. He understands my view of him and how I feel about him."

Arizona just re-upped Kingsbury as well as GM Steve Keim. Even if it takes a couple of months, Murray has to be next, right?

Jalen Hurts

Hurts isn't exactly on Washington's radar, but the Eagles as a whole should be because they could compile a major trade package for a quarterback if they so choose. Having said that, Philly has backed Hurts up to this point, an approach they stuck with at the Combine.

"Nothing has changed," GM Howie Roseman told reporters about Hurts' status as the Eagles' No. 1 option. "No doubt about it."

That's cool with the Commanders, since that'd eliminate one competitor from the market. Also, people in the NFL never lie, so you can basically prepare yourself, with no hesitation, to see Hurts under center in Week 1.

Daniel Jones

The Giants are the third NFC East operation who could conceivably seek an upgrade at signal-caller, yet like the Eagles, they're publicly acting like they don't care for one.

"We're going to bring in competition everywhere, but Daniel Jones is our starting quarterback right now," GM Joe Schoen said.

Just don't ignore the "right now" part of the line, and also don't ignore New York's delay on exercising the fifth year on Jones' contract.

"We’re going to take our time with the process," Schoen said. "We’re going to be around Daniel. We’re going to get the chance to see him throw and work with the guys that we have. We don’t have to have a decision until May 2nd. We’re going to be patient with that decision."

That is the Giants' right and, honestly, the most intelligent way to proceed with Jones. At the same time, it allows Jones' detractors to resume their speculation about his future.

Matt Ryan

Ryan is a bit of a hipster choice among Washington supporters, a veteran who isn't as respected as the likes of Wilson and doesn't generate a reaction as visceral as Garoppolo or Wentz.

The Falcons weren't shy about their admiration for Ryan at the Combine, but coach Arthur Smith didn't proclaim him off-limits, either.

"We anticipate Matt being part of the team, but you don't ever back yourself into a corner," Smith said. "If someone gives you an offer you can't refuse – Matt knows how we feel about him. Matt has a lot of good football left in him."

Ryan's 36 years old, scheduled to log the largest cap hit ever and pretty much immobile, so an offer the Falcons can't refuse shouldn't be that hefty in reality. Maybe Ron Rivera will be the one to create it.

Derek Carr

The Carr-to-Commanders idea once had momentum, but it's a movement that feels like it commenced all the way back in the '90s. This week, new boss Josh McDaniels confirmed that Carr will be the Raiders' centerpiece in 2022.

"Absolutely," McDaniels said. "There's no doubt about it. I really am excited about this opportunity to work together. I know what he's done and I know what we might be able to do going forward together." 

The sound you hear is Rivera scratching out Carr's name on his quarterback shopping list.

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