Combine Notebook: Carson Wentz's Final Crisis

Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard
Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard
Photo: Matt Noskow

NFL Draft - INDIANAPOLIS

The Carson Wentz questions began, and Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard sounded like a man about to come clean to his wife about a string of much-regretted affairs.

"I know I'm gonna get a lot of questions about Carson, and I don't have a direct answer for you," Ballard said at the NFL scouting combine on Tuesday.

"We're working through it. Mister Irsay, Frank [Reich], and I will sit down over the next 10 days and figure out where it's going. Ultimately, we'll do what's best for the Colts, in the short term and the long term."

Most coaches and general managers use combine press conferences to stifle all potential controversies, or at least swaddle them within a gauze of cliches and platitudes. But the truth kept tumbling out of Ballard like a kitten escaping a paper bag.

"Ultimately, you have to have a guy that you believe in and you can win with," Ballard said in response to an innocuous question about what he is looking for from his quarterback.

But, pointed out another reporter, if Ballard believed in Carson, he wouldn't be saying things like that.

"Fair enough," Ballard replied, sounding like William H. Macy's character from Fargo, or G.O.B. Bluth hoping to dose himself with a Forget-Me-Now pill. "Yeah. Fair enough. That's fair enough."

"I'm not saying we don't [believe in Wentz]," he continued after collecting himself. "But in the long-term best interests for us, as we sit down and work through whether Carson's the long-term best answer or not … we're not there yet. I'm not there yet."

Is the Colts' heavy investment in Wentz, in draft picks and dollars, a factor in Ballard's decision? "I don't ever worry about what we gave up. We make the best decision going forward. And whatever the repercussions of that decision are, they are. We deal with them."

When asked how Wentz himself is handling the questions about his future, Ballard said aloud the things that folks close to the Eagles and Colts have whispered for years.

"I visited with Carson today, in my office for an hour," Ballard said. "It was really good. I think learning to handle the criticism, what you always have to ask yourself—and I have to ask it with the criticism I get—is that some of it is deserved, but is the criticism fair? I'll take it in if its fair. But it it's not fair, then what am I doing? I'm not wasting my headspace on that.

"But if the criticism is fair, then we gotta be able to look internally, accept that and grow from it."

Ballard then stopped himself in the middle of his final thought. "And I'm not saying all of your … most of it is pretty fair. And it will be interesting to see how he grows from this. I think he will."

I have covered the combine for over a decade. I have heard coaches and execs log-roll about quarterbacks who had worn out their welcome from Tim Tebow through Mark Sanchez and beyond. I have listened to every loose-lipped, straight-shooting NFL personality from John Elway to Rex Ryan to Jim Harbaugh. I have never heard a general manager publicly neg his quarterback the way Ballard did on Tuesday. This was a man whose poker face had long worn off.

Heck, I'm someone who turned Wentz "victimization" jokes into a five-month content model, and I felt a little uncomfortable with Ballard's barely-coded criticism.

But surely, Colts coach Frank Reich would un-pop the balloon by playing good cop to his boss' bad cop when he spoke later on Tuesday. And Reich did indeed make more complementary remarks about Wentz's touchdown-interception ratio and the fact that he improved from 2020. But then the normally upbeat Reich downshifted into a mix of ominous warnings, fatalism, coach-speak, and therapeutic self-help aphorisms.

"We know in this business, everybody and everything gets evaluated every year," Reich said. "And the second thing we know about that process is head coach and quarterback are under the most scrutiny."

"I believe in Carson," Reich later added. "I stuck my neck out for him. Last year, I was a big part of that decision to get him here. I believe he's going to continue to have a lot of success at quarterback. That might be here. It might not be here. That's yet to be determined. But I still believe in the person; I still believe in the player.

"We're all in progress. I'm in progress. He's in progress. Every one of our players is in progress. We don't want to get into that trap of taking a snapshot of one week or one year. It's a bigger story than that."

I stuck my neck out for him is what the mafia don says before whacking a snitch. Reich was otherwise more diplomatic than Ballard, but it wasn't hard to read between the lines of his remarks: Wentz's shortcomings reflect very poorly on Reich, he knows it, and he's not going to stick his neck out an inch further, lest it be chopped off.

The Colts don't sound like an organization that's interested in trading Wentz. They sound like an organization that's thinking of just cutting him. If they thought a trade was plausible, they would have paid minimum lip service to Wentz's strengths, or at least would have been hush-hush about the whole this guy still can't handle criticism at all situation in the hopes that some team like the Panthers and Texans haven't picked up enough hints yet. Ballard just wants to cut bait, and Reich doesn't want to get in the way of the knife. Bargain hunters who want to kick the tires on Wentz one last time should just circle the boat offering third-day draft picks and some cap relief.

Wentz will probably be out of the NFL in two years. That's a shame, because he has the talent to be a Pro Bowl quarterback. But he has an even greater gift for making his biggest boosters and benefactors regret their choices, and he's quickly running out of chances.

Kyler Murray vs. Steve Keim vs. Kliff Kingsbury

Kyler Murray wants a new contract from the Arizona Cardinals.

Wait, let me rephrase that in language that Murray's agent can understand.

KYLER MURRAY IS 100% COMMITTED TO THE ARZIONA CARDINALS FRANCHISE BUT NEEDZ TO SEE THE FRANCHISE RECIPRO … RECIPRA … FEELS THE SAME WAY BY GIVING HIM A JOSH ALLEN-SIZED STACK OF MOOLAH.

Quick note to any NFL agents who are reading: I am happy to provide copy editing, free of charge, in exchange for the occasional insider scoop. I will even teach you some clever computer tricks, like what the Caps Lock button is for!

Murray ranked ninth in DYAR and seventh in DVOA last year, the highest figures of his career. He is developing into a sometimes-great, high-variance quarterback. He also missed three games with an injury, wasn't nearly as effective when he returned, appeared powerless to stop the Cardinals' annual second-half swoon, and laid an egg in the playoffs. Assuming the Cardinals pick up his fifth-year option, he has two years (including an expensive 2023 option) left on his rookie contract. The Cardinals are scraping the cap ceiling right now, and while they can make room for Murray, they probably don't want to spend 2022 bucks on a player with a fairly modest cap number.

In other words, Murray wants the bag now, before the Cardinals can change their minds, and his representation wants the world to know it. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have EVERY reason to wait and see on a quarterback who could go Full Wentz on them if he gets the Standard Rich and Famous Contract.

This is shotgun wedding logic. I don't trust you. You don't trust me. Let's solve the problem by making an almost unbreakable commitment to each other. Frankly, Murray's side sounds more like they are trying to force a trade than negotiate a contract.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim doesn't see it that way. "In regards to the statement, which I think everyone has seen, I think that's an agent doing his job," Keim said on Tuesday. "I have a lot of respect for [agent] Erik Burkhardt, and obviously Kyler Murray."

Of course, Keim didn't sound thrilled about the public nature of the demands. "You have to understand that people have different ways of approaching things," he said. "You can't get caught up in taking things personal. It's a business. And you have to separate the personal side. I have done contracts with players individually, like DeAndre Hopkins. That's one of the things we had to talk about: to make sure that when we sat in there together, face-to-face, that we were going to be able to talk this out like grown men."

Keim refused to divulge any thoughts regarding Murray's contract, except that the Cardinals would "absolutely" pick up the fifth-year option. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, meanwhile, kicked most of the Murray contract discussion back to Keim.

"I think all of our long-term goal here is to have Kyler be our quarterback," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingbury said on Tuesday. "That's my view of him. But I've got to refer it back to the business side of things, and that's not something that I deal with."

Kingsbury and Murray are both represented by Burkhardt, but Keim does not see that as a problem, nor was he surprised when Kingsbury demurred on contractual conversations. "When there's tough decisions to be made or money to be spent, Kliff runs to the hills," Keim joked. "That's his personality. He wants no part of that smoke."

In summary, the Keim-Kingsbury-Murray relationship sounds totally functional, but only after writing 1,000 words about Chris Ballard, Frank Reich, and Carson Wentz.

Keim's talk this out like grown men remark likely betrays what he really thinks about being called out across the Internet by an agent and player, and that zinger about Kingsbury sounded like it contained a little too much honesty. There's also the silly Instagram drama and an ESPN report about friction between Murray and the organization. Still, Keim delivered terse "no's" when asked if he was worried about a Murray holdout. He sounded a little like he was already calling a bluff.

Given the personalities involved and the tenor of the current conversation, don't be surprised if the Cardinals story doesn't overboil, either when quarterback-needy teams start throwing draft picks around or when training camp arrives and Kingsbury must make some tough decisions because Trace McSorley is the best quarterback in attendance.

Around the League

We wrap with brief notes from the start of the week.

Per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Jaguars owner Shad Khan is no longer seeking an executive vice president to operate above Trent Baalke but is still seeking an assistant general manager to serve under Baalke.
Khan is trapped in his own labyrinth of an org chart. Baalke is the minotaur.

Competition Committee will consider overtime changes.
It sounds like the "both teams are guaranteed one possession" stans will get their way, perhaps in both the playoffs AND the regular season. And I'll remember each and every one of you when some Sunday Night Football game between wild-card maybes drags on until 1:45 a.m. Eastern. ("What a game!" say fans who went to bed at 10:30 and watched the game-winning field goal on Twitter.) I also cannot wait for the Monday night playoff game to go extra-extra long and the winner to drag its butt into the next Sunday and get hammered.

For the record, I'm all in on the suggestion our own Bryan Knowles made on one of our livestreams: home team gets ball first in overtime. It's simple, it's fair, it keeps games from going four-plus hours, and it makes late-season tiebreakers that much more important.

Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet retires.
This provides us with a pretty good sense of what the veterans on the Buccaneers roster are thinking, to say nothing of their free agents.

Saints begin their 'Cap Consolidation Loan' maneuvers.
Extending Ryan Ramczyk was an obvious, prudent move. Extending Michael Thomas makes perfect sense until you realize that he is coming off an injury-ruined 2020 season, a 2021 season where he never got anywhere near the field, and a prevailing sense that his lingering ankle injury is exacerbated by a grudge with the organization.

So Thomas can come back happy and healthy, or healthy but unhappy that he'll be playing fetch with Taysom Hill, or happy that Sean Payton is gone but still coping with a persistent injury, or not come back at all because he is both unhappy and unhealthy. That 25% chance of getting the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year back will cost the Saints $28 million in cap space in 2023 and $27.5 million in 2024. And the Saints still have $50 million in moves to go to become cap-compliant.

Otherwise, they're doing great.

Commanders (ugh) may settle for Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback.
Here's the Tuesday morning tweet from Hogs Haven, a well-connected team site, echoing what is being muttered elsewhere:

No quarterback with the option to veto a trade will end up in Washington; setting various scandals and their extreme mismanagement aside, the stadium facilities alone are enough to send Aaron Rodgers on a three-week cleanse. So Plan B is gonna be Plan A. The only thing standing in the Commanders' way is the fact that other teams may be planning to make the same compromise.

Trubisky makes some sense from a market-analysis standpoint because the Quarterback Trinity are still only theoretically available and the Garoppolo/Wentz tier of attainable quarterbacks is unbelievably overpriced and/or comes with too much baggage. Trubisky is probably about 95% as effective as Wentz (75% as good as a healthy Garoppolo in a comfy system) at roughly one-third the annual salary, with no trade necessary. Marcus Mariota is buzzy on the rumor mill for similar reasons.

Trubisky is also only about 5% or 10% better than Taylor Heinicke, currently under contract in Washington for peanuts. If the Commanders pursue Trubisky, they will be paying a very high premium for the name on the label, past draft status, and fading "potential."

Teams do this all the time. It backfires about as often as you would think.

As always, Football Outsiders' 2022 NFL draft coverage is presented by Underdog Fantasy.

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Comments

49 comments, Last at 11 Mar 2022, 10:16am

1 Trubisky

Of course we remember him as the guy picked ahead of Mahomes and Watson… but I just looked him up on PFR and realized the Niners traded him as the 2nd pick for the 3rd pick (Solomon Thomas… not great) and later picks that became Alvin Kamara and Fred Warner. That’s your latest advertisement for “more picks are better than high picks [unless you land a top tier QB].” Kamara AND Warner. Wow.

2 You forgot that?

In reply to by carlosla

The whole thing was because everyone knew the 49ers weren't picking a QB, or at least Trubisky

3 Extending Michael Thomas…

Extending Michael Thomas makes perfect sense until you realize that he is coming off an injury-ruined 2020 season, a 2021 season where he never got anywhere near the field, and a prevailing sense that his lingering ankle injury is exacerbated by a grudge with the organization.

I already hated the Saints situation because of what they did with Hill, and this isn't worse than that... but it's still super-dumb. Thomas probably would've gotten them decent trade value return, and he's just not going to be worth $28M to this team next year.

To me there was a relatively easy path out of their situation last year, abandoning the Hill experiment, trading Thomas and Jordan for resources, and holding on to the young, high end talent they had.

Instead it looks like they're friggin' doubling down on the idea that they could be a serious contender with Hill. WTF.

4 The first rule of NFL…

The first rule of NFL leadership is don't create a media firestorm. The reason you give anodyne responses is precisely so that you don't get peppered repeatedly with questions.

Ballard and Reich clearly know this, so this decision appears intentional, which makes their reaction all the more perplexing.

Stepping back, Carson Wentz played pretty much exactly how one would expect. He had high highs and low lows, which came to exactly average. This was a big improvement over the prior year and he also managed to stay healthy.

What's troubling therefore is that the Colts brass got this year and felt nonetheless blindsided. That implies they either vastly over estimated their scouting/coaching accumen or they are overreacting to a week 18 meltdown that was a total team collapse rather than it all being the qbs fault.

Either way, this reaction is ridiculous.

31 I think this about nails it

Carson Wentz, at least on the field, was who we thought he was, and on the higher end of the spectrum of reasonably expectable outcomes.  If he was a better QB, in a higher class, the Colts would have had to give up more for him in a trade.  If management, which has some credibility, is giving up on him there must be something else.

32 If the issue is…

If the issue is boneheadedness and not being willing to listen to criticism calling him out publicly may be the final effort to wake him up and get his attitude to match his talent.

"Carson, we just told the world we aren't going to put up with your bullshit work ethic anymore. We just lit a fire under ourselves to prove that we aren't messing around. If you turn it around you have all the leverage to spin your story and come out looking good and everyone ends up happy. If you don't then you are throwing away millions of dollars because no one else is going to put up with and you're done in the League. All the other coaches and execs know you don't say what we just said, and invite the follow-up and scrutiny and potentially alienate some of the fan base for no reason. Straighten up and fly right because there are no more chances after this unless you do."

That's what I read.

5 To quote JHeidelberg - Kyler…

To quote JHeidelberg - Kyler has the gun and the Cards have 0 choice. I am not sure what tier Kyler is, but he certainly didn't have the year Allen had this time a year ago. Tanier's probability math once again applies, though I wonder how the probabilities shake out this time.

While Kyler did not have a year like Allen a year ago, his career growth has at least been linear as opposed to Allen's dud -> dud -> bonanaza!

Using the five tier system of QB play(1- Godmode, 2 - Borderline HOF, 3 - Kirk Cousins backyard pool party, 4 - Alex Smith says Hi, 5 -Jared Goff/Carson Wentz grenade):

Allen had a higher chance of landing in tier 1, but also a higher chance of landing in tier 5. I think short of injury, Kyler is clearly not going to land in tier 4 or 5, so he's a safer bet, but given that most QBs never put up a year as good as Allen's best, he probably has a lower tier 1 probability and maybe a roughly equivalent tier 2/ tier 3 probability?

Either way, much like Lamar, you really have no choice but to break the bank. There is value in certainty that your QB isn't going to be awful while still having a pretty rosey upside. 

That said, its a bit startling to see how Kyler is handling this. Its pretty reminscent of Aaron Rodgers/Russel Wilson, except Kyler has nowhere near the cache and resume that those two guys do. 

 

6 Next year will tell the tale…

Next year will tell the tale on whether Murray or Keim has the leverage.  If Murray takes a leap, and the team doesn't fold down the strech, then  the team will probably have to cave.  If there is no significant improvement, and especially if there is another late season fade,  Kliff will be fired, and Murray likely becomes trade bait.

9 The viewpoint is so clear when it is not your hometown QB

Life is so much easier with the low variance Tier 1 QB's like Brady and Rodgers, and Peyton Manning.

The Cardinals trade Murray?  What?  Go back to square one and risk that you get a Josh Rosen equivalent?  

I realize that Lamar Jackson holds all the cards, certainly he has been high variance, but when the top of the curve is the MVP, you stop handing over the cash when you can show him that the vault is empty.  You may even get away with holding some cash in reserved for others so that he has a serviceable team around him so that he is not crushed by a blitz on most plays, and has something that looks like an NFL defense. By that point Lamar has $40M per year minimum, I thought for 4 years, but rumor has it that it will be 5 years.

Murray has a different variance than Lamar.   Every first half of a the season, climb the mountain, only to fall off of a Kliff Kingsbury. 

I like your 5 tier system.  Did you know that at this year's, Kirk Cousins pool party, Denver's Teddy Bridgewater did a variation of "The Drive" by John Elway and threw 24 four yard completions and a 3 yard completion to score the game winning TD?  Roethlisberger, formerly a Tier 1-2 QB tried to match it, but retired from the pool parties upon realizing that he could no longer throw a football at least 4 yards that often.  Jimmy G., wears a cast every year, and is not allowed in the water by his doctor.  Baker Mayfield sat in a lounge chair and prepared for next season by reading the book, "How to have your career not mimic Mitch Trubisky's." Taylor Heinecke will be joining the party next year with his friend Tua Tagovailoa.  They will both bring their cell phones so as to get the phone numbers of the agents that got Cousins, Jimmy G. and Bridgewater paid. 

Wentz and Goff still belong at the pool party, lets reserve tier 5 for Sam Darnold, rookie QB's trying to get their footing in the league, and backup QB's.

I am representing Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm and have sent you a letter insisting upon a special Tier 6 NYG backup QB.  Please respond when you receive the letter.

.

 

16 Tier 2 is the hardest tier…

Tier 2 is the hardest tier to judge for me personally.

Pier 1 quarterbacks become tier 1 the minute they replicate an MVP like season. So in that sense, if Lamar or Josh Allen had come vaguely in the same neighborhood as their breakout season, we would be having a different opinion of them. Now instead, we are wondering if they are closer to someone like Philip Rivers or worse someone like Matt Ryan.

Tier 2 is also the clear demarcation point where the fanbase and the front office clearly understand that the grass is almost certainly browner on the other side. Everyone else gets dogged by not being good enough.

7 I have to know...

...BY GIVING HIM A JOSH ALLEN-SIZED STACK OF MOOLAH.

Did you mean "a stack of money equivalent to what Josh Allen got?" or "a stack of money roughly the same height and weight (and shape) as Josh Allen the large person?"

 

Either works, obviously, but I have to know which was intended.

8 How to fix OT

Just eliminate regular season OT.  Ties are ties, end of story.  The NFLPA will love it, and because of that, the owners could offer it up in exchange for something they want (idk what, but I'm sure the owners have a long a list).  Fans will groan at first, but in the end they will buckle under like they always do.

For post-season, a single 10 minute OT.  The team ahead at the end of it wins.  If teams are still tied at the end of the OT period, sudden death ensues.

You're welcome.

19 Dude, really

In reply to by Akim

Huge advantage for whomever gets the ball first. (if you can't see that, nobody can help you)

You're welcome.

26 Is it my imagination or is…

In reply to by BigRichie

Is it my imagination or is FO just slowly descending into a reddit style commentary.

I thought we left middle school years ago. 

38 FO was much saltier in the…

FO was much saltier in the early days, back when we had hosts of commenters questioning the validity of statistics in football.  Quality went way up once those guys realized they'd lost the fight. 

10 QBs

Just pay Kyler and stop paying Mitch Darno...I mean Trubisky. Oh and it's confirmed that Reich can't recreate the sandcastles Wentz 2017 season was built upon. They move onto their 5th straight new signal caller: Luck->Brissett->Rivers->Wentz-> Sam? Ehlinger? Their first pick isn't til 47. Yikes.

drags on until 1:45 a.m. Eastern. ("What a game!" say fans who went to bed at 10:30 and watched the game-winning field goal on Twitter.)

That sounds like a least coast problem.

I also cannot wait for the Monday night playoff game to go extra-extra long and the winner to drag its butt into the next Sunday and get hammered.

But when the Raiders play the FULL OT on SNF and get the first playoff game (on a Saturday of course) no one, but me, bats an eye.

45 Yeah pay Murray...  after he…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Yeah pay Murray...  after he demonstrates he can get through another year without a season-end flameout. 

12 Colts trying to replace…

Colts trying to replace Wentz is a fool's strategy when they realize Rodgers and Wilson aren't going anywhere and none of the FA QBs available are a significant upgrade. Throw out 2017 (obviously an impossible-to-recreate fluke season) and 2020 and Wentz is literally an average QB - the reason they missed the playoffs was because of several blown 4Q leads, an inexplicable blowout loss to the league's worst team where nobody on the team played well, and the refs gifting PIT a win against CHI.

17 This is why those comments…

This is why those comments by the front office are so inexplicable. Are they overreacting to one horrible game or were they so supremely misguided to think that they were getting an MVp?

Either way, they're stuck. 

18 NOTA

I'm reading between the lines here, but I think the answer is neither.  The total package of Wentz (game results, work ethic, attitude, etc.) has turned off Irsay.  Once you're sideways with the guy who writes the checks, there's nothing anyone else in the organization can do for you.

I don't have any inside knowledge; this is just my assumption from the press reports.

27 This is really the key, I…

In reply to by Todd S.

This is really the key, I think. The GM and coach might think OK, the guy's about boneheaded, and you have to work around him sometimes, but flawless QBs don't come around every year. So maybe they'd be OK still working with Wentz.

But the owner just hates the guy. And it's not like this is a new thing with Wentz, he obviously burned bridges and set people off in Philly.

28 Ok but it still doesn't…

Ok but it still doesn't explain why the coach and GM are making their grumbling so public? Hes an average qb that should fetch something in the trademarket. All they've done is created a media firestorm and driven down whatever trade value he had to 0. In other words, nothing good other than ruining his reputation was achieved. 

37 The total package of Wentz …

In reply to by Todd S.

The total package of Wentz (game results, work ethic, attitude, etc.) has turned off Irsay.

I would think a lazy, undependable, entitled head-case would fit right in with Irsay. Or maybe he just can't handle a second him in the room.

47 Wentz is more maddening than…

In reply to by Todd S.

Wentz is more maddening than he is actually bad. Statistically he was a mid tier starter, which is fine for a team that has other good pieces. But trying to root for a team with him at QB is soooo nerve-racking. He ranked similarly to Bridgewater in performance last year, but give me Bridgewater any day (I actually said that before they even made the trade in the first place, but now I'm even more convinced). Bridgewater is more limited than the top 10 QBs but he's consistent. Other than concern about injury you don't have your heart in your throat every damn play. Between insane decisions and errant mechanics at inopportune moments, the only time you can breathe before the play is over with Wentz are plays when he tucks the ball to run it.

25 Wentz is probably not…

Wentz is probably not tradeable due to being tier 4 performance and tier 2 pay.  So this probably to sell a bad move (cut or weak trade) to the fan base. 

 

Still, not sure what the point of that is unless you got a clear upgrade path.  

 

 

42 I'm not quite sure I'd go…

I'm not quite sure I'd go that far. $25-27M would be super cheap for mid-level QB pay.

He's still overpaid, don't get me wrong, but it's not quite as bad as you're making it out. If he was $15M/yr he'd be an easy trade, but obviously that ain't happening.

14 I don't have any problem…

I don't have any problem with the First-Possession-TD Wins rule in OT, I think the problem is the coin. I would support either spot-and-choose or a silent bid system to determine the first possession and go from there. If a team doesn't aggressively seek possession, then I don't shed a tear for them if they lose without seeing it.

15 Give each team 1 possession…

Give each team 1 possession starting at 0, best possession result(yards gained and points) wins.  If they both gain 100 yds/8pts in the regular season its a tie or you look at something like #of plays or tome as a tiebreaker. Keep repeating in playoffs.  It's not like they can keep trading long drives for that long

29 Team that goes second knows…

In reply to by BigRichie

Team that goes second knows what they need. Not sure it's that big an advantage. If you force a fg, you know you need a td. If they get a TD, you gotta go for 2.  It's same as the end of the game really.  It also puts both defences and offences on the field for 1 drive. 

22 Yup

This. Exactly. Spot-and-choose.

I have never, ever, seen someone make one argument as to why spot-and-choose wouldn't work. Work perfectly. Totally.

43 What are the arguments to…

What are the arguments against treating the end of regulation as just an end of quarter, take a break, switch ends and keep on playing. Absolutely no need for OT in regular season. 

20 Wentz will probably be out…

Wentz will probably be out of the NFL in two years. That's a shame, because he has the talent to be a Pro Bowl quarterback. But he has an even greater gift for making his biggest boosters and benefactors regret their choices, and he's quickly running out of chances.

 

Nah. He'll stick around for a while bc teams will take a flyer on him and hope he puts it together. He probably won't get top tier money again unless he does but, if he was a FA  this year he'd have a decent market. 

48 I don't think he'll hang…

I don't think he'll hang around. I agree with the assessment that he'll be out of the NFL in 2 years if he doesn't somehow massively change. I just can't see him hanging around for years as a #2 QB...not with the baggage he has...and he won't get more shots at #1 QB if he is the same player or worse the next 2 years.

34  they will be paying a very…

 they will be paying a very high premium for the name on the label, past draft status, and fading "potential."

What's remarkable is that this is perfectly consistent with analytics. Most projection systems also credit players for their draft position, as if when the dumbest person in the room picked you reflected in any rational way upon your intrinsic qualities.

44 For the record, I'm all in…

For the record, I'm all in on the suggestion our own Bryan Knowles made on one of our livestreams: home team gets ball first in overtime. It's simple, it's fair, it keeps games from going four-plus hours, and it makes late-season tiebreakers that much more important.

I mean...maybe if the home team was always guaranteed to be the better team. As it stands, the least-bad team in a terrible division gets to host a wild card team that probably has 10-11 wins but has the bad luck to be in the same division as a really good team.

If the argument against a possession for each team is games going too long, then implement it in the playoffs in exchange for getting rid of OT in the regular season. In the aggregate, there would be many fewer OT minutes per season AND all of those minutes would matter - no more watching 2 bad teams waste an OT period in December on the way to a meaningless tie anyway. (Also, without the option of playing for OT, there would probably be more exciting finishes to regular season games).

49 How did I not make a wager…

How did I not make a wager on "Daniel Snyder goes after Carson Wentz"?  In retrospect, it was so predictable. 

In related news, Landon Collins, who was brought in 3 years ago amongst much fanfare (including Snyder comparing him to Sean Taylor), is to be released to clear some cap space.