With the 2023 NFL preseason wrapped up, dozens of players will soon find themselves on the free agent market, with all 32 teams required to finalize 53-man rosters by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. But one big name could actually be poised to leave the market.
Carson Wentz, the former Eagles, Colts and Commanders starter, has gotten little attention since his release from Washington in March. But as the most accomplished unsigned veteran quarterback not named Matt Ryan, who's since joined CBS Sports as a studio and game analyst, Wentz is perhaps better positioned to find a home after the preseason, which revealed several teams to be without formidable insurance plans.
Here are five potential suitors going into the 2023 season:
Chicago gave former XFL star and Panthers fill-in P.J. Walker $2 million guaranteed to back up Justin Fields this offseason, only to cut the veteran after an erratic summer. Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent inspired with a spirited preseason, but after Fields missed time due to injury in back-to-back seasons, would they enter the year with zero NFL experience behind their young starter? Nathan Peterman is also under contract, but for how long? Wentz, meanwhile, is from the Midwest, and the Bears reportedly inquired about him back in 2021, when co-director of player personnel Jeff King was still in the team's front office.
Pick Six Newsletter
Crafted By The Best NFL Experts
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Kyle Allen had a strong finish to the preseason, leading three scoring drives in his final bid to back up Josh Allen, but he's gone 1-5 in emergency starts the last three years, and had been neck-and-neck with Matt Barkley through the summer. With Barkley nursing an elbow injury and no lock to stick, Buffalo could still prefer more experience behind their perennial MVP candidate, especially as they look to finally get over the hump in the postseason.
Word from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler is that Wentz and the Chiefs touched base early in free agency and left the door open for future communication. Translation: if ex-Buccaneers backup Blaine Gabbert doesn't hold up, Andy Reid could be willing to give Patrick Mahomes a new No. 2 following Chad Henne's retirement. Gabbert, in fact, has faced steep competition from third-year man Shane Buechele this summer, but the latter has never thrown an NFL pass.
Perhaps no team should be more desperate for quality QB insurance than Miami, which is betting on Tua Tagovailoa despite a track record of serious injuries from the young signal-caller. Ex-Jets reserve Mike White, signed to be the new No. 2, is coming off both a concussion and uneven preseason. And 2022 seventh-rounder Skylar Thompson fell back to Earth in the exhibition finale. If coach Mike McDaniel can elevate Tua's downfield confidence, you'd think he could work around Wentz in such a speedy offense.
Of all the possibilities, this might be the most likely. Matthew Stafford is secure as QB1, but he's returning from injury behind a shuffled line, and the backup plans are: 1.) rookie Stetson Bennett, who's thrown countless picks and near-picks in his first exhibition work; and 2.) Brett Rypien, whose only obvious advantage is the fact he's been in the system for a few months. Sean McVay tried -- and mostly succeeded with -- a reclamation rental with Baker Mayfield in 2022, so why not again?