3 big-name free agent quarterbacks Rams can still sign

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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He's earned the right to return, if he chooses to

While 31-year-old quarterback Carson Wentz is not at a point of his career to easily be considered the heir apparent of taking over the team if and when Matthew Stafford is injured, or chooses to hang up his cleats and retire, there are reasons to argue that it could work.

Wentz was drafted second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, the same draft in which the Rams opted to select QB Jared Goff with the 1st overall selection. When the Rams traded Goff and three draft picks to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford, I viewed Stafford and Goff as quarterbacks on a similar trajectory. The similarities of the two QBs compelled me to ask if the Rams paid too much.

"The Detroit Lions are six years younger at quarterback. The Lions land a quarterback with a 42-20 record over the past four seasons. In fact, Jared Goff has a 3-3 record in the NFL Playoffs. Goff has even won an NFC Championship game. And they were paid two first-round draft picks and a third-round pick to take him off of the Rams hands."

Bret Stuter

Of course, in the end, both side seem to have improved as a result of that trade. Well, Carson Wentz affords the Rams to turn back the clock by five years as well.

Does one game show enough to project a bright future on the horizon? When it's Wentz leading the Rams junior varsity to a victory over the San Francisco varsity team, you bet it does.
(The 49ers only sat QB Brock Purday and RB Christian McCaffrey for the game. The Rams sat seven starters, and continued to bench players throughout the game)

In 2023, Wentz completed 17 of 24 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. But he also rushed 17 times for 56 yards, one touchdown, and four critical first downs. Carson Wentz adds a dash of mobility that HC Sean McVay has wanted in this offense for several years. Now, with a running game, a huge upgrade to the offensive line, and the willingness to blend runs and pases, the Rams are perfectly set to welcome back Carson Wentz.

Does he want to return?

While he may be patiently awaiting to hear offers from NFL teams, I'm not sure many will come. The next big onramp for teams that need a quarterback will be the 2024 NFL Draft. Even then, the Chicago Bears (QB Justin Fields) and the New York Jets (Zach Wilson) will be dangling fire sale prices for young quarterbacks to teams that failed to land their ideal draft prospect. Can a seasoned veteran like Carson Wentz compete with teams that want a young QB?

Wentz's patch back to NFL relevance needs him to re-sign with the Rams through 2024. It's just that simple. He may choose not to do so, and that is his right. But It makes the most sense for Carson Wentz and the LA Rams to give this relationship another season, and see if there is an NFL Championship ring waiting at the end of the 2024 NFL season.