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The Carson Wentz era in Washington is over. The Commanders officially released the veteran quarterback on Monday, just one season after acquiring him in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts last offseason. At the time, Washington gave up multiple Day 2 draft picks, including a second-rounder last year, in hopes of solving its quarterback problem, but that never came to fruition as Wentz continued to struggle and started just seven games for the franchise. 

This move was looked at as a formality as the team had been rather public with their intention of moving in a different direction at quarterback for 2023. That's also not to mention that by releasing Wentz the Commanders have cleared $26.17 million in salary cap space. Wentz was looking at a base salary of $20 million next season and a cap charge of roughly $26.1 million, so it was unrealistic to expect that he'd remain on the roster at that figure. 

Wentz started the first six games of the season for the Commanders in 2022 and the club got off to a 2-4 start. Over that stretch, the 30-year-old had middling numbers, completing 62% of his throws with an 84.1 passer rating while tossing 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.

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On top of a lukewarm start to the year, Wentz suffered a fracture to his ring finger on his throwing hand in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears, which sent him on injured reserve. That paved the way for Taylor Heinicke to start for the bulk of the season and Wentz would only garner one more start, which was a Week 17 loss to the Browns where he threw three interceptions.

From here, the plan for Washington, as previously reported by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, is to go forward with Sam Howell as the team's starter entering the offseason in recently-hired OC Eric Bieniemy's offense.

As for what's next for Wentz, it does seem like his days as a possible long-term starting option for a team have come to an end. However, that doesn't mean he wouldn't be of value to a club somewhere in the league as a veteran backup. 

Below, we'll highlight a handful of landing spots that could make sense for the former No. 2 overall pick. 

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers will be in the quarterback market this offseason either via the NFL Draft or with a splash in the trade or free agency market. While Wentz likely will not factor into the discussion to be Carolina's starter, he could reunite with head coach Frank Reich -- who made the pitch for the Colts to acquire him in 2021 -- as a backup. Reich has been with Wentz on multiple stops during his NFL career. On top of being his head coach in Indy, Reich was his offensive coordinator during his days with the Philadelphia Eagles, so these two have quite the history. If the Panthers do decide to dip into the draft and take a young quarterback with their No. 9 overall pick, Wentz could prove to be a valuable figure in helping develop that signal-caller into Reich's offense, which he's very familiar with. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This might be his best chance of remaining a starter in the NFL. The Buccaneers have a horrid cap situation this offseason, which may keep them out of the running for some of the upper-echelon quarterbacks who are expected to be on the market. They also own the 19th pick in the draft, which is out of the range for where this year's crop of young quarterbacks is expected to come off the board. If they want a veteran to help push Kyle Trask in training camp, Wentz may be a cost-effective way to do it. 

Kansas City Chiefs

The defending champions are in need of a backup quarterback after Chad Henne decided to retire following the win over Philadelphia in Super Bowl LVII. Wentz could be the latest veteran to slide in behind Patrick Mahomes as insurance, which has proven to be a necessity for K.C. in recent years. Henne had been thrust into a number of key situations during his tenure, including a brief moment in the AFC divisional round this year. With that in mind, Wentz could be a solid QB2 behind the league MVP. 

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are no strangers to bringing aboard highly drafted quarterbacks who have seen a fall from grace. They did so with Mitchell Trubisky back in 2021, and Wentz could be the latest veteran looking for a reset behind Josh Allen. Fellow veteran Case Keenum, who served as the Bills backup last year, is set to be a free agent later this offseason. 

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals do have Colt McCoy under contract through next season, so there may not be much interest in Wentz, but this is another situation where a starting job could be available. Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL late last season, which puts his ability to be ready by Week 1 very much in doubt. So, there could be a multi-week window for a quarterback to get starts. That should be an appealing situation for Wentz as it'd give him an opportunity to try and turn around his career as a starter.