Wentz is the first real dart throw...but it's still somewhat of a half-measure. And this has really been the theme since Luck got retired.
First, they tried to turn the backup QB into a franchise QB by giving him money and trying to speak it into existence.
Second, they signed a very old vet QB with a very good track record that had experience with Reich to a low-risk one-year deal to make a push.
Third, they finally traded some real draft capital for a younger post-hype QB (already under contract) who had fallen out of favor with his former team. But they even hedged this move by making one of those picks conditional...because even they know this move is a risky move that they aren't 100% confident in.
But it's not surprising...because these moves sort of follow a theme or a philosophical approach to the QB position. And maybe it's just coincidental...but there are a lot of parallels between the moves made by Ballard's previous org.'s and the moves made by the Colts.
Drafted (1) QB in the 1st round and that was Rex Grossman at #22 in 2003. CHI had the #4 pick that year and traded back for #13 and #22. Not only did they trade back to #13, they didn't even take a QB with that pick. (That seems like a very Ballard type of move if you ask me.)
The only other QB drafted in the top 4 rounds during his entire tenure was Kyle Orton, in the 4th round of 2005 draft.
After the initial options don't work, and because CHI is stuck in QB purgatory by being no worse than 7-9, CHI makes a big trade and sends Orton and picks to DEN for Jay Cutler, a former 1st round pick QB thought to have huge upside.
But Cutler also came with some potential locker room issues and had requested a trade after his relationship with their HC became irreconcilable. (Sounds very familiar).
Cutler has some success in CHI, but only wins (1) playoff game in 8 years at QB.
KC (2013 - 2017)
Ballard arrives in KC after the 2013 draft. In March, KC had traded (2) 2nd round picks for Alex Smith, with one of those picks being conditional upon playing time. (This is very similar to the type of offer that Ballard gave to PHI.)
Smith was a former #1 overall pick QB who had ups and down...and had just been replaced by a backup QB...coincidentally also a 2nd round pick. He had reportedly been working back channels to get out of SF. (Sounds familiar again.)
Through Reid's coaching, Smith is actually a pretty damn good QB, but KC only wins (1) playoff game in five seasons (the same number as Cutler in CHI).
During this time, KC doesn't draft a QB before the 5th round until 2017 when Ballard is already in Indy. At that point, they make an aggressive trade up in the NFL draft for Mahomes and let Smith mentor him for a season before trading Smith to WAS.
So based on this timeline, the Colts are currently several years away from actually drafting a legit QB and thus competing for SBs. I am kidding of course. But there are a lot of parallels here.