The Philadelphia Eagles trading Carson Wentz to Indy in the offseason isn’t as crazy as it may initially seem.
Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have addressed the elephant in the room in regards to Jalen Hurts being the team’s starting quarterback on Sunday, a question begs to be answered:
What now for Carson Wentz?
The team’s prized possession of the 2016 draft, Wentz has had a rollercoaster of a career in Philadelphia thus far. He was arguably the best football player in the world in 2017 prior to his ACL tear, he had to watch Nick Foles replace him in back-to-back seasons, he reclaimed the locker room (and the city) in 2019 with his late-season heroics, and then ultimately got ousted by second-round draft pick Jalen Hurts. It’s been a rocky road for Wentz to say the least, and it’s honestly hard to imagine him surviving yet another QB controversy in the city of brotherly love.
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While I guess it’s possible that the Eagles have plans to return the starting gig to Wentz full-time in 2021, but that looming shadow that is Jalen Hurts won’t be going away anytime soon. Despite Wentz’ abundance of individual talent, the controversy that he’ll face should he return to the field as the starter might just be too much too handle.
With all that in mind, the possibility for an offseason trade has begun to be thrown out there. The Indianapolis Colts have quickly been named as a potential suitor, primarily due to their soon-to-be vacant QB position, and Frank Reich (Eagles OC in 2017, notable Wentz lover) being the team’s head coach.
A move like this makes sense for both the Eagles and Colts in theory, but people have been quick to point out that this scenario falls short in practice due to Wentz’ impending contract extension. While it’s true that Wentz has a massive cap hit moving forward, it doesn’t rule out the possibility for a trade.
Wentz is on the hook for a $34.6 million cap hit in 2021 should he be on the Philadelphia Eagles roster. Cutting him would result in a “dead cap” hit of $59.2 million, so obviously that’s off the table. Trading him, however, would only result in a dead cap hit of $25 million. Trading him also absolves the Eagles of any future financial obligations, essentially freeing them of Wentz’ contract altogether.
So in theory, trading Wentz actually saves the Eagles roughly $9 million.
On top of that, it’s not unheard of for players to restructure their contract in order to facilitate a trade out of a bad situation. Former Eagles QB Nick Foles did it just this past offseason to escape Jacksonville.
While Wentz’ contract may look bad to the Eagles due to the Jalen Hurts situation that they’ve self-induced, his current cap numbers still look pretty decent when compared to other QBs around the league. The Colts have been in quarterback limbo since Andrew Luck retired, and are currently paying 39 year old Philip Rivers $25 million. One can only imagine that Indy’s front office (combined with a glowing review from Frank Reich) would jump at the opportunity to acquire someone like Wentz.
It’s unlikely that a hypothetical Wentz deal would bring back much in return in terms of draft capital, as it would be more about escaping the contract and controversy. Eating a $25 million dead cap hit in 2021 definitely isn’t ideal either, but the Eagles are going to be in cap hell regardless next year, so might as well get it all out of the way now as opposed to kicking the can down the road.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide if moving on from Wentz is in the Eagles best interest, as it’s still unclear just how good Hurts is (I personally think bailing on Wentz would be a major mistake). However, considering how this year’s season has played out, moving off of Carson is undoubtedly something that the Eagles have considered. And at the very least, the Colts would pick up the phone in regards to a Wentz trade.