Eagles

3 thoughts about the Eagles' upcoming trade of Wentz

Eagles

How did we get here?

With mounting reports and speculation it’s pretty obvious that the Eagles are going to trade Carson Wentz and they’re going to trade him soon. And the only thing I keep thinking is, “How did we get here?”

How did it go this bad this quickly?

It was less than two years ago when the Eagles signed Wentz to a four-year extension worth $128 million and he won’t even be here as that extension kicks in this season.

At this point, if you’re still holding out hope that the Eagles won’t trade Wentz, it’s time to let that go. They have no choice. Remember, he already has a bad relationship with the organization and they can’t very well tell him, “Sorry, we didn’t get what we wanted for you, so you’re gonna have to come back and compete for your job.” Not gonna happen. If Wentz truly wants out, the Eagles don’t have a choice. They have to move him.

As we wait for the inevitable trade to happen, here are three thoughts that have been rattling around in my head:

1. I can’t wait to see how the Eagles try to spin this. Sure, maybe they get back a first-round pick and more, which would be making the best of a terrible situation. But the fact that they’re going to trade away Wentz is nothing short of the organization admitting a colossal failure. It’s the kind of admission we’ve never seen before, to the tune of nearly $34 million in dead money. That will crush the record set by the Rams earlier this offseason when they traded Jared Goff.

 

The reason this is all such a disaster is because the Eagles not only identified Wentz as their franchise quarterback during the 2016 offseason, but it looked like they were right. In his second season, in fact, Wentz proved they were right when he got the Eagles off to an 11-2 start and put his name atop the MVP shortlist. And even after Wentz got hurt and Nick Foles led the Eagles to the Super Bowl LII win, the Eagles never wavered. I still think back to the Super Bowl team photo when the Eagles lined up their players in numerical order but still put Wentz right smack-dab in the middle of the whole thing. They wanted to let him and the world know that he was still their quarterback.

Whenever we hear the name Carson Wentz, we’ll always think back to the game in the LA Coliseum. If Wentz doesn’t tear his ACL, does he go down as the greatest quarterback in Eagles’ history? Yeah, maybe. Even if he doesn’t win the Super Bowl in 2017, there’s no looking over his shoulder at Foles, maybe he then doesn’t hurt his back, maybe the Eagles don’t feel the need to coddle him in the way they eventually did to protect his ego. The shame of all this is we’ll be left wondering what could have been with a guy who showed he was truly talented. The fact that the Eagles were able to fumble this situation so quickly is shocking.

2. The Eagles royally screwed up this whole situation but let’s not absolve Wentz of blame either. He’s not innocent in all this. His Type-A personality and reported lack of accountability and unwillingness to be coached didn’t help matters. Did the Eagles create a culture that allowed those negative aspects of Wentz to thrive? Yeah, probably. But Wentz is a grownup too and he has even admitted at times that he needed to work on the relationship-building part of his personality. And he certainly could have handled things better when the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts. Sure, the Eagles could have taken a player to help him and their decision to draft Hurts will always be a head-scratcher to me. But you just wish you would have seen more competitiveness out of Wentz. Despite all that went wrong in 2020, Wentz possesses the talent to overcome a lot and we never saw it.

With that said, I don’t think it will surprise anyone to see Wentz go elsewhere and thrive, especially if he’s put in a good situation. Between the Colts and the Bears — the two teams we’ve heard the most — the Colts would pretty obviously be a better position for him. He’d reunite with Frank Reich and Press Taylor and the Colts have a solidly built team and a general manager who knows what he’s doing. If I’m Wentz, that’s where I want to go. And if Wentz ends up in Indy, there’s a real chance he has a bounce-back season. That wouldn’t surprise the Eagles either. There’s a reason they were hesitating to try to trade him. If the relationship part of this could have been worked out, they know there’s still a talented player in there.

 

While it’s obvious now that the Eagles didn’t hire Nick Sirianni with just Wentz in mind, part of me wonders if they were still hoping things could be worked out with Wentz in Philly. Did they prefer that but felt like they ended up with no choice?

3. While this upcoming trade will be an admission of failure by the Eagles, it’ll also show how committed the Eagles are to this rebuild or retool or whatever they want to call it. The reason the Eagles are OK with having nearly $34 million in dead money in 2021 is because they will save more cap space in coming seasons as they basically start from the ground up. Wentz won’t be the last high-priced veteran the Eagles cut ties with this offseason. He’ll be the first in a pretty long line. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Malik Jackson, Zach Ertz and other less obvious players will follow. It’s necessary at this point.

After Wentz is moved, all eyes will turn to Hurts, who will be the incumbent starter. The Eagles liked Hurts enough to draft him with the 53rd pick but I’m curious how they really view him. Are they convinced he’s the new franchise quarterback? Probably not to the level they were once with Wentz. And with the No. 6 pick in the draft and the incoming draft capital they’ll get from the Wentz trade, would the Eagles consider drafting another quarterback in the first round? If they’re not sold on Hurts, they probably owe it to themselves to at least do the requisite homework on those players. Heck, maybe they’ll fall in love with Trey Lance from North Dakota State and poetically begin this process again. See you back here in five years.

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