Now, we’re just waiting.
The expectation is still that the Eagles are going to trade Carson Wentz, but the big question is: When is it going to happen? It’s reportedly been “close” for a while now.
It’s worth pointing out that NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Monday said a deal was not imminent as the Eagles wait for an offer they deem fair.
Want more evidence that the Eagles haven’t gotten an offer they deem good enough for Wentz? He’s still here.
It’s very clear the top two teams in the running for Wentz are the Colts and Bears and that much has been confirmed by multiple league sources to NBC Sports Philadelphia. There’s still potential for other teams to get involved and Howie Roseman makes a wish at 11:11 twice per day hoping that happens.
But if it really does come down to the Colts and Bears, it’s worth taking a closer look at each team.
Great job by 94WIP, getting a Colts beat reporter and a Bears beat reporters on the Jon Marks & Ike Reese show Monday afternoon. They had Stephen Holder from The Athletic and Brad Biggs from the Chicago Tribune on in back-to-back hours.
Let’s examine both landing spots and some of the comments from Holder and Biggs:
The Colts this offseason lost Nick Sirianni and a few other assistants who joined him on the staff in Philly. But they also lost their quarterback when Philip Rivers retired, so it’s very likely Frank Reich will have his fourth quarterback in four years as the Colts head coach in 2021. Rivers is retiring and Jacoby Brissett will be a free agent so the only Colts QB who will be under contract when the new league year starts is Jacob Eason.
The Colts are in a tough spot, but they’re not expected to panic.
Holder on WIP Monday said the reported ask of two 1st-round picks and another pick from the Eagles was true. But that won’t be what the Colts give up.
“Now, the Colts aren’t going to do that unless they have some unforeseen change of heart that I cannot even imagine,” Holder said to WIP. “I can just tell you that’s unlikely just knowing GM Chris Ballard and how he operates. I can tell you, if you look at how he operates in free agency, which is not the same thing, but certainly there are some parallels because there is compensation involved, he is very, very willing to be patient and to let somebody walk.”
This is very true about Ballard. We’ve seen this from him before and he has pretty firm footing as far as GMs go. And as Garafolo mentioned recently, the Colts have confidence in their drafting ability. Some GMs might see trading picks as trading lottery tickets, the Colts see it as trading good players.
It looks like the Colts are going to be patient, which is why the Eagles would want to do anything they can to try to spook them into offering up a good enough deal out of fear. It’s just hard to see the Colts becoming suckers in this way.
Another great point from Holder is about Reich and how much faith the organization has in him. He pointed out that last year when Reich wanted Rivers, it wasn’t a universally agreed upon move because Rivers was older and coming off a down season. But Reich was able to get a lot out of Rivers in 2020 and the Colts made a nice run to the playoffs. So if Reich thinks he can have success with a 28-year-old quarterback who could recover from an awful year, the Colts will listen.
“I think if they can get to the right compensation, yeah, I think that will happen,” Holder said. “Again, I can’t speak to the Bears or other teams and that’s a factor. If someone gets crazy and starts feeling themselves then he’s going to go somewhere else. Howie’s gonna take the best deal, right? But if that competition isn’t much of a factor and they can come to something reasonable, I really do think it will happen.”
If Wentz were to get his pick of teams, you’d have to imagine the Colts would be at the top of the list. They have a solid OL, good skill players, a steady head coach and front office. They appear to be a quarterback away from being true contenders after going 11-5 in 2020. We don’t know if Wentz or his representatives will have any influence on the trade destination, but that’s a possibility Joe Banner brought up earlier this week.
While the Colts might be the better football option for Wentz, the Bears are much more likely to end up as suckers in a negotiation. While Ballard has job stability and has shown patience, Bears GM Ryan Pace is on thin ice and might be trying to save his job. Roseman knows that.
The Bears obviously have a need at quarterback. They’ve had a need at quarterback for years. Mitchell Trubisky is going to be a free agent; that would leave the Bears with Nick Foles and he didn’t play nearly well enough to earn that job going forward.
So of course they’re in on Wentz. But Biggs explained something strange that happened to him this weekend.
“My reaction was, hearing from guys around the league,” Biggs said to WIP. “I mean, people reaching out to me saying, ‘hey, the Bears are in on Wentz.’ ‘Hey, the Bears are the leading candidate for Wentz right now.’ ‘Hey, it sounds like the Bears are running first to get Wentz.’ I heard so much of that from people I trust, people that would not try to mislead me that it was overwhelming. At one point, I had to kind of take a step back, like, wait a minute. This doesn’t smell right.
“I’ve been doing this for more than two decades now, you don’t get this much intel when you’re trying to put something together with people unsolicited reaching out to you saying, ‘Hey, check this out, this is about to go down.’ It doesn’t work that so that led me to believe that at some level, this thing has been built into something bigger than it is.”
This is certainly interesting and the inference is that the Eagles were working overtime to drum up a market and try to get a deal done quickly. The Bears didn’t bite … at least not yet. Biggs also said he heard the Eagles were trying to get other teams involved, which obviously makes sense too. The more teams, the better the chances of good compensation.
The Bears are coming off an 8-8 season, which means Chicago isn’t the worst landing spot for Wentz, but it’s clearly not the best either. It’s not as ideal as Indy would be for him.
But if one team is more likely to overpay, it’s probably the Bears and Pace; at least it seems more likely than getting the Colts to overpay. But let’s not get too crazy.
“There’s no way two 1st-round picks are involved with Wentz unless there’s just a ton of other stuff and it gets into a really complicated trade,” Biggs said. “I don’t really envision that happening. So would they trade one 1st-round pick for him? I don’t know. I think the Bears would love to have that 20th overall pick.”
So would the Eagles. Now we continue to wait.
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