Hours after an ESPN report surfaced that Carson Wentz is expected to ask for a trade out of Philadelphia, head coach Doug Pederson responded.
Pederson, just after the Eagles’ Week 17 loss, said he respects Wentz and thinks they can resurrect the quarterback’s career and the Eagles’ offense together.
“I’ve answered this question quite a bit and you know how I feel about Carson Wentz,” Pederson said. “I’ve got the utmost respect for him and I feel like we can together get these things corrected and get back on track. That’s my mindset going into the offseason and that’s where I’m at.
“All this other stuff, I believe, is just sort of what’s out there. Haven’t really seen any of that stuff. I still have total faith, total trust in Carson Wentz and myself together to get the job done.”
One specific part of the ESPN report was that the relationship between Wentz and the Eagles — specifically the relationship between Wentz and Pederson — is fractured beyond repair.
Pederson and Wentz’s relationship has been described as a marriage over the years and in recent weeks it has looked like that marriage is destined for divorce.
On Sunday night, Pederson was asked specifically about his relationship with Wentz.
“I don’t understand, again, where these are coming from,” Pederson said. “My relationship with Carson has been good. It’s been professional. We’ve communicated over the last month of the season. Listen, I know he’s frustrated. He was the starter and I get that. And that’s understandable. I have so much confidence in him and myself that we can work on the things we need to work on and get it done.”
When asked directly if he had spoken to Wentz about the report, Pederson said he had not.
If Pederson is in fact going to return in 2021 — and all indications are that he will — the Eagles need to figure out if he can really fix Wentz. Their 12 games together in 2020 certainly won’t supply much confidence that they can. In 12 games this season, Wentz completed just 57.4% of his passes with 16 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, a passer rating of 72.8 and a record of 3-8-1.
Either way, it’s probably time to gear up for what promises to be a crazy offseason. The Eagles have a major decision to make at the quarterback position and the report on Sunday makes it seem like Wentz might force the Eagles’ hand.
Trading Wentz would leave a major sum of dead money in 2021 but it would actually give the Eagles some minimal cap relief. So if the Eagles truly think they’re better off without Wentz next season, his contract is tradable.
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