EAGLES

NFL insider: I think AFC contender 'will want' Carson Wentz

EAGLES

Update, Jan. 20: This rumbling from Peter King feels even more intriguing today, with Philip Rivers announcing his retirement from football. Let's revisit what King thought about a possible Colts-Wentz deal a month ago...

With Jalen Hurts set to start Sunday and Carson Wentz officially a backup for the first time in his career, the face of the Eagles' franchise has never been less certain.

Wentz was supposed to be the Birds' quarterback of the present and future, the singular cornerstone around which the franchise would be built. Now? The future is extremely unclear.

Wentz's contract makes him hard to trade in most situations, but earlier this week we explored six potential trade destinations that might make sense this offseason.

And now one NFL insider sees the most logical destination as entirely possible.

NBC Sports' Peter King, one of the most plugged-in reporters in all of football, appeared on Pro Football Talk on Friday and discussed the Eagles' QB situation, including whether Wentz could realistically be traded this offseason.

Here are King's comments, which both provide context around a possible Wentz trade and also stoke the embers of one obvious destination:

"Some team out there is going to have to want Carson Wentz. And the only team I see that could potentially want Carson Wentz is the Indianapolis Colts.

"[...]

"Look, Chris Ballard, the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, and Frank Reich, the head coach, want a long-term quarterback. They don't want scotch tape fixes. My whole thought about this is, I'm not saying the Colts are going to be interested, but knowing Chris Ballard and knowing Frank Reich, especially Ballard, that he will study this situation fervently.

 

"[...]

"I think Frank Reich will want him. That's just my gut feeling. And if Frank Reich does want him, then it's a matter of, what would the Eagles take? Would they need to have what they would consider fair compensation? Or would they just want to say, 'Look, we want to do a solid for Carson Wentz. It just didn't work out.'"

Intriguing!

Now, before we go too far, it's important to note that King said this is his "gut feeling" and not a directly sourced report. This isn't King talking to Ballard and Reich directly about a Wentz trade. It's King making an informed hypothesis, based on how well he knows both Indianapolis decision makers and the way they think about these things.

But when King says something, even if it's just his gut, football fans should always listen.

Wentz on the Colts would make a world of sense, for so many reasons. Here's the argument I laid out earlier this week:

"Wentz had his best year as a professional when current Colts head coach Frank Reich was helping scheme up the Eagles' offense as the team's offensive coordinator. The Colts are ostensibly in win-now mode because of a superb defense and great talent development on offense, but Philip Rivers is not a long-term answer at quarterback, and Rivers is a free agent this offseason. 

"The on-the-field fit is perfect: Indy's defense being excellent, a talented young running back duo of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, and an offensive line featuring one of the best young talents in the league in Quenton Nelson, means Wentz wouldn't have to be a Pro Bowler to power the Colts to the playoffs, just a game manager with a handful of good plays each game."

The Colts are slated to have $76 million in cap space next year, they have built-in familiarity with Wentz, they have a win-now attitude, and they have a need at quarterback for the forseeable future.

And now we have one of the most attuned reporters in the country saying he thinks the Colts' head coach will be interested in such a move.

We'll see what happens, but it all paints a very intriguing picture.

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