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Wentz's contract gives Eagles worst QB situation in NFC East

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It's entirely possible Washington messed up the Dwayne Haskins situation, but even at its messiest point, what the Eagles have going on now with Carson Wentz is much worse. 

Wentz once looked like a perennial All Pro type passer, the QB that would keep the Eagles in the playoffs year after year. But that was a long time ago now, and on Sunday, Philly benched Wentz to go with rookie Jalen Hurts in the second half of a lopsided loss in Green Bay. 

It's bad enough to bench Wentz, but look at his contract details and the situation goes nuclear. 

Philadelphia signed Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract extension in 2019 that kicks in for the 2021 season. The deal includes nearly $70 million guaranteed.

Next season Wentz will count nearly $35 million on the Eagles salary cap, good for 17 percent of Philadelphia's total cap space. Don't forget either that the cap is expected to dip next year due to Covid expenditures, so that percentage will likely increase. 

Cutting Wentz is simply not possible. 

To release him in the offseason would bring a $59 million dead cap penalty. $59 million!

In 2022, Wentz will count $31 million on the Eagles cap, about 14 percent. Releasing him then would bring a $24.5 million dead cap penalty with about $7 million in cap savings. Still not realistic. 

By 2023, when Wentz will still count $34 million on the cap and about 14 percent of their spending room, the Eagles could release the former No. 2 overall pick. There's a $15 million dead cap hit but the team would save $19 million in space. 

 

That likely means at least two more seasons of Wentz on the books in Philly, at a staggering high number.  

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It's also possible he gets back to his form from 2017, when Wentz was an MVP frontrunner before a knee injury knocked him out for the year. Then the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl with backup QB Nick Foles, and really, everything has been a little weird since for Philadelphia. 

At this stage, Wentz is an inaccurate passer that throws a lot of interceptions. He's completing 57 percent of his passes with 16 TDs against 15 INTs and he's averaging fewer than 220 yards-per-game. He's a bad quarterback, and that's why Eagles head coach Doug Pederson had to bench him. 

Washington's quarterback situation is anything but settled. Veteran Alex Smith is under contract two more seasons but doesn't appear to be the long-term answer. Haskins, the 15th overall pick in 2019, has already been benched and moved to third-string this season. 

Still, Smith's salary is moderate for the position and Haskins is on a team-friendly rookie deal. The Giants have Daniel Jones on a team-friendly rookie deal.

Dallas has the most uncertainty at QB. Dak Prescott was playing the 2020 season on a franchise tag before a broken ankle ended his season. But the Cowboys could still get a long-term deal done with Prescott, or with what looks like a likely Top 5 pick, Jerry Jones could draft his QB of the future in April. 

Nobody has a mess like the Eagles.

Wentz is still on his rookie deal, playing on his fifth-year option right now. When the extension kicks in next year, look out, especially if Hurts proves he deserves the job. Or if Wentz continues to prove he doesn't.