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Division Links: Philly Special edition — it’s all Carson Wentz

BGN is understandably obsessed with what the future holds for the Eagles with or without their franchise QB, drafted one pick after Jared Goff, who was dealt to the Lions last week

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Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Bleeding Green Nation

Adam Schefter on Carson Wentz: ‘If I had to guess, I would guess he is traded’

NFL insider had some interesting things to say about the Eagles’ quarterback.

By this point, we’ve already seen multiple reports indicating he’s unhappy with his current situation. Adam Schefter delved into this topic even further during a Wednesday morning appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic with John Kincade, Bob Cooney, and Jamie Lynch.

COONEY: Schefty, I’ve got to ask you about this Jared Goff trade that we just saw happen, with him going over to the Lions. Is there something we can take out of that that makes a Carson Wentz trade more … I don’t want to say more possible, more likely?

SCHEFTER: No, not more likely. Because they’re not going to trade him unless they get back fair value. And what I would say is, the issue there is that the Eagles will want strong compensation for a guy that a few years ago could’ve won the NFL MVP. They all want strong conversation. And let me say this: that they will listen, absolutely listen. And if a team makes the right offer, there will be a trade that will be made. But if a team doesn’t make the right offer, I think that they will be open to bringing him back and having him compete in camp with Jalen Hurts. So, to me, it could go either way.

KINCADE: We’ve gone back and forth, Adam, about the idea that he still hasn’t spoken. Or hasn’t even released a statement. At this point, now that the new coach —

SCHEFTER: Well, that tells you something.

KINCADE: It does! It tells me that the leader of the franchise, the guy who is supposed to be the face of the franchise, somehow is disconnected from the franchise.

SCHEFTER: And wants to leave the franchise. Okay? And that’s why the trade still is in play. And, again, people wondering where did this stuff come from at the end of the year. Was it made [up]? This is all real. None of this is made up. And just because he would like to be moved or hasn’t commented doesn’t mean he will be. If I had to guess, I would guess he is traded. That would be my guess. At some point this offseason. But, again, they’re not looking to get rid of him. They’re not.

LYNCH: So, Adam, on that front, we’ve got a little indication of the market with the Stafford-Goff trade, not a full picture, obviously. So in your best guesstimation, what is your option on what the Eagles would consider in the ball park of fair value?

SCHEFTER: That’s a great question. I would say — and I don’t know this, but just off the top of my head — I think it would be a minimum of a first-round draft pick. A minimum. And of course they’re going to want more. They might want two first-round picks for all I know. I want to be very clear. I would say they want a minimum of a first-round pick. And that’s the issue, if you are a team that is thinking of trading [for him], are you willing to give up a one? A one plus? Are you wiling to do that for Carson Wentz? You tell me.

KINCADE: I don’t know that people would be lining up to do that. But, Adam, I know this. When you talk to people around the NFL, and in circles, and you’re just having conversations and the name comes up. Indy is where we always hear there’s a connection with Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts, that that makes the total sense. Can you tell me the other franchise or any other franchises whose name pops up when the name Carson Wentz pops up?

SCHEFTER: I’d like to know that, John, because I think there are more.

KINCADE: Okay, so you’re not hearing any specific name. Any franchise.

SCHEFTER: Well, let me say this. I have my own educated opinion. I’m not going to guess because I don’t know. But I have a couple of ideas of teams that potentially could be interested. But I don’t know.

Some thoughts on this all:

  • One would be living in straight-up denial to think the Eagles’ relationship with Wentz is totally fine and this is all some media-driven story making something out of nothing. Schefter is legitimate as they come and I’m sure people wouldn’t be doubting his sources if they were indicating something much more positive about the team (such as the Eagles being on the verge of acquiring some star player, for example).
  • Wentz has done nothing to distance himself from these rumors even though he’s had plenty of opportunities to do so.
  • Nick Sirianni couldn’t even guarantee that Wentz will definitely be on this year’s roster.

Bleeding Green Nation

Report: Eagles fielding Carson Wentz trade calls

Philadelphia is listening to offers for at least one of their quarterbacks.

Now we have NFL insider Ian Rapoport reporting that the Eagles are fielding trade inquiries that are coming in about Wentz.

With Matthew Stafford off the trade block and headed to the Rams, the eyes of QB-hungry general managers have turned to another QB who could be available: Carson Wentz.

Sources say that teams have begun calling the Eagles on their former starter Wentz, plotting a roadmap for a potential trade as teams get closer to the start of the league year.

The Eagles are not in a hurry to trade Wentz — and in fact as of now intend for him to return for 2021 under new coach Nick Sirianni — but they did field the calls and discussed the issue. GM Howie Roseman will almost always listen, and this is no different.

While Stafford went to the Rams (in principle) in exchange for two future first-round picks, a third-rounder and Jared Goff, it’s unclear what the price would be for Wentz. But it would have to be enough to make it worth it for the Eagles to trade someone who would otherwise factor heavily into their starting QB conversation.

As for teams interested in Wentz, the Colts are always linked to him because of their need at QB and because of coach Frank Reich. They will call on all the available passers this offseason. There are others.

Rapoport adds that Wentz and his camp haven’t “formally” requested a trade but the quarterback’s relationship with the Eagles is indeed “strained” and Doug Pederson’s firing “did not quell all of Wentz’s concerns.” Just more indication that Wentz isn’t happy with his current situation in Philly.

As for where Wentz might land, the Indianapolis Colts are mentioned here and also in a recent report from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan:

But the feeling from some high-ranking NFL personnel sources who have spoken to Inside The Birds’ Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher recently is that the Eagles will eventually wind up moving Wentz despite the massive cap hit that comes from the four-year extension Wentz signed in 2019.

Wentz has a $10m fully guaranteed roster bonus due on the third day of free agency (3/19). So it’s logical to think that if the Eagles wind up trading Wentz, they’ll do so before the $10m becomes due.

Multiple league sources, including a high-ranking executive from a team that attempted to trade for Matthew Stafford and a high-ranking executive from a team with an entrenched quarterback, told ITB that they believe the Colts are the most logical landing spot for Wentz.

While I don’t doubt Wentz’s interest in reuniting with Reich (and newly hired Colts assistant Press Taylor), questions have been raised about if the feeling is mutual. Based on what I’ve heard, I don’t know that it’s a foregone conclusion that Reich wants Wentz.

ESPN via Bleeding Green Nation

Eagles News: “Philadelphia has already received aggressive offers” for Carson Wentz

The NFL Network reported Thursday teams have started to call the Eagles about Wentz.

The wheels are in motion. One league source said their understanding is Philadelphia has already received aggressive offers. The Eagles are looking for significant compensation in return for the 2016 No. 2 overall pick to justify losing the talent and absorbing the more than $30 million dead cap hit they’ll take by trading him. Wentz was one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks statistically in 2020, and he is set to make $25.4 million in total cash next season — third highest among QBs in 2021. Those factors will affect his value.

So there is some dancing yet to be done. But in order to avoid the drama and distraction that comes with retaining a high-profile quarterback who wants out, it’s a safe bet the Eagles will work to make a deal happen, and have incentive to do so sooner rather than later before more seats get filled in the game of quarterback musical chairs.

Philly Voice via Bleeding Green Nation

Eagles mailbag: Why is Carson Wentz remaining silent? - PhillyVoice

Question from Kari: Hey Jimmy, do you think Wentz (or his reps) will make a trade request public? Really getting tired of fans saying the reports are false and “waiting for Wentz to speak.” Deshaun Watson made it public, why can’t Carson?

I don’t think you can be arguably the worst starting quarterback in the league statistically and publicly demand to be traded. The optics of that would look utterly ridiculous.

But also, the belief here has always been that the Eagles will be more than willing to trade Wentz if an acceptable offer comes along for him, but they’re not just going to give him away for nothing. The minute that Wentz demands publicly to be dealt, the lower his value becomes, and thus, the more unlikely that an offer will come along that the Eagles will find satisfactory.

So perhaps just laying low and saying nothing for now is his best chance of getting what he wants.

CBS Sports via Bleeding Green Nation

Carson Wentz trade rumors: Projecting the Eagles QB’s value, likely landing spots for potential deal - CBS Sports

Wentz has always been a superior talent in comparison to Goff, whose big contract necessitated the Rams pay more than expected to acquire Stafford, but just because the Eagles won’t pay someone to take Wentz’s deal in a similar manner (and mark our words: they won’t) doesn’t mean his market is bursting at the seams.

In the wake of the unexpected Goff-Stafford deal, creativity is probably key here. If the Eagles actually move Wentz, there’s a fair chance it won’t be a traditionally structured this-for-that swap. Maybe it involves multiple picks from both sides, or a player or two as well. But if you’re looking for a potential reference, the closest recent comparisons to Wentz — in rough terms of age, experience, upside and contract situation — appear to be Kevin Kolb, who was dealt by the Eagles to the Cardinals in 2011; and Alex Smith, who was traded from the 49ers to the Chiefs in 2013.

If it’s not obvious to you already, these are imperfect comparisons. Wentz is neither Kolb nor Smith; all three have or had very different careers and playing styles. But it’s not easy to find many trade examples of similarly established QBs — NFL teams tend to prefer retaining or rebuilding young signal-callers, not trading them away! Here’s a look:

QB: Kevin Kolb

Traded for: Second-round draft pick, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Kolb was 26 at the time of his trade, two years younger than Wentz, and had a surprisingly comparable contract; he joined Arizona with just one year remaining on a $12.25 million extension, which would’ve made him the NFL’s 10th-highest-paid QB that season. (Wentz would cost an acquiring team $25.4M in 2021, or the 12th-highest QB cap hit, but could be cut for a savings of $6.7M in 2022, or $19M in 2023). Kolb was much more of an unknown, departing Philly with just seven career starts, but had just lost his job to Michael Vick, in part due to injury.

QB: Alex Smith

Traded for: Second-round draft pick, conditional (second-round) pick

Smith was 29 at the time of his trade, just a year older than Wentz, and similarly had a several-year injury history after coming in as a high first-rounder. His cap hit in 2013, when he was dealt, was significantly lower — $8.5 million, or 16th-highest among QBs — but he’d also just lost his job to a younger dual threat in Colin Kaepernick. He’d started 75 games up to that point, not far off Wentz’s 68.

Kolb was sold as a developmental piece, whereas Smith was sold as a reclamation project. The Eagles could conceivably sell Wentz as something in between. Either way, the compensation here is key: Getting something like a second-round draft pick, plus a secondary asset, like another pick or potential starter, feels like a realistic ceiling for a move in this offseason. If the team is convinced that’s not enough, maybe Wentz is back. But the floor could easily be much lower: It’s fair to expect some offers, based on other QBs available, as well as Wentz’s regression over the last two years, to look more like a single mid-rounder.

“His value will depend on the number of serious suitors,” says Joel Corry, CBS Sports contributor and former agent and cap expert. “I can’t see Philly doing a Brock Osweiler-type salary dump. Nick Foles went to Chicago for a fourth-round compensatory pick. Philly will want more. Personally, I wouldn’t give up a first- or second-round pick based on this season’s regression. The best bet may be a conditional 2022 pick that could elevate to a first-round pick based on how Wentz and/or the acquiring team perform in 2021.”

Likely landing spots

Long shots:

Washington Football Team: They’ll probably call about every available QB, and while the Eagles have traded a franchise name to Washington before (see: McNabb, Donovan), they don’t want to watch him right his career playing them twice a year.

NBC Sports via Bleeding Green Nation

Donovan McNabb thinks it would be best to trade Carson Wentz - NBCSP

Donovan McNabb thinks it would be best if the Eagles trade Carson Wentz this offseason.

Here’s the exchange between Gelb and McNabb:

Gelb: “At this point, do you think it would be the best thing for Howie Roseman to trade Carson Wentz?”

McNabb: “Yes. But the problem is Howie is so tied to him, that his job pretty much is on the line for this. When people are questioning how he even still is working as the GM, when he lost his GM job with Chip Kelly, then they brought him back with Doug (Pederson). It helped him win the Super Bowl but you haven’t done nothing since. So the question is, you fired Doug but he still has his job?

“So Carson is tied to the hip with him. If they trade Carson, then that puts a little gasoline around Howie that something has to be done or you gotta get a great trade for Carson to help you out.”

In head coach Nick Sirianni’s introductory press conference last Friday, he dodged questions about the quarterback position, saying he hadn’t even thought about naming a starter yet. He has preached about the idea of competition but has stopped short of declaring Wentz will enter a quarterback competition with Jalen Hurts.

“Go back to the press conference that Nick had,” McNabb said. “Did he say that Carson Wentz was his guy? Did he even mention anything about the starting quarterback position? He’s talking about, well, I don’t know who the starting quarterback will be. Well, first of all, didn’t you get brought in there to possibly help Carson and to keep Carson there? And you say that? That just tells you more.

“Carson has no confidence in anybody in the organization to make the right decision for him because he feels everybody has turned their back on him. Well, that’s what usually happens when you don’t play well or people in the organization start talking.”

Philadelphia Inquirer via Bleeding Green Nation

Can Carson Wentz be fixed? Kurt Warner thinks so, but it’ll take a lot of work - Inquirer

“It’s a fascinating situation,” Hall of Fame quarterback and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner said earlier this week. “He was playing at an MVP level a few years ago. Even a year ago, he was inconsistent much of the year, but still brought his team back late in the season and got them into the playoffs.

“I think the Eagles’ approach is, ‘OK, we got away from what made Carson good, and he was pressing and had a bad year last year. But we don’t believe that’s who Carson Wentz is.’ ”

Last March at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, Warner focused primarily on mechanical issues, including an overreliance on his arm and an underreliance on his legs and lower body in his throwing motion.

What was behind his nightmare year this season? Mechanics again? Poor decision-making? Hanging on to the ball too long?

“All of the above,” Warner said. “I think there’s some deficiencies in different areas. He’s had some technique deficiencies for the last couple of years that have really hurt him and have hurt his consistency as a thrower.

“I also think there are some deficiencies in what he’s seeing on the field and where his eyes are going.”

Warner acknowledged that it’s hard to watch film and fully understand what a team is trying to do, what a player has been coached to do and what exactly the quarterback is seeing on a particular play.

“But watching Carson, there’s a number of times where I can’t quite figure out what he is doing on certain plays. So he needs more definition on what he’s looking at and why he’s working through his progressions the way he is and some of the things he’s been doing.

“There are some deficiencies there that need to be corrected for us to really, truly see what Carson Wentz can be at this level.”

“The reason he was the runaway MVP before he got hurt was because he was holding on to the ball and doing crazy, special things. Ad-libbing and making those special plays. That becomes a hard balance for these guys. That was something I never had to worry about. I had to get the ball out of my hands as quick as possible.

“But these guys are such great playmakers, it’s that balance between, OK, when do I throw the ball away, when do I get it out of my hand, and when do I try to be special on top of that?”