- ESPN Senior NFL Analyst
- Joined ESPN in 1991
- George Polk Award winner; Twice nominated for Pulitzer Prize
- ESPN NFL Insider
- Joined ESPN in 2009
- Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books
The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to trade Carson Wentz in the coming days in what would be the latest blockbuster quarterback deal to rock the NFL, league sources tell ESPN.
The most pertinent questions now become where, when and for what. But it could happen as early as this week, per league sources, even as the Eagles continue to insist to other teams that they would be happy to bring Wentz back to Philadelphia.
The Eagles are said to be looking for, in the words of one well-placed source, “a Matthew Stafford package” in return for Wentz. The Lions traded Stafford to the Rams last weekend for a third-round pick this year, two future first-round picks and quarterback Jared Goff, the player selected directly in front of Wentz as the top two picks in the 2016 NFL draft.
Among the teams that have expressed some level of interest in Wentz are the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts, sources told ESPN, although other teams also have called to gauge the market and see what a package for the Eagles quarterback would look like.
It is all part of an NFL offseason that will feature a flurry of quarterback moves, with teams rushing to make sure they are not left behind. Once Wentz is traded, league sources believe it could help set the asking price for other deals such as one involving New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.
But a potential Wentz trade has been in motion for more than a week now, with the Eagles engaged in a flurry of trade conversations shortly after Stafford was sent to Los Angeles.
Those talks escalated as the week went on, but the Eagles keep telling teams that they do not plan on trading Wentz unless they get what they believe to he the appropriate compensation. The talks so far suggest they will, per league sources, which then would make 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts the Eagles starting quarterback for the coming season.
Although the Eagles do not feel rushed to trade Wentz, and nothing can be made official until the new league year begins March 17, Wentz does have a $10 million roster bonus due on the third day of the league year that Philadelphia would have to pay if their former first-round pick were on their roster. It is why a trade is expected to be agreed to long before then.
Wentz’s departure also would leave the Eagles with a $34 million dead cap charge, adding on to their challenging cap situation. But Philadelphia has known the cap challenges that were ahead for months and has a plan to address it, just as the Rams did with the departure and dead money on Goff.
New Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, who was hired as Doug Pederson’s replacement, has not publicly committed to Wentz as a starter, because he is fully aware that there has been a possibility that the quarterback will not be on the roster in 2021.
Nevertheless, team sources say Sirianni recently had a staff meeting in which many of the offensive coaches expressed that they believed they can help Wentz regain his Pro Bowl form.
The Eagles being open to moving Wentz in a trade supports owner Jeffrey Lurie’s declaration that Pederson’s firing was not primarily related to Wentz’s decline in 2020.
There have been whispers over the years that Wentz struggled at times with his ability to forge relationships across the locker room, but others believe that could have been a natural by-product of him and the team not living up to the lofty expectations that followed the 2017 season.
By many public accounts, Wentz has handled himself with class throughout his time in Philadelphia and has received public support from many of the team’s leaders over the years, including most recently Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce.
Despite efforts to ask for his reaction, Wentz was unavailable for comment. The Eagles declined comment.
But now it is all coming to a head, with the Eagles engaged in trade talks that multiple league sources believe will end up as the NFL’s next blockbuster quarterback trade.
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