The Carson Wentz experience is over in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Eagles have decided to deal Wentz and most of his $128 million contract to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-rounder in 2021 and a conditional second-rounder in 2022 that could turn into a first-rounder if Wentz meets certain milestones for Indy, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
If Wentz plays 75 percent of Indy’s offensive snaps in this upcoming season or if he plays 70 percent and the Colts make the playoffs, the 2022 pick will become a first-rounder for the Eagles, but the pick can’t be any lower than the second round no matter what, sources said.
The Colts must be relieved to have gotten the deal done without giving up a first rounder, as the team was apparently working with the Eagles for the better part of a fortnight to get this exchange done. The deal cannot become official until the new league year begins on March 17th.
Surprisingly, the Chicago Bears did not inquire about Wentz even though they’ve had a quarterback problem for the past few years, according to an ESPN source.
Philly will eat the biggest dead cap hit any team has taken on any single player in NFL history—a $33.8 million parting gift for their former number one overall pick. Indianapolis will take over the remainder of the North Dakota State Alumnus’ $120 million contract, which can run through 2024 if the Colts so choose.
It would seem that both sides are getting what they were after with this deal.
The Colts get a young quarterback with whom they believe they can win now after Philip Rivers’ retirement left a hole right in the middle of their offense. Though wideout T.Y. Hilton is an unrestricted free agent who may leave in the offseason, the Colts have a strong running game and an elite offensive line, which are both luxuries Wentz had not had for some time in Philadelphia.
Because of the history between Wentz and Reich, there had been many (including this writer) suggesting this match ever since things went irretrievably sour between Wentz and former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.
Reich had been the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia for Wentz’ first two NFL seasons, including his run for MVP in 2017 that ultimately fell short because of a major knee injury in the final month of that season. After Reich departed for Indianapolis following Philly’s Super Bowl triumph at the end of that campaign, Wentz and the Eagles offense never seemed quite as dynamic.
Wentz did throw 48 touchdowns against just 14 interceptions over the next two seasons despite a stress fracture in his back, but the bottom fell out in 2020 when the former number two overall pick led the league in interceptions (15) and completed a ghastly 57.4 percent of his passes. He was benched in the final month of the season, and Wentz’ fate seemed sealed.
In the end, it was, and not even the replacement of Pederson with Nick Sirianni as head coach of the Eagles could keep Wentz from wanting out. He will now be reunited with Reich, who one would think is the guy to extract the greatness out of the 28-year-old.
The Colts had a positive season with Rivers at the helm last year, but his age was showing at times, and in the end Indianapolis fell to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round.
That strong offensive line will be a godsend for Wentz, who was sacked an NFL-high 50 times in 2020 despite only playing in 12 games. Indianapolis definitely has their eyes on title contention with this move, though their odds to win the Super Bowl next season remain very high, sitting at 12th in the league with +2200 NFL odds on 888sport.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, has finally closed the book on the Carson Wentz saga. Though his tenure with the team did include the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl championship, the credit for that achievement goes to local legend Nick Foles.
Since that inimitable feat, the Eagles have made the playoffs twice, but injuries kept Wentz from finishing any of Philly’s postseason contests. The dismal performance by the offense in 2020 can be partially blamed on Wentz, partially blamed on play-calling, and partially blamed on an alarmingly low skill level across most of the offense.
The Eagles had also taken an exciting quarterback in the second round of last year’s draft—Jalen Hurts—which didn’t exactly boost Wentz’s confidence. Hurts had overtaken the Raleigh native as starter by December, though even his spot as the team’s quarterback of the future is now in question, with the Eagles expected to bring in competition for the starting gig either through the draft or through a free agency market saturated with quarterbacks.
Wentz leaves Philadelphia with the single-season franchise records for passing yards (4,039), completions (388), completion percentage (69.6), and passing touchdowns (33) to his name.
Wentz’s departure from the Eagles marks the last of the 22 signal callers drafted in the first round of the NFL draft from 2009 to 2016 to move on from the team that drafted them. With all that quarterback turnover around the league it’s no wonder Tom Brady’s been dominating the field for the last decade.