The long wait is over, and a new era has begun for the Eagles at the quarterback position.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Philadelphia agreed to send Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick, and a conditional 2022 second-round pick.
That second-round pick has the ability to become a first-round pick if Wentz plays at least 75% of snaps, or 70% if the Colts make the playoffs, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Trading Wentz will result in a $33.8 million cap hit for the Eagles, a difficult but necessary pill to swallow in order to offload the quarterback’s massive contract. It will be the largest dead cap charge in NFL history.
The move can’t be officially made until the new league year, which starts on March 17th.
The Trade Caps Off A Tumultuous Wentz Tenure In Philly
It’s unfortunate that Wentz’s time in Philadelphia had to end this way. Expectations were high for the QB out of NDSU in 2016, and he didn’t disappoint. His MVP-caliber season in 2017 has been the highlight of his career.
Although Nick Foles was the one who would eventually lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory after Wentz tore his ACL, Wentz’s contributions helped the team reach the playoffs as the number 1 seed.
Ever since Wentz’s injury, he’s shown flashes of his prior self, but he never was able to return to the dynamic abilities he showed on a weekly basis.
After two better-than-average seasons in 2018 and 2019, Wentz hit a wall in 2020. While it’s true that the lack of weapons and injuries didn’t help put Wentz in the best position to succeed, the quarterback’s many, rookie-like mistakes eventually led to his benching.
A once-solid relationship between Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, and Wentz now ends with Roseman as the last man standing, for better or worse. It also leaves Jalen Hurts as the new starting QB, at least for the time being.
The Big Question: Is This A Good Return?
So, was this the haul that the Eagles were expecting? Far, far from it if the reports that the Eagles wanted two second-round picks were true.
There were a number of factors that led to this less-than-expected package. First, Wentz’s putrid season didn’t help one bit. What a shocker!
Secondly, the lack of a QB market had a large impact on trade talks. Unfortunately, Indianapolis and Chicago had seemed to be the only two real options for a Wentz trade.
What’s more, the Bears apparently stopped discussions a few days ago, giving the Colts all the leverage over the Eagles in trade talks.
The Colts’ third-round pick this year will be in late in the third round, thanks to their 11-5 record. The key to the trade, however, is the conditional 2022 second. The conditions aren’t difficult to reach if Carson is able to stay healthy:
This is very realistic. Wentz has played
2020: 72% (benched)
That 2nd is probably going to be a 1st https://t.co/sHZqxQKuKx
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) February 18, 2021
As much as some fans would want to see Wentz succeed in Indy with Frank Reich, it would be better for the Eagles if the Colts lose as much as possible in order to secure a much better draft pick.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Wentz does in a new organization and if he’ll ever be able to return to his prior level of performance. One can only imagine having Reich will help him, but you never know.
As for Philadelphia, their next move lies in figuring out who will be the new face of the franchise at quarterback. Whether it’s Hurts or someone else, it’s a crucial decision that will decide the fate of the team for the foreseeable future.