Despite coming off two straight 7-9 seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles might be more of an attractive free agent destination than you think. And it’s all because of No. 11: Carson Wentz. Interesting note here from ESPN’s Tim McManus.
Speaking with league insiders in preparation for the start of free agency (March 9, 4 p.m.), it has become clear that there are several free-agent wide receivers drawn to the idea of playing for the Philadelphia Eagles because of Wentz, the second-year quarterback out of North Dakota State.
McManus goes on to talk about how free agents pass catchers such as DeSean Jackson and Kenny Britt have “privately expressed” their desires to play with a top quarterback. Jackson also publicly praised Wentz in an interview last week.
The reality is that most free agents sign with teams based on money. And the Eagles are limited on cap space (expected $20 million) while other teams, such as the Cleveland Browns ($103 million), have much more moolah to offer. But if the money is close, it doesn’t hurt that the Eagles have a potential tie-breaking factor in a player’s decision.
Even if the Eagles aren’t able to sign a bunch of top-flight receivers due to their cap situation, it’s at least interesting to see how highly Wentz is viewed around the league. He struggled as a rookie after a strong start to the season but the league is still clearly intrigued by his talent. Having the prestige of being the No. 2 overall pick certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Philadelphia badly needs to sign multiple wide receivers in free agency this offseason. The team’s current receiving corps is the worst in the NFL. Not all of Wentz’s rookie struggles can be blamed away on the receivers he had to work with, but no one can say they helped him much.
We’ll see just how much players truly value Wentz’s presence in Philadelphia when the new league year starts on March 9. It’s also interesting to think about how if Wentz is a free agent draw now, how will Philadelphia be viewed in future offseasons if/when his career takes off and he’s posting great numbers? An exciting prospect.