The Philadelphia Eagles have exercised the fifth-year option on Carson Wentz’s contract prior to the May 2 deadline, according to an official announcement from the team.
This news was to be expected. Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman have repeatedly stated Wentz is the team’s long-term answer at quarterback.
This news means Wentz will not be an unrestricted free agent once the 2019 league year is over. His deal now runs through the 2020 season. Essentially, this option buys the Eagles some time.
The money in Wentz’s fifth-year option ($22,783,000) is not guaranteed, except for injury. Assuming Wentz isn’t hurt, the team “could” cut him prior to the start of the 2020 league year with zero dead money. Of course, barring something majorly unexpected, the team will not be doing that.
The Eagles picking up Wentz’s option doesn’t prevent the two sides from coming together as soon as this offseason to finalize a long-term contract. If the Eagles and Wentz can’t reach an agreement in 2019, the two sides can try again in 2020. If Wentz somehow isn’t re-signed by March 2021 (unlikely), the Eagles do have the option of using the franchise tag on him to make sure he doesn’t leave.
But it probably won’t come to that. The expectation is that the Eagles and Wentz will eventually be able to work out a long-term deal. It’s really a matter of “when” and not “if.”