The folks over at Football Outsiders recently put together a post for ESPN+ that features “daring moves” for all 32 NFL teams. The premise is to have some fun suggesting bold decisions that could help to improve teams. FO sure wasn’t reluctant to think ... outside the box ... for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sign QB Taysom Hill and ‘load manage’ QB Carson Wentz
Wentz has been exceptional when he has played the past three seasons, finishing second, 13th and 11th in QBR in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. But he has missed 13 combined regular-season and playoff games in that time and played through injuries in many others. Wentz can’t seem to avoid big hits, and the Eagles’ improvements in offensive pressure rate and adjusted sack rate haven’t helped.
The surest way to keep Wentz healthy for the playoffs is to keep him off the football field as much as possible. Philadelphia can accomplish this by signing super-utility quarterback Hill, a restricted free agent, and playing him 10 to 15 snaps per game under center. That would reduce Wentz’s injury risk, ease sophomore back Miles Sanders’ transition to a workhorse role, and provide Hill 200 or so snaps at quarterback to prove to future teams that he is capable of being a starter. That might be a hard sell for Hill this offseason despite his breakout divisional-round performance — he has attempted just 15 regular-season passes in his three-year Saints career.
Oh my. Where to begin?
First of all, annoying we’re talking about Wentz being injury prone after he just started 17 games and only got hurt in the playoffs because Jadeveon Clowney illegally launched into the back of his head.
The surest way to keep Wentz healthy for the playoffs is to keep him off the football field as much as possible
The Eagles need to actually get to the playoffs for Wentz to be healthy for the playoffs. And the Eagles’ chances of making the postseason decrease whenever Wentz isn’t on the field.
Thirdly, the Eagles can’t realistically acquire Hill. He’s a restricted free agent and the New Orleans Saints are expected to at least tender him at the second-round level, if not the first-round level. It would be insane for the Eagles to trade a Day 1 or Day 2 pick to an NFC rival in exchange for a backup gadget quarterback who will turn 30 before the 2020 season begins. It’s not even remotely realistic.
For the record, I don’t even hate Hill as a player. I actually think how the Saints utilize him is kinda fun and legitimately useful. I wouldn’t mind the Eagles adding him if it was as simple as signing him in free agency. But that’s not the reality of the situation.
I know the premise of FO’s activity was to be “daring,” but, c’mon. They could’ve suggested something at least a little more realistic. For example, they have the Green Bay Packers trading for Odell Beckham Jr. I don’t even necessarily want the Eagles to do that but that’s more worth talking about than the Eagles giving up a premium draft pick to acquire Hill and play him at the expense of Philly’s most indispensable player.
The Eagles do have an interesting decision to make this offseason when it comes to finding Wentz’s backup for 2020. Keeping Josh McCown on the team seems preferable but can his body even handle playing anymore? Is re-signing Nate Sudfeld the answer? Is an external option the best route?
We’ll see. But one thing’s for sure: the Eagles won’t be acquiring Hill.
Elsewhere in the NFC East, FO suggests ... the Dallas Cowboys should let Byron Jones walk and trade for Darius Slay ... the New York Giants should sign Amari Cooper ... and Washington should draft Tua Tagovailoa.