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Eagles News: “The Bears have pushed harder than the Colts” to trade for Carson Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/16/21.

Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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“Chicago is the front runner” in a Carson Wentz trade - Windy City Gridiron
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB was a guest on Colin Cowherd’s The Herd earlier today, and he shared plenty of thoughts on the Carson Wentz trade talks with the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts during his brief segment. The Philadelphia Eagles still appear set to trade the former second overall pick in the 2016 draft, and according to Breer, “Chicago is the front runner.” [...] Breer again reiterated that “the Bears have pushed harder than the Colts,” and with Chicago offering the best return for the Eagles, it’s up the Philly to convince Wentz to accept playing in the Windy City. From the player’s standpoint, choosing the stable Colts organization over Chicago’s head coach and GM possibly fighting for their jobs in 2021 is a no-brainer, but ultimately Wentz has no say in where he’s dealt. But trading for a guy that may not be happy isn’t a smart way to enter a make-it-or-break-it season for Pace and Nagy, so Breer said that the “Bears would like to at least know that Carson Wentz is on board before pulling the trigger on a trade.”

MAQB: Suh’s Future, Washington’s Front Office Strategy, Coming TV Deals - Sports Illustrated
Jalen Hurts is a pretty self-aware dude, and he’s been in awkward quarterback situations before. So my guess is that he didn’t arrange to have Philly’s receivers meet him in Texas to work out (h/t to NBC Philly’s John Clark for the initial report on that) without giving the Eagles brass a heads up first. And if they signed off on it, it’s another sign that they’re well past the point of no return with Carson Wentz.

2020 Football Outsiders Awards - Football Outsiders
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Carson Wentz finished last in the league in passing DYAR, and joined Jon Kitna and Blake Bortles as the only quarterbacks to lead the NFL in interceptions thrown and sacks taken in the same season. And he did all that despite being benched for the last four games of the season; he was even a healthy scratch in Week 17. And though he wasn’t caught breaking league rules concerning safe behavior in a global pandemic, rumors have been floating for years that Wentz was selfish and hard to get along with; his toxic attitude may have cost Doug Pederson his job only three years after winning a Super Bowl (a game he won without Wentz). In the end, Wentz may have won this award because of the effects his season is going to have on the franchise beyond 2020. It’s certainly not a good thing for Washington that they released Haskins, a former first-round draft pick, before the end of his second season, but now that it’s done it’s nearly a clean separation, with only $4.3 million in dead money in 2021. Wentz’s contract extension, signed in 2019, still has four more years and over $78 million in salary remaining. Even if Wentz is traded this offseason, the fallout from his 2020 performance is going leave a mark on the Eagles roster for years to come.

Howie Roseman appears to be at a crossroads in the Carson Wentz trade negotiations - PhillyVoice
The problem for Roseman is that right now, he has almost no leverage. Not only are there a limited number of teams in the market for Wentz — right now the Colts and Bears appear to be the only two serious suitors, although more could emerge — but there are also several quarterbacks currently available, including Deshaun Watson, who would be markedly more desirable than Wentz should the Texans decide to trade him. There are plenty of others: Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Sam Darnold, and a slew of quarterbacks in the draft. Even Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers are potentially on the move. Additionally, two other teams that would’ve been potential options for QB changes (the Rams and Lions) already swapped quarterbacks, taking two teams out of the running for Wentz, while also taking two QBs off the market and perhaps blinding Roseman to how much Wentz is actually worth. In that deal, Roseman likely pictures Wentz’s value closer to that of Matthew Stafford, who returned several picks including multiple first-round picks, while it’s actually (and unfortunately) closer to that of Jared Goff. Now, the Eagles GM has a decision to make. Does he hold out for a better offer that may never materialize and risk being pushed all the way to that March 19 deadline, when a team could really take advantage of his desperation, OR does he pull the plug sooner rather than later, taking a lesser package simply to move on and get a fresh start?

What the Eagles should do at tight end - BGN
OUTLOOK: The Eagles can trade or release Ertz to clear about $4.7 million in cap space this offseason. Ertz is reportedly drawing interest from other teams, which suggests there’s some kind of market for his services. The tricky thing about trading him, though, is that the Eagles can’t benefit from the cap space clearance until AFTER the new league year begins. And so the Eagles won’t be able to trade Ertz if they can’t get under the cap without cutting him. It’s a shame Ertz’s time in Philly is coming to an end but it’s the right move for the Eagles to turn the page on the 30-year-old.

32 NFL players who need a change of scenery this offseason: Who needs a fresh start for every team - ESPN+
Tight end Zach Ertz. Contract extension talks between Ertz and the Eagles soured last offseason, and a split by trade now seems inevitable. Ertz, 30, was limited to 11 games because of injury in 2020 and had a down year overall, but he has been one of the most productive tight ends in the game over the course of his career. He’ll be doubly motivated next season as he tries to re-establish himself as one of the best at his position and prove to his new team that he is worth the investment. He has one year remaining on his deal and is scheduled to make $8.25 million.

After what he gave the Eagles, Zach Ertz deserves more than to be a sweetener in a Carson Wentz trade - Inquirer
His connection to the franchise and the city shouldn’t be surprising, from him to them or from them to him. He fulfilled every expectation that one could have had for him, as a second-round draft pick. The most conspicuous blemish on his resume, a missed block against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2016, became a point of self-reflection and inspiration for him, an opportunity to learn how to be less sensitive to criticism. Not every athlete who passes through Philadelphia makes that adjustment. Without it, perhaps Ertz doesn’t have the same career here. Perhaps he doesn’t make arguably the two most important catches in Eagles history: for a first down on fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII, for the go-ahead touchdown seven plays later.

Something for every player to consider: Bring urgency -
And that’s exactly the mindset every Eagles player must have with a new head coach and a mostly-new coaching staff – only run game coordinator/offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead return as primary position coaches – for the season ahead. Who on this roster has the luxury of taking anything for granted? Wouldn’t any approach like that directly counter the idea of competition and urgency that Sirianni wants as a piece of the team’s personality? Singleton, then, represents an ideal role model of sorts. He joined the NFL in 2015 and wasn’t able to find stable footing before joining the CFL for three seasons. Singleton joined the Eagles in 2019 and after being promoted from the practice squad became a core member of the special teams. A season later, he took his game to an entirely different level and now will be an interesting player to watch as the Eagles reconfigure the defense in every way. In a linebacker room that seems fairly wide open in terms of penciled-in roles and responsibilities, how do the coaches see Singleton fitting in? And can he play his way into a starting role again by outworking everyone and paying close attention to the fundamentals and details of the scheme?

From the Bleachers #53: The Eagles of Heart Mountai‪n‬ - BGN Radio
Author Bradford Pearson joins Shamus to discuss his new book, The Eagles of Heart Mountain, a work about a football team of high school Japanese-Americans during World War II in Wyoming. It’s a story of not just football, but one of the history of American culture and Japanese incarceration during that time period.

Three predictable things that will happen to the Dallas Cowboys this offseason - Blogging The Boys
Dak Prescott will be franchise tagged. The deadline for NFL teams to apply the franchise tag this year is March 9th. Tagging a player doesn’t guarantee that they will be playing on it as any tagged player will have until July 15th to work out a long-term deal with their team, but any tag must be placed by the ninth day in March. We are about three weeks away from March 9th which means that there are almost less than 20 days between now and the Dallas Cowboys having to blink just a little bit. Tagging Dak Prescott is something that the team will obviously do in a worst case scenario so that they do not lose him, but again, it wouldn’t really change any of the already-frustrating conversation. It is obviously possible that the Cowboys and Prescott will agree to a deal before then, but they have had over two years to do so at this point. What would make the next couple of weeks suddenly get the ball across the goal line that over 700 days was unable to do?

NFL free agency: High-priced WR targets for the Giants - Big Blue View
Allen Robinson may be looking for something north of Robert Woods deal. Robinson will be 28 next season. He’s coming off a season where he had 108 catches (wild card game included), 1,305 yards, and 6 touchdowns, with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles throwing him the football. Robinson would be a true number one wide receiver who can win contested catch situations, be a precise route runner, and force defensive coverage responsibilities away from players like Shepard and Slayton. His price tag may be a bit too rich for the Giants, but conversations have to at least happen. Jones cannot have another mediocre season - the NFL means Not For Long. Chicago may very well franchise tag Robinson, but he’d make a great number one weapon for Daniel Jones.

Monday Football Monday #24: Eagles Trade Rumors + The Jaguars Dumpster Fir‪e‬ - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney detail the latest with the Eagles and Carson Wentz/Zach Ertz, pile of the mess in Jacksonville created by Urban Meyer, discuss JJ Watt’s release from the Texans, and remember Terez Paylor.


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