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Eagles News: Carson Wentz had one of the 10 worst seasons in DVOA history

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/8/21.

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Scramble: 2020 All-Keep Choppin’ Wood Team - Football Outsiders
There are a couple different criteria we can use when picking a player for the Keep Choppin’ Wood team. Poor performance in and of itself can certainly qualify; anyone near the bottom of a DYAR or DVOA table is at least in contention. A horrible contract can help someone vault to the top of the list; even run-of-the-mill poor performance can win you an award if it’s tied to an albatross of a long term deal. Off-field incidents are always a favorite, as well — sowing discord in the locker room is a great way to earn a much-desired KCW honor. Sometimes, it’s difficult to weigh all the different categories to come up with one winner. Not this year, though — Carson Wentz blows away the field in the first two categories and scores some points in the third, and is the clear and obvious All-KCW Quarterback for 2020. Wentz finished with -780 passing DYAR, worst in the league and one of the 10 worst seasons in DVOA history. He was well on pace to at least break the Eagles’ record of -962, set by Bobby Hoying in 1998, and had an outside chance at 2018 Josh Rosen’s low-water mark of -1,145 before being benched late in the year. Wentz’s -35.9% DVOA was the fifth-worst in history among players with at least 400 pass attempts; we have rarely seen a passer play this poorly in such a large sample size. And, if you prefer classical stats, Wentz led the league in both sacks and interceptions, the first player to pull off that double since 2015. On on-field performance alone, Wentz deserves this spot.

Rumors about what Eagles would receive from Bears in Carson Wentz trade - BGN
Cohen is an interesting inclusion in a package for Wentz. Trading him causes the Bears, who are already currently $10 million over the cap, to lose $2 million in cap space. From the Eagles’ standpoint, it’s not hard to see why they’d have interest in him. Cohen is probably the player the Eagles wanted when they instead had to settle for Donnel Pumphrey in the 2017 NFL Draft. The 25-year-old profiles as an offensive role player in the Darren Sproles mold and he can also return punts. Having worked with Nyheim Hines on the Colts, Nick Sirianni probably wouldn’t mind having a similar player in that mold in Philly and Cohen fits the bill. He’s signed through 2023. We already wrote some thoughts about a potential Foles return on Saturday. The short of it is that there are reasons reacquiring him both does and doesn’t make sense.

The Rumors - Iggles Blitz
As to Foles, I think he would be more of a financial throw-in. The Bears have cap issues and would need to clear some space to handle Wentz’s salary. I know there are some fans who still think of Foles as a good starting QB, but that’s just not the case. The 2017 postseason was amazing, but that’s not who Foles is on a regular basis. He was beaten out by rookie Gardner Minshew in 2019 in Jacksonville and didn’t play well in Chicago last year. Depending on how things go in the draft, Foles would likely come here to mentor Jalen Hurts and be a backup. The Eagles know they won’t be contenders next year. There is no reason to go with a 32-year old starting QB who hasn’t played well in his last two seasons. Go with a young guy and think about the future.

Super Bowl LV: Strange Season, Normal Result—Tom Brady Wins His Seventh Title, Leads Bucs Over Chiefs - FMIA
2. Carson Wentz. The Eagles are on the verge of trading him, per Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. After Wentz’s landing spot (Indianapolis and Chicago are the most likely trade partners), the biggest issue to me is compensation. I asked one smart football person in the league the other day what logical compensation would be. “I don’t know what ‘logical’ means anymore,” this person said. “What kind of logical was the Stafford-Goff trade?” Last week, of course, the Rams traded Jared Goff plus a 2021 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and ’23 for Matthew Stafford, who turns 33 this offseason and has never won a division title nor a playoff game in 12 years with the Lions. The problem with divining proper trade value, of course, is figuring out what Wentz is right now. He played poorly in 2020 in Philadelphia, did not respond well to coaching, had a mental divorce with coach Doug Pederson, and will need both his head and arm fixed with a new team. Let’s say Chicago and Indianapolis are the top candidates. We know the Colts are interested; former Wentz offensive coordinator Frank Reich is the head coach. The Bears have 2017 Wentz-golden-year QB coach John DeFilippo as their quarterback coach. Chicago has the 20th pick in the first round, Indianapolis the 21st. My guess, and that’s all it is, is that the Bears would be more interested in trading the 20th pick plus something for Wentz than the Colts would in trading the 21st pick plus something for him. Why? The Bears are the more desperate team in 2021; coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace know their jobs are on the line, while Reich and GM Chris Ballard are solid as rocks in Indianapolis. I think Chicago would pay more in present value than Indy. Sidebar issue: Wentz would prefer to be reunited with Reich, I’m sure. Imagine if the Bears trade for him and don’t make the playoffs in 2021 and Chicago fires Nagy and Pace—and Wentz has to start over with a new coaching staff in Chicago in 2022? That’s got to be Wentz’s nightmare scenario. But, of course, his destination is not his choice.

How the NFL Pulled Off a Pandemic Super Bowl, and How the Buccaneers Dominated It - MMQB
The Eagles have shown their cards in at least one way. The effort to move Carson Wentz really ramped up after the Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams. GM Howie Roseman’s asking price at that point was, at least to some, a little jaw-dropping—Roseman asked for the return that Detroit got for Stafford. The problem there is that the true value of that return is a moving target. Do you view Jared Goff’s inclusion as a sweetener? Or as a salary dump? That’s in the eye of the beholder. But what was clear to teams that called was that Roseman thought he could get a first-round pick plus something else for Wentz. I don’t know whether that’ll happen or not. Chicago, which is in a tight spot at quarterback, is interested. Indy is too, but whether or not it’s to the degree the Bears are is an open question. Both teams have connections to Wentz, with his offensive coordinator from 2016 and ’17 (Frank Reich) in Indy, and his quarterbacks coach from that time (John DeFilippo) in Chicago. And then there’s the question about what level of control Wentz has over the process. Say he tells the Bears he doesn’t want to go there, in an effort to steer things to the Colts, but Chicago is offering the Eagles more than Indy? Bottom line, the situation is complicated, and that’s before you even get to a contract that’s going to lock a team trading for him in for two years. Wentz’s $10 million roster bonus due in March is fully guaranteed, as is his $15.4 million base salary, and $15 million of his $22 million for 2022 becomes fully guaranteed in March. Maybe Roseman will offer to pay the roster bonus to get the return he wants. Maybe he’ll take on a contract (Nick Foles?) like the Lions did. There’s just a lot to wade through here. Which brings us back to the original point—that this is negotiable shows the Eagles aren’t just dipping their toe in the water on dealing their disgruntled quarterback.

A big Wentz ‘what if’ in Roob’s 10 observations - NBCSP
2. Honestly? I wouldn’t trade a 1st-round pick for Wentz. After the way he played last year? Without knowing what Carson I’m getting in 2021? Without knowing why he played the way he did? Without knowing if he’ll ever be the guy he was from 2017 through 2019? Without knowing what long-term toll all the injuries have taken? I’d rather take that 1st-round pick and draft a guy who’s six years younger and doesn’t have the baggage. I could be dead wrong on this. Maybe Wentz goes to a new team and starts playing MVP football again. But I saw enough last year to really wonder whether he’ll ever be elite again.

QB Window Shopping: A WCG Round Table (Part 1) - Windy City Gridiron
What would be needed to make it work/why wouldn’t it work: I don’t think the Bears should pay more than their 2020 2nd round pick (ideally their 2020 3rd pick) for Wentz given the risk his contract carries (no real out until 2024), but we’re talking about Ryan Pace so who knows what cost he’s willing to pay. John DeFillipo loves Wentz by all accounts so it’s always possible the Bears go for him, but reports sending him to Indy seem awfully hot so Frank Reich may save the Bears the trouble when the dust eventually settles. This move simultaneously has such high potential AND such low potential I almost don’t have an opinion on it, but I personally don’t think I’d make the move for risk-related reasons alone.

Report: Dak Prescott had second unreported surgery on ankle, two sides are not close on long-term contract - Blogging The Boys
The report goes on to say that Dak is ahead of schedule medically so it appears that this second surgery was a good thing for him overall. Dak is on pace to return from his injury and will come back to find an NFL that has an exploding quarterback market. More teams than ever in recent history are expected to be changing hands at the most important position in the game. Needless to say, for the who knows what time, Prescott has all of the leverage. ESPN reported that the two sides are not close (sigh), but as noted the next month is going to be rather important. It is difficult to understand why the Cowboys seem to be continue going about things this way, a concept that Emmitt Smith himself found perplexing.

Adam Schefter: NFL salary cap expected to drop to $180-181 million - Hogs Haven
Adam Schefter says that the salary cap will likely be $180-181 million for 2021. This is still a reduction, but gives teams a little more breathing room to get their houses in order. It still represents an $18-19 million dollar reduction from last year, and a $28-30 million reduction from what teams likely expected it to be before COVID-19 hit.

Super Bowl LV Was About QB Mythmaking, Just Not in the Way We Thought - The Ringer
Sunday was supposed to be a duel between two historically great quarterbacks. Tom Brady’s and Patrick Mahomes’s legacies did change in significant ways, but Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’s contribution determined the outcome.

The Bucs got every call against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV - SB Nation
The story of Super Bowl 55’s first two quarters was not how any single player performed, but how much of an impact the officials made, which helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take a 21-6 halftime lead over the Kansas City Chiefs. While the Buc certainly outplayed the Chiefs, there were several questionable penalties that helped the ‘home’ team take control. That included a pair of pass-interference penalties at the end of the first half as Kansas City had 90 penalty yards in the second quarter alone.

How the NFL tackled Covid-19 - Vox
Masks, distancing, testing, and proximity sensors: The NFL’s Covid-19 playbook, explained.

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