In the interest of transparency, I am in favor of the Philadelphia Eagles trading Carson Wentz. In the interest of objectivity, here’s my best attempt to lay out the pros and cons of the team making such a move.
- Wentz just might not be very good now. He’s 17-21-1 as a starter since tearing his ACL. He doesn’t appear to be the same athlete after multiple injuries (knee, back, concussion). He was arguably the worst full-time starting quarterback in the NFL last season.
- It’s hard to have supreme confidence in Wentz being “fixed” when there’s a lot of evidence to suggest he’s not a very coachable player. It doesn’t seem like he was humbled by his benching; he reportedly complained to Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman after it happened. There’s a lack of self-awareness here.
- Even if Wentz rebound to 2018-2019 form, is that good enough to seriously contend for a title? The Eagles went 14-13 in games he started those seasons. Paying a top 12ish quarterback like an elite quarterback isn’t the most efficient use of resources.
- To what extent is Wentz truly fixable when we haven’t seen him improve when it comes to two key issues: fumbling and inaccuracy? He’s fumbled 59 times in 69 games. He’s ranked 38th (2016), 12th (2017), 27th (2018), 33rd (2019), and 38th (2020).
- Trading Wentz confirms the Eagles are taking a more long-term approach, which is probably their best path for getting back to relevance. They’re not in a position for a quick fix.
- Hurts showed some level of promise as a rookie. They can take a look at him in 2021 without having to worry about making a long-term financial commitment. Hurts isn’t eligible for a contract extension until after the 2022 season.
- The Eagles have the option of drafting a quarterback at No. 6 overall … or potentially trading up to take one in the 2021 NFL Draft. Doing so would be made easier by using asset(s) received in the Wentz trade.
- The Eagles actually clear $852,928 in cap space by trading Wentz. It’s not much but it’s more than nothing. Trading Wentz also allows the Eagles to avoid $10 million of his 2022 salary becoming fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2021 league year.
- Trading Wentz now could be the Eagles’ last chance to get something valuable in return for him. His value would only drop if he returned for a quarterback competition with Hurts and then lost it. Or if he won the competition but struggled to the point where he got benched again.
- There have been questions about Wentz’s leadership for years now. Teammates haven’t been shy to anonymously criticize him. There’s a track record of the team playing more inspired football in his absence.
- Wentz could go on to thrive elsewhere. Maybe he rounds back to form under a new coaching staff. Maybe his new general manager finds a way to put elite talent around him, unlike in Philly. Maybe the new organization doesn’t coddle him as much and adequately holds him accountable.
- Wentz’s 2020 season was the outlier in him being as bad as he was. He’s likely not going to continue to be that bad moving forward. Here’s how he’s ranked in PFF grade by season: 21st (2016), 5th (2017), 14th (2018), 14th (2019), and 2020 (31st). It’s not easy to assume he’ll get back to near-MVP form but there’s reasonable optimism about him being the player he was over the two seasons before last year.
- The Eagles could struggle to find an adequate replacement. Hurts is far from guaranteed to be a franchise quarterback. Pro Football Focus had him graded 40th out of 42 quarterbacks last year, just above Joe Flacco and Dwayne Haskins. While Hurts might be way more coachable, he doesn’t have the raw talent that Wentz does.
- How is one supposed to have faith in this regime successfully drafting and developing a new quarterback after what just happened with Wentz? There might be more hope for trying to fix their broken player as opposed to starting this process all over again.
As I’ve written before, I never used to be a big anti-Wentz guy. I actually counted myself among his biggest believers as recently as heading into 2020 training camp. I’d still really like to see him get back on the right track. But I have almost no confidence in that happening based on everything I’ve seen and heard.
Getting rid of Wentz hardly fixes the Eagles. Many concerns remain about this organization with Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman leading the way. But perhaps the Eagles’ search for a new quarterback will end in them finding one who is elite and can make up for the front office deficiencies.
Or maybe the next signal-caller will be doomed to a similar fate as Wentz.
Should the Eagles trade Carson Wentz?
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