The momentum started to build over Super Bowl weekend, then it seemed to be over and everyone was trying to figure out what it meant.
Take a deep breath. Early February. The Wentz case will almost certainly be concluded, and there is reason to believe that it will be in the near future.
While we wait, there’s something to think about:
Why the time has come now (or soon, at least)
– 7-year-old family painfully surprised with $30,000
– Commercial targets on Carson Wentz
– Sirianni nonprofit corporation on Eagles QB
– See the Eagles Super Bowl ring nearby
The Eagles technically have a trade deadline for Wentz on the 19th. Mars. They need to get him off the books before his $10 million bonus kicks in on the third day of the league year. It’s over a month and that gives the franchise a lot of slack.
The urgency comes from the fact that Philadelphia can’t afford to lose fans. The Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears are considered the top two candidates for Wentz – at least for now. Having different teams in the racing game is good leverage. But it’s not like the Colts and Bears have put all their hopes and fortunes on Wentz. It is assumed that both teams are considering other BQ options.
This should be a historic offseason for the quarterfinalists, and there is no shortage of rumors, from Deshaun Watson (Houston) to Marcus Mariota (Las Vegas) to Sam Darnold (New York Jets).
If the Eagles drag things out too long, they risk one of their potential trade partners getting impatient and making a deal with another quarterback, leaving Philadelphia in a weakened bargaining position with the other teams.
What’s the delay?
The Eagles are looking to get a package from Matthew Stafford, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. This year, the Detroit Lions traded Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for a third-round pick, two first-round picks and quarterback Jared Goff.
It doesn’t hurt to look for glory, but it’s hard to find anyone in league circles who believes Wentz can or should get multiple first-round picks based on his game film from the 2020 season. In 2020, he ranked 34th in percentage completion (57.4%) and first for interceptions (15) and sacks (50). It is expected to bring in $47 million over the next two years.
However, Wentz, 28, has shown in the past that he has an MVP ceiling. The Eagles want significant compensation for the talent they are losing and the $34 million NFL record they will get for it in 2021.
If former Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford was worth a pick in the first and fourth rounds, what was Wentz worth?
It’s about finding the ideal place where both teams can leave the deal feeling good.
Louis Riddick analyzes the commercial strength and commercial value of Carson Wentz for the Eagles.
Wentz Leverage Rating
Philadelphia should at least consider Wentz’s preferred landing spot. If he does get to Indianapolis – and that’s not a huge leap into the unknown, especially given his proximity to former Eagles coach and current Colts coach Frank Reich – there are reasons to try to accommodate the quarterback.
Providing a favored team is a testament to the respect Wentz and his agent Ryan Tolner have for some of the top players in the league. In return, there is a chance that Wentz can help facilitate the trade to a coveted location. And it avoids the risk that Wentz could derail a deal with another team by saying he doesn’t want to play for that team.
These considerations shouldn’t go any further – Wentz already wants to get rid of a fairly significant organizational disadvantage in Philadelphia, and CEO Howie Roseman should prioritize getting the best return for Wentz first – but the simplest thing would be for Wentz to end up where he wants to be, and for the Eagles to get a fair value for him that matches that of the other teams.
It should also be noted that Philadelphia will move Wentz from the NFC to Indianapolis.
Why not put Wentz and Zach Ertz together?
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One way to find the right value might be to call on an Eagles veteran who is one of Wentz’s best friends in the deal. Contract negotiations between Ertz and the Eagles reached an impasse last season, and it’s pretty clear that a breakup is inevitable at this stage.
The 30-year-old Ertz was limited to 11 games in 2020 due to injury and had a poor season overall, but has otherwise been a force in the league. He led the Eagles in both catches and receptions in each of the previous four seasons and recorded more catches (525) in the first seven seasons of his career than any other close game in NFL history.
Reich would certainly be happy to have Ertz back, one of the Eagles’ Super Bowl heroes who won Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots. The Colts have the room to absorb Ertz’s $8.25 million base salary in 2021.
The Eagles would rightly expect a nice package in return for Wentz and Ertz, freeing up some cash for the future.
Maybe adding the two players to the package is too difficult, but it’s at least worth discussing and could get us closer to the end of Wentz Watch in 2021.