The Chicago Bears could be entering the Carson Wentz Sweepstakes. That’s right, Bears fans. Life comes at you fast. Thursday, NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Mike Garafolo reported the Philadelphia Eagles were receiving calls from multiple teams interested in trading for Wentz. Then, on Friday, rumors began flying, with many Bears analysts wondering whether the Eagles’ quarterback’s current ties to the Bears’ coaching staff could mean he’s headed for the Windy City.
Current Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo worked with Wentz in the same role back when the signal-caller had his best statistical season in 2017, and Chris Mortensen reported back in 2016 that Bears general manager Ryan Pace was targeting Wentz as Jay Cutler’s replacement in the draft that year. The Eagles selected him second overall in 2016, beating Pace to the punch. Now that trade rumors are swirling around Wentz, the Bears are one of two teams that keep coming up where he’s concerned:
Bears analyst Brandon Robinson of Windy City Gridiron also Tweeted that Chicago “will be heavily involved on Carson Wentz. Say what you want about Wentz but there is a believer on the coaching staff that has experience working with him,” — a sentiment that only added fuel to the fire. He then doubled down shortly after that and Tweeted the Bears had the “top offer” so far in the trade battle for Wentz:
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Wentz Could Soon Be Heading to Chicago
Tim McManus of ESPN also recently pegged the Bears as a top landing spot for Wentz, although he did note there may be some residual weirdness playing alongside Nick Foles again:
Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo had success with Wentz while serving in the same role for Philadelphia from 2016 to ’17. He coached Wentz hard and helped keep him within the structure of the offense. Other coaches haven’t had as much luck since. It could prove a fruitful and much-needed reunion. Trubisky is a pending free agent, while Foles is under contract and scheduled to make $4 million this season. Foles and Wentz, teammates again? That might be too close to the past for Wentz’s liking.
Wentz, of course, saw former backup Foles win a Super Bowl for the Eagles after he was injured during the 2017 season, which remains his best statistically. Wentz was benched after the worst season of his five-year career in 2020, when he completed just 57.4 percent of his passes for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns and a league-high 15 interceptions.
Injuries, Hefty Contract Primary Concerns With Wentz
A torn ACL ended an incredible 2017 campaign for Wentz. He was on an MVP-like tear that year, completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a rating of 101.9. A back injury cut his 2018 season short, and he went down after getting a concussion in the 2019 Wild Card game against the Seahawks. He did stay healthy despite a rocky statistical season this year, so he’ll enter 2021 ready to go.
Another primary concern where Wentz is concerned is his hefty contract. The 28-year-old quarterback’s 2021 salary will count $34,673,536 against the cap, with just over $25 million guaranteed. The Bears could swing it if they released a few players, but it’s not an ideal price tag for a quarterback many view as a reclamation project.