There has been recent chatter about the Eagles moving on from Carson Wentz. They could trade the franchise quarterback to Indianapolis for a reunion with Frank Reich, or maybe they decide to outright cut Wentz in the offseason. But any kind of parting of ways would bring severe financial ramifications, ones akin to a convict “escaping from Alcatraz.”
NFL Insider Dan Graziano threw out the interesting analogy of breaking out from San Francisco’s famed maximum-security island prison during an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” show. His main point is that even if you found the right trading partner (see: Indianapolis), then they would have to take on Wentz’s massive contract.
Imagine suggesting that the Eagles trade Carson Wentz in 2021, taking on a $60M dead cap charge on a potential $180M Cap, for a player who won't be there.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) November 24, 2020
The Eagles quarterback is due $30 million in 2020 and $25.4 million in guaranteed money for 2021. Are those astronomical salary numbers worth a first-round pick? It depends on how much Reich believes in Wentz. And cutting Wentz this offseason makes even less sense.
The Eagles would still owe him that $25.4 million in guaranteed money, plus an additional $15 million roster bonus that triggers in March. That works out to a $59.4 million dead cap charge in 2021. The dead-cap hit decreases to $40 million in the 2022 offseason, but waiting a whole year to release Wentz further stunts Jalen Hurts’ development — and that’s assuming the Eagles believe the second-round pick is the future of the franchise.
.@DanGrazianoESPN says the Eagles getting out from Carson Wentz's contract would be like "escaping from Alcatraz."
"They are stuck with Carson Wentz!" pic.twitter.com/e5JfVHNvTg
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) November 24, 2020
So, yeah, things are getting overly complicated very quickly in Philadelphia. Tough decisions loom for GM Howie Roseman and the (gulp) first-place Eagles. One thing is certain, the Eagles don’t have any immediate plans to bench Wentz.
“If you get to that spot, whether you don’t start him or bench him, you are sending the wrong message to your football team that your season is over and that is a bad message,” Pederson told reporters after Sunday’s loss. “We have to work through this. When times get tough, sometimes that might be the easy thing to do.”
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Eagles Can Win NFC East, Too Much Pride
The main argument for not benching Wentz has to do with playoff position. The Eagles (3-6-1) remain in first place in the NFC East and throwing an inexperienced Hurts into the fire is the great unknown. The dual-threat rookie could be great or maybe he’s awful. No one knows for sure. Pederson would prefer to keep the status quo.
“We still have a lot to play for. We have a lot to fix,” Pederson said. “It’s not — in this city, the quarterback and the head coach, it’s all about the QB and the head coach. Everybody else can almost go by the wayside, I guess. So it’s almost like a two-man band.”
I'm pretty clear. I am sticking with Wentz. I STILL think he has a lot of ability and talent. The coaches should play the best players. If the coaching staff thought Hurts gave them a better chance to win against Seattle, he would be there – Ron Jaworski
— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) November 23, 2020
Pederson firmly believes switching the quarterback would signal the season is over to many. There’s enough blame to go around and plenty of time to address it.
“There is enough to go around that none of it is excusable. We all hold each other accountable, coaches and players,” Pederson said. “That’s why I keep saying that we have a lot to play for. There is a lot of pride here. That’s what we’re going to do.”
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