It was inevitable, and we should have all seen it coming.
The moment the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson named rookie Jalen Hurts his new starting quarterback and benched former No. 2 pick Carson Wentz, the rumors of Bill Belichick being ready to swoop in would begin.
The New England Patriots might be in the market for a veteran and a rookie quarterback in 2021. Speculation has begun that the team might move on from Cam Newton and if they do, Wentz could be their latest reclamation project.
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What’s the Deal With Wentz?
Wentz’s career has been filled with ups and downs. His four-plus years have been marred by untimely injuries. As a rookie, he led the Eagles to a 7-9 record in a promising first season. In his second year, Wentz played 13 games, generated an 11-2 record but was hurt late in the season.
Nick Foles took over for him and proceeded to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. Over the next two-plus seasons Wentz led the Eagles to a 17-21-1 record and he has struggled to regain the form he displayed in his sophomore campaign.
He still has plenty of career left and appears to be healthy. Is this where the Patriots come in to put him back on the right track?
Why Might the Patriots Be Interested in Wentz?
No matter how Cam Newton and the Patriots end this season there is a train of thought that could lead to a separation of the two parties. Obviously, if he implodes in the final four weeks, the decision to move on is fairly clear.
However, if Newton plays well and leads the Patriots to the playoffs, or perhaps just short of that lofty goal, his stock could rise to a point that pushes his price tag beyond what the team is comfortable paying him.
The Patriots would have the option to franchise tag Newton, but that would pay him even more than he’d likely get on the open market–especially considering the crunch that is expected as fallout from revenue lost due to the pandemic.
If Newton’s price is too high, perhaps the Patriots would consider trading for Wentz, who is scheduled to make just over $15 million in 2021. The Patriots could escape some of the prolonged obligations if they are displeased with Wentz next season.
Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap talked about a potential asking price for Wentz:
I don’t believe it would cost much. Primarily you are giving the Eagles financial relief by trading for him. I don’t think the Eagles would kick in money (that defeats the purpose) nor would they send over a pick (they can sell that they can handle the deal in 2021 and move on in 2022). The Bears gave up a 4th round pick for Foles who was benched for Gardner Minshew so I would imagine the cost would be a 3rd here plus conditionals. That’s good for someone who just last year was considered a good signing at $32 million a year.
Is This a Good Idea?
I love Wentz’s character and I truly believe he is likely in need of a change of scenery.
However, I don’t like the idea of the Patriots trading for him. If for whatever reason the Patriots and Newton don’t extend their relationship, New England would be better off turning to Jarrett Stidham and drafting a quarterback somewhere between the fourth and fifth round for some insurance down the road, depth and a potential trade chip should Stidham round into a franchise quarterback.
There is no reason to prolong a rebuilding effort by starting over with a quarterback that the organization has to rebuild.
If the Patriots were in the same position they were prior to this season that would be different. No matter how this season finishes, the Patriots have forged a different identity behind running the football and playing sound defense with a dynamic secondary.
It would be unwise to stagnate the overall growth of the team by taking a chance and parting ways with draft assets for Wentz.
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