The Washington Commanders officially released Carson Wentz in a highly anticipated move to free up cap space. The decision to part ways with Wentz saved the NFC East team $26.176 million. Now speculation rages on where the one-time franchise quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles might land next.
One potential destination would be the Carolina Panthers for a reunion with new Panthers’ head coach Frank Reich. Wentz thrived under Reich’s tutelage in Philly, although things were a little bumpy at times when they teamed up on the Indianapolis Colts. Reich put his reputation on the line to trade for Wentz, but the experiment fizzled after only one year thanks in large part of recurring leadership issues and questions over his vaccination status. Reich was fired. Wentz was traded.
Still, Wentz might be a good fit as a stop-gap option until the Panthers decide what to do at quarterback. They do own the No. 9 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, with Sam Darnold and Matt Corral set to duke it out at training camp barring another move.
CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan wrote: “If the Panthers do decide to dip into the draft and take a young quarterback with their No. 9 overall pick, Wentz could prove to be a valuable figure in helping develop that signal-caller into Reich’s offense, which he’s very familiar with.”
Wentz Contract Won’t Guide Jalen Hurts’ Discussions
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman had some interesting things to say about Wentz during Super Bowl week. He seemed to indicate that the one-time franchise quarterback wasn’t mentally strong enough to handle the competition in the room. He eventually broke down, asking for a trade before he actually lost the job.
That experience aside, Roseman won’t use it as a cautionary tale when hitting the negotiating table with Jalen Hurts who could be handed roughly $50 million per year. Wentz inked a 4-year, $128 million contract in 2019.
“I think each example is on its own,” Roseman said when asked to compare contract negotiations. “And you’ve got to look at the individual player, and that’s not to be critical to anyone we’ve given a contract to that hasn’t worked out.
“But I think when we talk about Jalen [Hurts], we’re talking about a guy we have tremendous confidence in, a guy that we want to be here for a long time. And so, it will be something that will be a priority for us.”
Eagles Sign Special Teams Coordinator Michael Clay
The Eagles are bringing back special teams coordinator Michael Clay in 2023, according to Aaron Wilson. Considered a rising star assistant coach, Clay will enter his third season in Philadelphia after five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters that Clay would be back during his end-of-year press conference.
“Yes, he will,” Sirianni said of Clay. “I thought we did a nice job as far as just improving, we had some rocky beginnings in special teams, and I thought we did a nice job improving those special teams as the year went along. So, I have a great deal of confidence in Coach Clay and the job that he did over these last two years, and how we’ve improved, and he’s improved. He’s improved greatly. Our special teams has improved greatly and he’ll be back.”
The Eagles ranked No. 7 in weighted special teams rankings during the 2022 campaign, although it could be argued they struggled down the stretch. Kadarius Toney’s 65-yard scamper in Super Bowl LVII was the longest punt return in NFL history. Sirianni acknowledged that play happened, adding that it shouldn’t define Clay’s units.
“Again, we talked about the punt and the punt return by Kansas City,” Sirianni said. “Hats off to them. We didn’t do a good enough job on that play.”