In the end, it wasn’t all smoke and mirrors. After three weeks of “illusionary” reports, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to send quarterback Carson Wentz to his preferred destination.
Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, will be reunited with Frank Reich and join the Indianapolis Colts. The compensation? Not much.
The Eagles will receive a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick that could turn into a first-rounder, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo added that the 2022 second-rounder would turn into a first-rounder if Wentz plays at least 70% of the snaps and the Colts make the playoffs in 2021.
The Wentz trade appears to be a salary dump more than anything else for a desperate Philadelphia franchise which decided to move on from the disgruntled quarterback. Indianapolis will be on the hook for $78.4 million in base salary ($30.4 million guaranteed), plus a cap hit of $98.4 million over the next four years. And the Eagles will incur a $33.8 dead-cap charge, the largest in NFL history.
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Eagles Tried to Sell Wentz Coming Back
The Eagles’ organization had been publicly pounding the drum for Wentz to return in 2021. New head coach Nick Sirianni talked about having two “top-notch quarterbacks” on the roster in Wentz and Jalen Hurts while team owner Jeffrey Lurie called Wentz’s 2020 struggles a blip on the radar. Lurie’s comments were nothing but praiseworthy at the end of the season.
“Carson, to us, to me, and to I think virtually everybody in our organization, is a quarterback that his first four years was in many ways elite and comparable to some of the great quarterbacks’ first four years in the league. Fifth year, obviously not satisfactory, for whatever reasons,” Lurie told reporters on Jan. 11.
“There are probably multiple reasons for that. The way I look at it is we have an asset and we have a talent. He’s a great guy and he wants nothing but to win big and win Lombardi Trophies for Philadelphia. This guy is tireless. He has his heart in the right place and he’s really dedicated off-season, on-season — he’s just what you want.”
Revisiting Browns-Eagles Draft Day Deal
No one has Doc Brown’s number on speed dial, but NFL general managers will certainly keep Howie Roseman’s there. After the Colts fleeced the Eagles for their one-time franchise quarterback, people wanted to travel back in time to April 20, 2016.
That was the day the Cleveland Browns gave up the rights to draft Wentz. Revisionist history is the best history, right?
The Sporting News did a deep dive on some of the high-profile names that ended up going to other teams as fallout from that blockbuster draft-day trade. The biggest name was Deshaun Watson who went 12th overall to the Houston Texans.
The Eagles originally held the eighth overall pick so Watson would have been on the board for them. Other notable players included right tackle Jack Conklin and left tackle Laremy Tunsil. The Browns were also able to use assets from that deal to later acquire cornerback Denzel Ward, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and safety Jabrill Peppers. Happy #WentzDay!