Carson Wentz is flying from the Eagles ‘nest to the Colts’ stable. The quarterback change everyone was hoping for came true: Philadelphia agreed to send Wentz to Indianapolis in exchange for two draft picks, according to ESPN and other reports.
In the deal, the Eagles get their desire to move forward with Wentz’s big contract after a disappointing 2020 season, the fifth in the NFL. The Colts, who saw Philip Rivers retire after his only season at Indy and also hadn’t re-signed Jacoby Brissett, get their latest veteran quarterback fix after Andrew Luck by reuniting Wentz with coach Frank Reich.
While the Eagles will go ahead for now with second-round second-year Jalen Hurts as their best quarterback, the Colts don’t need to consider signing someone else in NFL free agency or picking one with their best picks in the NFL draft. 2021 given Wentz. he is still 28 years old.
Here are more details reported from the exchange and how Sporting News rates it for both teams:
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Carson Wentz Business Grades
- 2021 third-round pick (No. 85 overall)
- 2022 second-round conditional pick (which reportedly becomes a first-round if Wentz plays 75 percent of the Colts’ QBs in 2021)
The Colts would have been dealing with another veteran quarterback or an unknown rookie from the final first round if they hadn’t made the deal for Wentz. Wentz struggled with the pressure by taking 50 sacks, the most in the NFL, last season, while also being pass inefficient with 15 interceptions, the most in the NFL.
But beyond Wentz’s shaky play, a lot of that was related to offensive line injuries, limitations in the receiving body and poor offensive adjustments from coach Doug Pederson, including a lack of sufficient help with the running game. When Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator under Pederson in 2017, Wentz gave him an MVP-level play during the team’s Super Bowl 52 career.
The Colts have a stronger offensive line and can now focus their first round on replacing retired left tackle Anthony Castonzo. They also have a solid running game with second-year running back Jonathan Taylor to help take the pressure off Wentz further. They can help you with versatile rosters and a good mix of wide receivers and tight ends, which will be improved as the team moves from an aging and slow TY Hilton.
It takes a strong support system to help Wentz reach his immense physical talents, led by his arm, toughness and athleticism. The Colts can provide that, topped off by the natural familiarity of Reich’s training. General manager Chris Ballard deserves great support for not having to give up an immediate first or second round for a team that just made the AFC playoffs as a solid 11-5 team. The Colts also have Wentz on a more reasonable multi-year contract.
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Too much for Pederson’s firing as head coach, meaning owner Jeffery Lurie was pushing general manager Howie Roseman to keep Wentz as the starter over Hurts for new coach NIck Sirianni, formerly the Colts’ offensive coordinator under Reich. . But the Eagles had plunged into cap hell (second-worst in the league, $ 47 million over cap) with some of the big contracts Roseman handed out, including overpaying Wentz. Moving Wentz almost became a necessity, as he released $ 25.4 million toward the cap with no need for dead money.
The Eagles had been seeking more compensation with a 2021 first-round pick, but are settling for one next year. The Eagles increased their total short-term picks to eight, with now numbers 6, 37, 70 and 85 overall as their picks in the first two nights of the 2021 draft.
Hurts could have a special career ahead of him, and his rookie contract gives the Eagles the flexibility they needed. But the quick change of investing heavily in Wentz and then getting rid of him quickly is a bad aspect. Giving up on him versus trying to fix him made more financial sense, but how the Eagles came to the decision was not so logical.
The Eagles blew things up after a 4-11-1 season and got some extra help rebuilding. But they also allowed the Colts to empower themselves without giving up too much. There’s a real chance that Wentz will end up with Ryan Tannehill-like success on his second team, which may make matters worse for the Eagles.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.