REPORT: Carson Wentz likely to Request Trade
3 January 2021 NFL News & Updates Opinion Philadelphia Eagles
The time has finally come for all Eagles fans. For better or worse, Carson Wentz will, more than likely, not be a member of the Philadelphia Eagles next season. As Chris Mortenson reported earlier this morning, Wentz is likely to request a trade from the organization and is willing to help facilitate the trade contractually. We’ll get into that in a bit but first, let’s check out where the market currently stands for the 28 year old.
Comparatively speaking, Over-the-cap estimates that Carson has a contract valuation of ~$20.3 million which would obviously boost if he were able to improve off his horrendous 2020 season. Eagles fans don’t need to look much further than the 2016 trade of Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings for a comparative trade compensation. Wentz is younger, more established and a better player than Bradford so a baseline of any trade should include a 2021 1st Round Pick, plus a mid-round pick as well. At the time of the trade, Bradford was 29 years old, coming off a semi-productive year and had just signed a new 2 year/$33 million contract. Carson’s contract may make for more of a tricky situation but it’s not much worse than what Bradford was being paid. Sam Bradford had an average-per-year salary of $23.98 million in his one-year stint with the team and he was WELL below the playing level of Carson. Now let’s get into the specifics of Carson’s contract.
As it sits, Carson Wentz is set to enter the first year of his four-year extension that he signed in 2019, which will pay him $25.4 million. After 2021 though, the contract has $0 in guaranteed salary. *Friendly reminder that bonus’ are not included in the salary portion of this.* Bonus’ included in the contract include $9,273,536 in 2021, 2022 and 2023, and $6,000,000 in 2023 as prorated bonus’, as well as $10,000,000 roster bonus in 2021, $1,000 in 2022 and $5,000,000 respectively in 2023 and 2024. So with all that mumbo-jumbo, how can we move on from this contract and not set ourselves up for a huge cap burden in the years following his departure?
It’s not simple but it’s not extremely difficult for somebody like Howie Roseman, who is an expert in cap manipulation in his own right. The contract will initially come out as an “extension.” There will, more than likely, be a fifth year added to the contract where the $25.4 million owed in year one is shifted to, or it will be spread out over the duration of the contract. Additionally, the prorated bonus’ will likely be shifted into an incentive laden contract that makes for easy money to be picked up in the long term for Carson. Passing yards, touchdowns, low interception totals, and pass completions are some easily achieved prorations that could be added in place of the prorated bonus. Lastly, roster bonus’ are picked up on the first day of the new league year, so as long as Carson is no longer rostered by Philadelphia, his new team would assume responsibility for that portion of the contract. So with all that to be re-worked, who would be willing to give up assets for Carson Wentz? The Colts ties to Wentz is an obvious fit but there are several other teams that could use him as well. New Orleans and San Francisco both make sense as well.
Phillip Rivers has already communicated that he will either be back as the Indianapolis quarterback or he will retire. The 39 year old is likely to retire but a final run at a championship may be on the docket for the once elite quarterback. The Colts not only have the financial capability to take on the Wentz contract but, they also have one of the best offensive lines in football (Anthony Castanzo, Quinton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, Braden Smith), an ascending running back in Jonathon Taylor and an arsenal of young wide receivers. Their only TRUE need is at right guard and that could be addressed early in the draft. Indianapolis is an obvious fit but is Chris Ballard willing to take a homerun leap with draft assets that he’s been so stingy with in the past?
Similar to the Colts’ situation, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is expected to retire at the conclusion of the 2020 NFL season. That would leave Taysom Hill as the lone survivor to the QB room in New Orleans. Obviously, they could re-sign Jameis Winston and roll with the pair of Hill/Winston but the Saints have been reluctant to put trust in the former First Overall Pick in Winston, who Hill started for during Brees’ time missed due to injury. However, they have been committal to their confidence in Taysom Hill, for better or worse. Additionally, their cap situation in 2021 is worse than the Eagles’. The Saints currently sit ~$95 million over the cap and have major decisions to make on how to get under the expected threshold. Michael Thomas’ guarantees have been voided due to his 2020 suspension and Emmanuel Sanders will have a dead cap hit of $4 million if he is cut.
Fit? Carson, yes. Team, no.
The 9ers are in a peculiar situation with their “franchise” quarterback right now as well. Jimmy Garrapolo has been hurt, benched in favor of Nick Mullens and is due a hefty $26.9 million in 2021. The positives for the niners are that he can be cut with just a $2.4 million dead cap and they would immediately pick up the other $24.5 million in cap space. Additionally, the team will have a roll over of ~$12 million, on top of their already ~$20.8 million of cap space for 2021. They have an arsenal of good running backs, an above average offensive line, A LOT of good, young wide receivers, including Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, and one of the best defensive units in football. The cap space will be there for the taking and Carson will obviously be a bigger asset to own than Jimmy is.
So what do you guys think? With a restructured contract, in a talent heavy draft, with his heir-apparent already in place, should the Eagles move on from Carson Wentz? If so, where should he be traded to? For what assets?
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