Eagles reportedly plan to keep Carson Wentz for the long haul, but contract plays into it
Carson Wentz is staying whence he came.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson surprised many by actually making a quarterback switch, opting to start rookie Jalen Hurts for the Eagles in their Week 14 matchup vs. the Saints. But just because Hurts is starting doesn’t mean Wentz’s benching is permanent.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles believe Wentz could still be the guy in Philadelphia, as they still believe in “the player and the person.” But economics surrounding Wentz’s contract could play into his future role with the team.
Wentz is due roughly $100 million over the remainder of his contract if terms and bonuses are satisfied. The Eagles will need to make a few decisions based on that contract by mid-March, when his 2022 base salary becomes fully guaranteed. The Eagles can also cut Wentz following the 2021 season, but would incur a dead-cap penalty of more than $24 million for the season. That number dips to $15 million and $6 million over 2023 and 2024, respectively.
Schefter mentioned other ways the Eagles could work the cap to avoid paying out Wentz’s $10 million roster bonus, including trading him before the third day of the new league year; the acquiring team would be on the hook for Wentz’s payday.
While Philadelphia has dealt with a wide breadth of injuries along the offensive line, Wentz hasn’t inspired with his play, either. In 2020, he has 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions and a 57.4 percent completion rate. Pederson benched Wentz during the Eagles’ blowout loss vs. Green Bay in Week 13, in which Hurts threw a touchdown and an interception in extended play.
The 2021 NFL offseason could see unprecedented quarterback movement, with several prospects graded as potential first-rounders in the 2021 NFL Draft and a number of intriguing quarterback free agents — some potentially available via trade.
Should the Eagles decide to move on from Wentz, he will have a market. But, much like his future as an NFL passer, that market is pretty murky at best.