Top 5 Potential Landing Spots for Eagles QB Carson Wentz

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Frank Reich, Carson Wentz


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Eagles QB Carson Wentz and Frank Reich chat on the sidelines before Super Bowl LII.

Now that Carson Wentz has officially been benched in Philadelphia, the speculation over his future kicks into overdrive. Let’s be honest: trade rumors have been hitting the wall all year, the only difference is they have a little bit of Velcro on them this week.

Wentz is the highest-paid backup quarterback in football. And therein lies the problem with executing any kind of blockbuster trade. Wentz’s contract is a bear — as outlined by OverTheCap on Dec. 1 — but stranger things have happened. “So what, now what?” … to echo the popular saying Jalen Hurts likes to borrow from Nick Saban’s lexicon.

There is still a chance Wentz reclaims his starting role in Philly, especially if Hurts stinks the joint up this week against the New Orleans Saints. They boast the top-ranked overall defense in the NFL, ranked fifth-best against the pass. Some of Wentz’s teammates seem to have his back. Fletcher Cox pressed the heart button on a recent poll posted by SportsRadio 94WIP comparing Wentz and Hurts. Take that for what it’s worth if anything.

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Top 5 Trade Destinations for Wentz

Can the Eagles move the heaviest contract in the NFL and trade Wentz next year? There are a few intriguing options, none more intriguing than a vote of confidence in Indianapolis from his old offensive coordinator. Other possible scenarios include wing-and-prayer trades to Chicago, New York, New England, or San Francisco.

Indianapolis Colts: What’s left to say that hasn’t already been said. The Colts signed 38-year-old Philip Rivers to a one-year deal, $25 million in the offseason. While he has staked Indy to an 8-4 record with an AFC South title in reach, the organization has to start thinking about the future. They don’t have a fresh-faced young quarterback on the roster, ready to take over for Rivers. Enter Wentz. Colts head coach Frank Reich was his offensive coordinator for two years in Philly, including his 2017 MVP campaign and Super Bowl year. If anyone can fix a broken Wentz, it’s the guy who thinks he has “so much stinkin’ juice.”

New England Patriots: Don’t laugh. It’s looking more and more likely that Cam Newton isn’t the long-term answer in New England. For starters, his flashy diva personality doesn’t seem to jive with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as rumors of a new “mandate” start to leak out from Foxboro. The more obvious reason is that the Pats could easily miss the playoffs in what suddenly looks like a stacked AFC East. How much does Belichick believe in backup Jarrett Stidham? New England will certainly have the money to absorb Wentz’s $128 million contract if they want him with $67.6 million in cap space, fourth-most in the NFL.

Chicago Bears: The Bears have kind of become a graveyard for quarterbacks really since Jim McMahon left town in 1989. Sure, there were a few bright spots here and there — Jim Harbaugh, Jay Cutler, Rex Grossman — but no one of note. They wasted the second overall pick on Mitchell Trubisky in 2017, then gave 31-year-old fading Super Bowl hero Nick Foles $24 million over three years to take Trubisky’s job. He couldn’t do it. The optics of trading Wentz to the Windy City look great to the casual outsider — remember, Bears head coach Matt Nagy runs a version of the same offense Doug Pederson runs — but do they want to shell out big money to another potential flop? It’s a huge gamble for a franchise with cap issues.

San Francisco 49ers: This was a rogue idea first floated out there by former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels. His reasoning was that Wentz’s skillset is best suited to Kyle Shanahan’s offense, one predicated on quick throws and a strong running game. He’s also gained sort of a reputation as a quarterback whisperer for his work with Kirk Cousins in Washington and Matt Ryan in Atlanta, not to mention Nick Mullens and Jimmy Garoppolo in San Fran. There’s the rub. Garoppolo has arguably been better than Wentz over their last 22 games: 34 touchdowns/18 interceptions for Jimmy G vs. 31 touchdowns/19 interceptions for Wentz.

New York Jets: Adam Gase is done in New York. There’s no way he can survive the mess of an 0-16 season. Sam Darnold is probably gone, too, as most new head coaches like to start fresh and hand-pick their franchise quarterback. Interestingly, the Jets have loose ties to Wentz since GM Joe Douglas was once Eagles GM Howie Roseman’s right-hand man in Philly. There have also been quiet rumors of Duce Staley — Eagles assistant head/running backs coach — being in line for the head job in New York. It’s unclear how much say Staley had in the play-calling when the Eagles won the Super Bowl three years ago but the relationship with Wentz is there. Maybe he can resurrect the 27-year-old from the dead — and breathe new life into the Jets by trading for Zach Ertz.

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