PHILADELPHIA - In the great (perhaps mythical) battle of 2020 for Carson Wentz, the needle has moved back and forth between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears among those in the know.
Many of the reasons for that are rooted in common sense in that Wentz's desire to reunite with Frank Reich and Press Taylor with the Colts clashes with the sense of urgency Bears general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy face in 2021.
Both the Colts and Bears consider themselves to be contenders if they can solve their quarterback issues but the Indianapolis brain trust of Chris Ballard and Reich has far more rope, along with the knowledge Wentz would prefer his change of address form to read Indy, to stay patient.
That creates at least somewhat of a conundrum on the back end for the Eagles because the more exigent team isn't coupled with Wentz's desires.
The Bears, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, might already have the type of package on the table that could get Eagles GM Howie Roseman to pull the trigger.
Chicago, though, remains hesitant in gauging Wentz's desire to go all-in on the Windy City, a larger media market than Philadelphia with a similar rabid fanbase that doesn't seem to be overly excited about moving from the underperforming Mitchell Trubisky to a QB coming off a disastrous season for many of the same reasons Trubisky busted with the Bears, namely accuracy and mechanical issues.
“I think Chicago is the front runner," Breer said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd Monday. "... I do know that there is a feeling inside the building from Ryan Pace, the coaching staff, Matt Nagy, John DeFilippo, their pass-game coordinator who got two of the best years out of Carson Wentz in 2016 and 2017 as his quarterback coach, they believe mechanically they can fix him."
The DeFilippo-Wentz dynamic is an interesting one.
On one hand, it's hard to argue that DeFilippo wasn't Wentz's best position coach to date and he got results with a hard-nosed teaching technique that Taylor lacked with the Eagles. Not surprisingly, Wentz was far closer to Taylor on a personal level.
Wentz has to come to grips with the fact that DeFilippo's style is better for him and note the fundamental slips that have ramped up in recent seasons which were only exacerbated by the COVID-19 virtual offseason in advance of 2020 when players were left to their own devices throughout the spring.
Conversely, however, DeFilippo also would have to realize that Wentz's talent helped his reputation as well. Since DeFilippo left the Eagles after the Super Bowl LII championship he flamed out as offensive coordinator in both Minnesota and Jacksonville and hardly set the world on fire with Trubisky or Nick Foles last season as the QB coach in Chicago.
"One of the issues with Carson Wentz is he hasn’t always responded well to hard coaching and so that is something they would have to get past, because DeFilippo was the bad cop in Philadelphia," Breer correctly stated. "I think the issue right now is where Carson Wentz wants to go. I think it has become pretty clear he’d rather go to Indianapolis."
On the surface, Wentz has no leverage but peel back the onion a layer and you will quickly realize that the Bears aren't going to want to commit to a QB who insists he doesn't want to be there.
The Eagles, meanwhile, will get a better return for Wentz if he acquiesces and accepts the move to Chicago.
There are your loggerheads.
"I think part of it now for the Eagles is if our best return right now is Chicago over Indy, then we need to convince Carson Wentz this is the only place you are going, and you need to buck up and accept this and realize the Bears are going to give you a good chance," Breer explained.
And the result is more waiting right up until the final stage of the Kübler-Ross model - acceptance.
"I can understand why Carson Wentz would be skeptical," said Breer. "Look, Indianapolis, they are stable. Chris Ballard, Frank Reich, they are going nowhere. In Chicago you would be going to play for guys whose jobs would be on the line in 2021.
“But I think it’s pretty clear at this point the Bears have pushed harder than the Colts to get Carson Wentz, the Eagles are probably going to get their best return with Carson Wentz going to Chicago, and I think the last piece of it becomes can you convince Carson Wentz it is the best thing to do."
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.