Carson Wentz Facing a Cluttered QB Market, with Deshaun Watson now in Mix

The QB market could see unprecedented movement in this offseason, and it is still a mystery where Wentz would fit in that market, if he fits at all
Author:
Publish date:

Deshaun Watson has requested a trade from the Texans.

The Lions recently said that Matthew Stafford won’t return to Detroit.

Meanwhile, Carson Wentz remains mum on his situation. He hasn’t requested a trade, at least publicly, nor has he announced his desire to return.

The quarterback market is a cluttered place this offseason, with others believed to be on the move that includes the Rams’ Jared Goff, the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.

That’s potentially only the tip of the iceberg.

On Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted:

“There are roughly 10 QBs locked into starting jobs for Opening Day of the 2021 NFL season,” Schefter tweeted on Monday. “This is expected to be an unprecedented offseason of QB movement. My Over/Under of teams changing QBs this off-season is 18. I’ll go with the over.”

Wentz could very much be in play to be one of those moved.

A source indicated that the Eagles’ hiring of new coach Nick Sirianni did not move the needle much for Wentz and that he is still believed to want out, and that desire stems from a mistrust in the front office more than anything else.

Except Wentz has yet to reveal anything.

If he wants out so badly, why hasn’t he come out and said anything?

That means there is still some hope owner Jeffrey Lurie will get his wish and Wentz will return.

Sirianni has yet to have his introductory press conference, something that is expected to happen before the end of the weekend at the latest. When Sirianni does speak, he will be asked questions about the quarterback situation.

Already, it has been reported that one of his first calls after getting hired a week ago was to Wentz.

Like Lurie, Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair wants Watson back, but he may have no other choice but to deal is disgruntled signal-caller.

If Watson is available, along with Stafford, Wentz’s potential landing spots have decreased, though, as Schefter said, there are only 10 quarterbacks locked with their teams in for 2021.

Indianapolis and Washington seem the most desperate, but Pittsburgh also has to figure things out with Ben Roethlisberger, whose cap hit is monstrous and, considering a noticeable dip in his consistency, retirement is still an option for the former Super Bowl-winning QB.

The Jets have to decide if Sam Darnold is going to be their guy and the Dolphins could be in the market just a year after drafting an underwhelming Tua Tagovailoa.

The Colts seems to make the most sense for Wentz, given the connection with head coach Frank Reich, but Indy is the odds-on-favorite to land Stafford.

As is always the case, money comes into play and that means contracts.

Wentz’s contract hit, in terms of dead money and salary cap implications, are expected to make a trade very difficult.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was on local sports talk radio Thursday morning and said the situation isn’t as dire as reported.

"I actually don't think the contract is that big, which I know sounds probably crazy," Rapoport told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday. "Now, it was big when he got it, but some of it has been paid already, some of it has been paid upfront. Four years, averaging I think 24 or 23 million per year - that's like the 22nd most expensive starter.

“It's literally middle of the road. I would say Matthew Stafford has two years and 43 million left, so he's a little cheaper but he'll probably want a new deal. Jared Goff, also tradable, he's a little more expensive I think than Wentz. But these contracts are all tradable. It would be a dead money hit, but then the Eagles would also save because they wouldn't have to pay the cash.”

Wentz signed a four-year deal in June of 2019 worth $128 million to be the franchise quarterback. Then the franchise fell on his face in 2020, with a career-low 57 percent completion percentage and a career-high in interceptions with 15, and those numbers were compiled despite being benched for the final four games.

"Carson Wentz is very tradable,” said Rapoport. “Whether they want to or whether they want to fix him and try to make good on their investment, that's a different story. Someone is going to look at Carson Wentz and say, up until the first half of the Washington game, this was a good quarterback.

"Something happened and it was all bad and he played terrible. But before then, basically up until half time, everything was fine and someone is going to say, 'I can recapture that.'"

Maybe Sirianni will say he, and top offensive assistants as of now, OC Shane Steichen and QB coach Brian Johnson can be the ones to recatpure the Wentz from years past.

Maybe Wentz will even believe it and opt to return to try to live up to the faith and money the organization that drafted him showed in him. 

He may not have much choice but to return at this point.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.