US Sports Veteran
Publish Date: 02/18/2021
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
On Feb. 18, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Philadelphia Eagles completed the long-awaited Carson Wentz trade. The former Pro Bowl quarterback heads to Indianapolis, where he joins the Colts and former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. In return, Philadelphia receives a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick.[mytwitter url=”https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1362442800344752141″]
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the conditional second-round pick could upgrade to Indianapolis’ 2022 first-round selection if Wentz plays 75% of the team’s snaps or only 70% and the Colts make the playoffs. Wentz leaves the Eagles before playing a single snap of the four-year, $128 million extension he signed in 2019. The trade creates $33.8 million in dead money that Philadelphia absorbs.
The Eagles drafted Wentz out of North Dakota St. with the second overall pick in 2016. After a respectable 7-9 rookie season with first-year head coach Doug Pederson, the quarterback erupted with an MVP-caliber performance in 2017. Unfortunately, Wentz tore his ACL in Week 13, leading to backup Nick Foles taking control and guiding Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl win.
While Wentz posted a 96.7 passer rating over the next two seasons and led Philadelphia to the playoffs in 2019, he never approached the heights of his 2017 campaign. The ghost of Foles also loomed large over the young quarterback. Fans debated as soon as the day after Super Bowl LII whether the franchise should keep the Super Bowl MVP or his younger counterpart. A statue of Foles receiving the Philly Special play call from Doug Pederson sits outside Lincoln Financial Field.
Foles left Philadelphia after the 2018 season, which finally gave Wentz room to breathe. Then, general manager Howie Roseman surprised his quarterback by selecting Jalen Hurts in the second-round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Heisman runner-up’s arrival added pressure that contributed to the worst season of Wentz’s career.
In 2020, Wentz threw 16 touchdowns and a league-leading 15 interceptions while completing fewer than 60.0% of his passes. Pederson and Wentz weren’t on the same page, and the head coach eventually benched his star quarterback for the final four games in favor of Hurts. Philadelphia finished the year 4-11-1 and fired Pederson shortly after the season.
Analysts speculated that Pederson’s departure meant Wentz wasn’t leaving Philadelphia. Now, the 28-year-old is on his way to Indianapolis, leaving new head coach Nick Sirianni and Roseman with an uncertain quarterback situation. Meanwhile, the Colts have their replacement for Philip Rivers, who recently retired and 17 seasons. Indianapolis went 11-5 last year.
This move comes weeks after the Los Angeles Rams traded Jared Goff, the first overall pick from 2016, to Detroit. Goff also signed a four-year extension in 2019 and led his team to a Super Bowl appearance. With Wentz leaving Philadelphia, none of the 22 quarterbacks taken in the first-round between 2009 and 2016 remain on their original teams.