- Colts acquire QB Carson Wentz from Eagles
- Philadelphia will receive two future draft picks from Indianapolis
- Wentz will become the Colts’ fourth starting QB in the last four years
The NFL’s offseason frenzy is officially underway. On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Indianapolis Colts have agreed to acquire Carson Wentz in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. In exchange for the former Pro Bowler, the Colts will send a 2021 third-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 second-rounder to Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has agreed to trade Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick that could turn into a first, league sources tell @mortreport and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 18, 2021
The Indianapolis Colts had no choice but to enter the quarterback market this offseason. Philip Rivers retired earlier this month after his one season with Indy, while backup Jacoby Brissett is set to become a free agent.
Wentz is coming off of the worst season of his career. The former No. 2 overall pick completed a career-worst 57.4 percent of his attempts for 2,620 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also threw 15 interceptions, which was the worst mark across his five pro seasons.
Wentz was eventually benched by former head coach Doug Pederson and replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts.
Hurts played well down the stretch for the Eagles, which put Wentz’ future with the franchise in serious doubt. Pederson was fired after the season. Hurts is the favorite to become the Eagles’ new full-time starter, but the team is not expected to simply hand him the job.
Schefter added that the conditional 2022 second-round pick going to Philly will become a first-rounder if Wentz plays at least 75 percent of the snaps for Indy next season. The pick will also become a first if Wentz plays at least 70 percent of the snaps while the Colts make the playoffs in 2021.
The Colts are hoping that Wentz will ultimately bounce back and become the team’s long-term successor to Andrew Luck. Rivers led the Colts to an 11-5 record last season and a Wild Card berth in the playoffs. Indianapolis ultimately fell on the road to the Buffalo Bills in their first postseason game.
In Indy, Wentz will have a more stable offensive line and a more reliable group of pass-catchers than he had with the Philadelphia Eagles. Finding a trade partner for Wentz was complicated for the Eagles thanks to his massive contract, but the Colts always made the most sense as his eventual landing spot.
Wentz’ Massive Contract
Wentz put pen to paper on a four-year extension worth $128 million with the Eagles in June of 2019. The deal included nearly $108 million in guaranteed money with $66 million due at signing. Incentives could have driven the total value of the contract up to $144 million.
Wentz looked to be the Eagles’ QB of the future after the team made him the second overall pick in 2016. He was arguably the frontrunner in the race for MVP in 2017 before suffering a torn ACL in a game against the Rams that December.
Philadelphia went on to win the Super Bowl that year behind backup Nick Foles with Wentz watching from the sidelines.
Some in Philadelphia believed that Foles should have earned the team’s starting job, but Wentz returned the next season. He has never been able to replicate his old form since the injury, however, which led Philly to take Hurts with a second-rounder in last year’s draft.
The Eagles slumped to a 4-11-1 finish a season ago, which was good for last place in the miserable NFC East.
Wentz Reunited With Reich
Schefter added that the Eagles and Colts have been discussing details of the trade for at least two weeks. The deal will not become official until the new league year begins on March 17. Philadelphia will absorb a cap hit of nearly $34 million in dead money, which is the biggest cap hit any team has ever taken for a single player. The Colts will take on responsibility for every penny of the remainder of Wentz’ aforementioned contract.
In Indianapolis, Wentz will be reunited with former offensive coordinator Frank Reich. The Colts’ head coach was the Eagles’ OC when they won the Super Bowl a couple of years ago. Wentz reportedly wanted out of Philadelphia, even after the team ironically hired ex-Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni has head coach earlier this month.
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