Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles are in a bit of a bind. Wentz' play fell off a cliff akin to the Grand Canyon this year for reasons unknown and was benched in favor of Jalen Hurts. After three starts, Hurts has shown enough to suggest that he could be a good starting QB in the league and, at least this year, gives Philly a better chance to win each Sunday than Wentz. Wentz does not want to be a backup quarterback. The Eagles cannot trade Wentz without incurring historically harsh dead cap penalties.
Realistically, Philadelphia has two choices. Let Wentz ride the pine until his cap hit falls to an acceptable level and trade him then, or bite the bullet by trading him as soon as possible. The latter feels unlikely, seeing as Wentz would count for $33 million against the Eagles' cap sheet in 2021 if he were traded before receiving a 2021 roster bonus. That isn't even to mention that the Eagles would probably have to attach picks in any potential trade because his contract is so terrible. He's not the guy he was when they signed him to the deal, and everybody knows that.
So what do they do? ESPN's Mike Tannebaum appeared on Get Up this morning to present an extremely out-of-the-box solution that doesn't seem legal but apparently is.
Tannebaum suggests that Wentz pay the Eagles $20 million by the end of February. In doing so, Philadelphia would receive something called a "cap credit" which would lower his dead cap hit to $13 million if he were traded. Then Wentz simply renegotiates his contract with his new team (the Colts or Patriots, in Tannebaum's hypothetical) to receive a $20 million signing bonus, he gets the starting job he wants, and the Eagles are more or less home free.
Tannebaum is a former GM, so we can reasonably take him at his word that Wentz and Philly can do this without breaking any rules. Putting aside how outlandish the whole concept is, the biggest hangup is that Wentz can easily renegotiate a $20 million signing bonus. Nothing about his play this year showed he deserved any kind of signing bonus, much less $20 million. The Patriots or the Colts are not going to pay that on top of the rest of the gigantic contract for a guy who turned the ball over 18 times in 12 starts this year.
In terms of the larger point: would you pay $20 million just to leave Philadelphia? I certainly would not. I'm not a big Philly guy but $20 million is $20 million. Wentz probably agrees, but is also an NFL player with quite a bit of money in the bank already. As far as outside solutions go, this one is certainly up there.