Is Carson Wentz a good quarterback? Who knows! If I asked that question this time last year I would have had virtual tomatoes thrown at me. But after a 2020 season where Wentz threw for 2,630 yards with 16 touchdowns and a league-leading 15 interceptions in only 12 games before getting benched for a rookie, that is very much a valid question to ask.
His larger body of work suggests yes, Wentz is an above-average quarterback in the NFL. But his turnover issues are real and last season was a disaster of nearly unspeakable magnitude. Nonetheless, the Eagles have insisted they want to keep him around for 2021 and let new head coach Nick Sirianni figure him out.
Recent insider reports suggest that may not be entirely true. Adam Schefter guessed yesterday that Wentz would end up getting traded this offseason when it's all said and done. Following that up, today Ian Rapoport reported that teams have been calling Philadelphia to trade for Wentz, and while there have been no concrete discussions, the Eagles are listening to the offers.
Two quarterbacks have already been traded this offseason; Matthew Stafford fetched a price of two first-round picks and one Jared Goff. Wentz won't go for that much after his putrid 2020 performance, but at his best he was better than Goff and has a similarly onerous contract for any potential new team to deal with. The Eagles also wouldn't necessarily need a replacement quarterback in return, given Jalen Hurts proved himself a good enough replacement last year.
Here are four teams who have the ability and need to offer what Philly would want for the man they once thought was the future of the franchise.
This is the most obvious landing spot for Wentz. Head coach Frank Reich coached Wentz during his best season before he got hurt and Philly would go on to win a championship. Indy isn't hesitant to ship out a first-round pick for a proven quantity (see: DeForest Buckner trade from last year) and is in dire need of a quarterback after Philip Rivers retired and with Jacoby Brissett hitting free agency. It's a team built to win now with an elite defense, solid offensive line, and young talent at the skill positions. It's a natural fit for all the right reasons.
The question is if Indianapolis is willing to give up more, because just a first-rounder isn't going to get it done. They'll likely have to give up a decent young player (like safety Julian Blackmon coming off a stellar rookie season) or more picks. While there will be plenty of QB options to choose from this offseason, few have the upside of Wentz and Philly is putting out the message that they'd be quite happy rolling with Wentz next year if they don't get the right deal. If they really want Wentz, the Colts will need to give up multiple picks and/or part with young talent. A tough sell, but Wentz is an immediate fix at the most important position in football.
Da Bears don't really have a solid answer at quarterback right now. Nick Foles looked like backup Nick Foles and not Super Bowl champ Nick Foles when he replaced Mitchell Trubisky last season. Trubisky's struggles have been well-documented and he's an impending free agent. Chicago has a good enough defense to justify going all-in on a player like Wentz if they believe he can take them to playoff contention.
The issue is that the team isn't exactly overflowing with talent. Chicago has a great defense but sending out even one of their better players would take it down a notch. Thus, the trade capital would have to be in the form of draft picks. Can the Bears justify sending two or three high picks over the next two years to take on Wentz and his contract? GM Ryan Pace might be feeling the heat and decide to pull the trigger, but it'll be a long conversation.
The Broncos aren't entirely sold on Drew Lock, as evidenced by reports that they were one of the finalists in the Matthew Stafford trade sweepstakes. Denver doesn't have as strong an overall team as the previous teams on this list but has been searching for a long-term answer at quarterback for half a decade now, shuffling through names like Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch in the process. Wentz, lumps and all, would certainly fix that.
But because they don't have that strong of a team, the Eagles would need a lot of draft picks. John Elway probably wouldn't hesitate to trade for a quarterback that falls within his acceptable height requirement, but he stepped down as GM and George Patton replaced him. Nobody knows a thing about his tendencies yet. This would certainly start off his tenure with a bang, but any trade for Denver would require at least two first-round picks.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco has not indicated they plan to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. But the writing is on the wall, in a sense, after he missed nearly all of last season, which makes exactly one healthy year out of three for Jimmy G in the Bay Area. The Niners can cut him and only have him count for $2.8 million in dead money this offseason, a bargain when considering he'll count for $26 million against the cap if he's on the team in 2021 and $27 million in 2022.
Wentz would be an upgrade, although how significant of an upgrade would be a matter of much debate. GM John Lynch isn't shy about taking big swings. They had two first-rounders last year so moving a first this year and likely next year isn't as big of a blow as other teams on this list. San Francisco knows they have a championship-quality team after making it to the Big Game just one year ago. It would be easy to envision the team talking themselves into Wentz as a championship quarterback when paired with Kyle Shanahan and a ferocious defense. Consider them sleepers for Wentz.