A Carson Wentz trade appeared to be on the near horizon over the weekend, but the early days of this week have brought nothing new on that front. Since the Houston Texans appear to be dragging their feet on any potential Deshaun Watson trade, though, Wentz is the biggest name on the trade block for the sports world to talk about.
Which brings us to today's edition of First Take. Max Kellerman had the floor with Stephen A. Smith off for the day. There have been two teams linked to Wentz so far: the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears. But many more teams need to find a new quarterback this offseason. The New England Patriots are one of those teams.
Kellerman connected the dots and broke out a sizzling take: the Patriots are actually the best possible destination for Wentz to regain his form.
Now, the Patriots have not been connected to any Wentz talks and, from what we know of Bill Belichick the deal-maker, would absolutely not agree to the rumored price of two first-round picks. But Kellerman actually makes a more interesting point than merely the headline might suggest.
Kellerman points out that Wentz would be held accountable in the Patriots system, more so than he did in Philly. A lack of accountability was one of the big intangible issues with Wentz last season in Philly; that particular phrase has been used numerous times in the ensuing battle of leaks that started when Wentz got benched. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer brought it up in January:
"But Hurts was just one piece to the puzzle. The forces behind Wentz’s regression were manifold and in many ways there for years. He didn’t always take to hard coaching. He struggled with accountability. He could shrink back into a tight-knit group of teammates he trusted or become isolated."
"Brandon Graham said Thursday that Wentz had stood up in front of the team this week and owned up to his poor play, and Pederson indicated that showing accountability is something he has addressed with Wentz. “It was good to see, and the conversations that he and I have had over the last month have hopefully spurred him in the right direction,” Pederson said."
It's a running theme, and one we'll hear more of the longer Wentz remains a member of the organization. So to that point, Kellerman is actually right. There is perhaps no coach in the league who puts more emphasis on the individual responsibility of each player under his charge than Belichick.
The problem is everything else. Accountability only goes so far. Let's say Wentz realizes the error of his ways after arriving in Foxborough and dedicates himself to getting better while owning up to his mistakes, which is apparently what he has not done in Philly. He's still throwing to Julian Edelman a bunch of no-names that would struggle to appear on the depth chart for most of the other teams in the league.
Taking responsibility is important! It wouldn't change anything about New England's dearth of quality receivers. Wentz would still be terrible. He'd just be a bigger person through it all than he reportedly was last season. Good for him. It still wouldn't fix everything.