The Eagles are faced with an almighty dilemma when it comes to a potential trade involving their franchise quarterback.
It’s been a rough day for Eagles fans. Reports have emerged from every corner of the universe it seems, all of them pertaining to the now very uncertain future of Carson Wentz. But what are the benefits and problems that would come with a potential trade?
Pros of trading Carson Wentz
A total reset
The Eagles decided to blow up their coaching staff this offseason and bring in a plethora of new quarterback-savvy minds to push the team back to its best. Moving on from Carson Wentz puts an end to the short, but sweet, Doug Pederson era and ensures that it’s an entirely fresh page come week one of 2021.
What the team can’t really afford to do is carry over any of the deadweights from the train wreck. I don’t mean in terms of production, but overall morale, potential chemistry issues, and players who may have fully disagreed with the decision to let Pederson go.
Moving on from Wentz would allow Sirianni, a first-time head coach, to head into Training Camp without the fear of a QB controversy. This isn’t Sam Bradford vs Carson Wentz where there’s a clear winner. It has the potential to get nasty and rocking the boat is the last thing this team should be aiming to do.
It won’t be pretty to begin with, but I’m sure most of the team would be happy for their QB should a trade happen, and can finally focus all of their attention on a future without distractions or self-inflicted adversity.
The long-term salary benefits
The $33.8 million dead cap hit engulfed by trading Wentz would be the largest in NFL history, but it would also open up almost the same amount of cap space in 2022.
Given that the team also rank dead last in estimated cap space next year as well, it’s not the worst idea in the world to start thinking bigger than the ‘oh no, minor quibble, we’re $53M over the cap for 2021’ mindset. Short-term loss, long-term gain.
It’s a culture thing
If Carson Wentz doesn’t want to be in the building, he shouldn’t be in the building. If there was a rift between QB and coach last year, it should be severed without a burned limb left hanging unattended too. Yes, the cap hit is horrendous and there are obvious cons to the move, but this is bigger than Wentz throwing a hissy fit after a season of regression and a total lack of awareness by the front office.
Wentz has to find a way to get back to his old self. Whether that’s in Philadelphia or not is anyone’s guess. But as frustrations mount, coaches are kicked out of the door, and change overwhelms the team, one constant remains – Carson Wentz.
It doesn’t matter how much change happens if the man at the epicenter of the team is disinterested or doesn’t want to be there. The impact it would have on teammates and overall locker room morale simply isn’t worth the price to pay. Again, Sirianni needs his men to be all on the same page. We know Carson Wentz and his ‘alpha mentality’ have caused issues in the past. They cannot risk allowing the same thing to happen again.
Cons of trading Carson Wentz
Short-term salary problems
$33.8 million in dead cap for a team that’s already over $53M past the limit is certainly not a vibe. It’s already expected that the Eagles will have to make some major moves this offseason, this only expedites a full rebuild which is something that can really be avoided if all parties pull together.
Have we seen enough?
Jalen Hurts was impressive in a short sample size. He wasn’t perfect and there are clearly still flaws in his game when it comes to progressing through his reads without feeling the need to take off, and of course his accuracy. But if Lincoln Riley can turn Hurts into Heisman runner up within one season, and Doug Pederson can use him in a way that at least opened up the offense and gave his team a fighting chance of playoff contention when all hope seemed lost, then it has to be seen as a really encouraging sign. Imagine what the new coaching staff could do if they’re focused on his development this offseason.
But is it enough? What if Hurts isn’t the guy? Are the Eagles fully convinced he’s their franchise QB? If there is any lingering doubt, which there understandably should be after such a small sample size, then exiling a former MVP candidate who should be entering his prime is not the smartest of moves. If Jalen Hurts fails to live up to the grand expectation and the Eagles don’t take a top QB prospect this year, then it sets the franchise back in a monumental way.
It’s a total failure
More than anything else, it’s a needless explosion that leads to the waving of a white flag. Pederson didn’t need to be fired. Wentz doesn’t need to be traded. To do both of these things after one sub-par season is beyond desperate and short-sighted, like selling a stock after one red day knowing it’s already climbed 80%.
The light in which the Eagles are seen would change. The forecast would change. The expectation would change. NFC East supremacy would no longer be the aim while dwelling in the basement of the league’s worst division becomes a realistic fear.
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