Earlier today, Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a conditional 2022 second-rounder and a 2021 third-rounder. This deal first and foremost solidifies the Matt Stafford trade as an absolute robbery. To add insult to injury, the Eagles will also have the biggest dead cap hit ever – totaling $33.8 million – for trading the former #2 overall pick. Wentz is now reunited with former Eagles OC and current Indy HC Frank Reich. Many think this can revitalize an injury-plagued and mistake-prone past few years. There are a few takeaways from this trade for both teams…
The Eagles Lost This Trade
Philly wanted a Matthew Stafford-like package from any team trading for Wentz. Instead, they settled for pennies on the dollar for the 28-year-old just five years removed from being taken #2 overall. Wentz struggled tremendously this year – just like Jared Goff. But, even the Rams were able to make Goff a viable trade piece for Matt Stafford (even if it was more of a salary move than anything).
The Eagles now have no clear future at the position. QB Jalen Hurts, who the team drafted in the first round last year, was good but not great for Philly last year. It is unlikely they would use a first-rounder on a QB two seasons in a row.
But, if they wanted, another North Dakota State product will be waiting for them: Walter Payton and Jerry Rice Award winner Trey Lance. The team has been set back tremendously in free agency. Wentz’s cap hit will stymie any major moves or bigger groups of signings for Philadelphia.
The Wentz Whisperer: Frank Reich
Make no mistake, Carson Wentz was not a marquee target for teams looking to fill a QB void. But, there is one coach who could revitalize his career. The Wentz Whisperer, HC Frank Reich. Reich was the primary play-caller in Philly for the first two years of Wentz’s career. In 2017, the QB threw for 3,296 yards with 33 TDs and 7 INTs on the highest QBR of his career – until Wentz’s untimely injury. Many blame Wentz’s downfall on the departure of Frank Reich.
For Indy’s roster to be complete, they will likely need to target another strong wide receiver option. Indy is picking 26th and the draft and may try to trade up for the likes of DeVonta Smith or JaMarr Chase. Free agency is also ripe with talent. Kenny Golladay, Will Fuller, Allen Robinson, and Corey Davis can all be had for the right price.
Additionally, Indy has a stronger fall-back if Wentz begins to struggle. The Colts offensive line is one of the best in the league. Indy has a one-two-three punch in the backfield of Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor, and Nyheim Hines. Their defense is top-ten. Wentz has low expectations in a smaller market with a familiar coach. It is truly the best environment for him.
So, what about Deshaun?
He hasn’t bet on his own games or gotten chased around by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin yet. But Deshaun Watson is the closest you can get to the real-life Paul Crewe from The Longest Yard. He’s locked up in Houston and hates it there. He’s forced to play with questionable talent all over. The Wentz trade takes Philly and Indy off the market for the Clemson alum. Other than that, it does little for the haul the GM would even answer a call for in Houston.
If the Eagles had somehow gotten more first-rounders or players than the Lions did for Matt Stafford, it might have upped Watson’s price. So, the justifiably exorbitant haul for the top talent remains the same. It is all a matter of if the team will grant their star’s request or not.