Volin: It’s possible the Eagles keep Wentz but fire Pederson


Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz started against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t finish.

Wentz was relieved of his duties in the third quarter, this after going 6-of-15 for 79 yards and four sacks. The Eagles lost 30-16.

“This is a guy who needs to be deprogrammed this offseason,” Boston Globe senior NFL writer Ben Volin said on The DA Show. “He’s just a mess right now. You can tell he has no faith in his receivers, no faith in his linemen, and I think that’s why he’s clutching the ball so much. That’s why he’s taken 50 sacks [and thrown] 15 interceptions. . . . It’s clear that he’s just been mentally wrecked right now as a quarterback. He just needs a break.”

The Eagles (3-8-1) have lost six of their last eight games, including four straight. They haven’t scored more than 17 points since a Week 8 win over Ben DiNucci and the Dallas Cowboys.

“Doug Pederson is definitely skating on thin ice,” Volin said. “The Eagles are just a mess. Their offense is so predictable. That’s another thing I heard from scouts: the way they line up is the same, they never do pre-snap motion, they’re running the same plays over and over – just a very simple, predictable offense right now. It’s shocking. This is a team that just won a Super Bowl a few years ago. With as bad as the NFC East is, you thought the Eagles would run away with it, but they have just been an abject disaster.”

Fortunately for the Eagles – and perhaps unfortunately for Wentz – Hurts looked solid against Green Bay. He finished 5-of-12 for 109 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran five times for 29 yards.

“They waited too long to move to Jalen Hurts,” Volin said. “They should have switched to him a couple weeks ago. Carson Wentz, I think their only option if they want to move on from him, they’ve got to try to trade him this offseason. But I can’t imagine any other team is going to want to take on that contract, especially because his 2022 salary is going to become guaranteed a year ahead of time. So I think they’re stuck with him for at least another year, if not two. They’ve got to just try to make the best of it, hopefully maybe bring in another coach and see if he can get more out of him. But the contract is just a huge albatross right now, and Carson Wentz has just become a disaster.”

Wentz, the second overall pick in 2016, had a career year in his second NFL season. In 2017, he threw for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games before tearing his ACL.

He hasn’t looked the same ever since.

“It’s kind of sad,” Volin said. “He was close to an MVP candidate three years ago, but the Eagles are just a mess right now. Their owner, Jeffrey Lurie, is not the most impulsive guy, but if they keep sliding like this, I think Doug Pederson, just three years after a Super Bowl, is probably going to be looking for work soon.”

Indeed, Volin believes there’s a very real possibility that Wentz, not Pederson, will be back in Philadelphia next season.

“They might have to do that,” Volin said. “I think they’re probably going to be stuck with Wentz for another year, if not two, because of that contract. Who’s going to want to trade for that deal? Cutting him is just pretty much out of the question because of what it’ll do to your salary cap and how much money you owe the guy. They got to try to trade him. I just can’t imagine any team that needs a quarterback is going to look at Carson Wentz and be like, ‘Well, that’s our answer,’ especially for that price.’ 

“Maybe if the Eagles find a way to pay half the salary and pay Carson Wentz to go away, maybe that’s possible,” Volin continued. “But they’re probably stuck with him. With the way the Eagles are fading right now, they’re much more committed to Carson Wentz financially than they are to Doug Pederson. So I think it’s very possible that they keep the quarterback but they try to bring in another coach to fix him.”