Eagles backup quarterback Carson Wentz is not happy with the "way events have unfolded in the organization” and will likely look to find his way to a new team this offseason if Jalen Hurts remains the starter, according to an ESPN report.
Wentz was benched prior to last week’s game against the New Orleans Saints, a game the team won to keep their playoff hopes alive with Hurts at quarterback. Hurts will start again on Sunday vs. the Arizona Cardinals, and it is unlikely he will be going back to the bench unless he suffers an injury.
Wentz had 15 interceptions and the lowest passer rating of his career in 12 games before being sent to the bench. Pederson credited the way Wentz has handled his benching this week, saying he has looked great during his reps running the scout team.
Wentz is set to enter the first year of a four-year, $128 million extension in 2021.
It isn’t surprising to hear that Wentz isn’t happy as a backup — no player would be. What is interesting is that it seems Wentz might try to force his way out of Philadelphia, and that the decision on whether to keep him — something that has been fiercely debated in this city — might not be up to the team.
If Wentz did try to force a trade, chances are the Eagles would grant his request. Forcing Wentz to stay is not a great situation for either side, and if Wentz does truly want out, he would likely be willing to re-do his deal to make it easier for a trade to happen. Wentz would leave a $33 million cap hit on the Eagles’ 2021 salary cap if he was traded, but would be completely off the books in 2022, leaving them $81 million in salary cap space.
The question is what kind of market would there be for Wentz. Teams like the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots and Denver Broncos seem like obvious fits. If enough teams show interest, the price to acquire Wentz will go up, and a trade could be a win-win for both sides.
If Hurts wins on Sunday the chances of the Eagles ever going back to Wentz decrease even more, and the chances of both being on the roster in 2021 also go down -- in fact, it might already be at the point where it isn't in the interest of Hurts, Wentz or the Eagles to have both players on the roster next season.
How this plays out remains to be seen. Things can change quickly. If Hurts ends on Sunday on the bench due to injury, and Wentz leads the Eagles to a win, perhaps this doesn’t end in a divorce between the two sides.
Unless, of course, the damage is already done — and the team drafting Hurts in the first place is the real reason Wentz might want out.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!