Carson Wentz isn’t a realistic target for the Washington Football Team

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Carson Wentz was once an MVP candidate for the Philadelphia Eagles. But during the 2020 campaign, things went completely haywire for the former No. 2 overall pick.

Just a few years removed from his stellar 2017 campaign that ended prematurely with a torn ACL and just one season removed from helping carry a beat-up Eagles team to an NFC East title, Wentz regressed badly in 2020. He led the NFL in interceptions with 15 and looked like he could barely read the field.

Wentz was eventually benched for Jalen Hurts late in the year, and the Eagles played better under the second-round rookie than they did with Wentz on the field.

Because of his struggles, there has been speculation that the Eagles could move on from Wentz and trust Hurts, or someone else, as the team’s starter. The moves that the organization made — firing Doug Pederson and hiring Nick Sirianni, the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, whose head coach, Frank Reich, was Philly’s offensive coordinator during Wentz’s best year — would seem to indicate otherwise. But now, the trade winds are swirling around Wentz once again.

According to Les Bowen of The Philadelphia Inquirer, a source not with the Eagles has indicated that a trade involving Wentz is “close”.

This is just a rumor, but if Wentz is on the block, then you can bet the Washington Football Team’s name will be brought up regarding him. They are in need of a quarterback and they’re one of the few teams in the NFL that can absorb his massive salary with their available cap space.

However, Carson Wentz isn’t a realistic option for the Washington Football Team.

There are simply too many obstacles for both Washington and Philadelphia to overcome in a potential deal to make this move happen.

First of all, determining compensation in a Wentz trade could prove difficult. The Eagles still seem to believe in Wentz’s potential, but after his putrid performance last year, it will be hard to sell any team on acquiring his four-year, $128 million contract.

Would a team accept the contract in a salary-dump deal where the Eagles sweeten the pot by including draft picks along with Wentz? Sure. That would be similar to what the Los Angeles Rams did with Jared Goff.

But would the Eagles be willing to do that to move on from Wentz if they still believe he can regain his form? Definitely not. They’d probably rather let him stick around for another year to see if he can re-emerge as a quality starter.

If Wentz can’t do that, the Eagles would have an out in his contract after the 2021 season where they could trade or cut Wentz for $24.5 million in dead cap space. If they took either route this offseason, they’d be creating a historic $59.2 million dead cap hit. That’s completely unpalatable for any team, but especially for an Eagles team that is dealing with some major salary cap issues.

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As for Washington, they probably wouldn’t want to give up significant assets for Wentz. He’s extremely expensive and he’s coming off his worst season as a pro. They could afford to make a move for Wentz, but there’s no guarantee that he would be an upgrade over what the team has.

Additionally, it would be highly unlikely that these two teams would agree to a quarterback trade because they are interdivisional rivals. The Eagles wouldn’t want to give Wentz to Washington (without a significant return) in case he regains his MVP-caliber form.

Meanwhile, Washington may be worried about the Eagles selling them a lemon, as they did in the Donovan McNabb trade. That could make them wary of a deal — unless they viewed it as a true salary-dump with upside and were getting a draft pick of some sorts. But again, it’s unlikely that the Eagles will attach picks to Wentz just to offload him given that they seem to believe in his potential.

No matter how you frame this, a Wentz trade for Washington seems unlikely. It’s just so hard to trade with division rivals, and Wentz’s performance last season would make it difficult for both sides to agree on any potential compensation for the quarterback.

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We’ll soon see what unfolds with Wentz, but don’t expect Washington to trade for him. They’ll likely continue to explore other options in their quest to upgrade the QB spot.