The rumors swirled for weeks after the conclusion of the NFL season, but Tuesday the move finally happened, as the Philadelphia Eagles reportedly dealt QB Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a pair of picks. The trade was Wentz for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional second that could become a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75% of the Colts' snaps of 70% of the snaps and the team makes the playoffs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
QB Carson Wentz
2021 third-round pick
2022 conditional second-round pick
Things can change very quickly in the NFL. Just 20 months after giving Carson Wentz a $128 million contract, the Philadelphia Eagles are trading Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 second-rounder that could escalate to a first-round pick. Philly wanted out on Wentz so badly that the team will take a $33 million cap hit to do so. Keep in mind that this is a player the Eagles leveraged five picks to trade up for in 2016.
To quote Michael Scott, “Well, well, well, how the turntables...”
While Wentz’ 2020 campaign does little to inspire any confidence in his future as a starting quarterback, the Colts are getting him on the cheap. In Indy, Wentz will be reunited with Frank Reich, who served as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in Wentz’s first two years in the league. In 2017, Wentz appeared to be on the verge of superstardom with 33 passing scores over his first 13 games. Of course, that season was cut short due to injury, and the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl with backup Nick Foles under center.
Injuries then seemed to become Wentz’s modus operandi, as he suffered a back injury in 2018 that put him on the shelf for the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. He also was concussed against the Seahawks in the 2019 playoffs. Of course, things really unraveled for Wentz this past season. While he did play behind a patchwork offensive line, Wentz showed an inability to locate open receivers and generally seemed incapable of running Doug Pederson’s offense.
Whether Reich can repair and revitalize Wentz will be a massive question for the Colts heading into 2021. What does seem clear is that Wentz will be their starting quarterback, as Philip Rivers retired and Jacoby Brissett is set to hit free agency. In Indianapolis, Wentz has an exciting young receiver in Michael Pittman. The second-year man possesses a big catch radius, which is a trait Philadelphia typically prioritied for Wentz. He’ll also have two capable pass-catching tight ends in Mo Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle. Wentz will also be covered up a bit by the potent Indy run game that features Jonathan Taylor. Despite all of these interesting pieces, it’s still tough to envision Wentz being anything more than a back-end QB2 for fantasy purposes.
On the other side of this deal, the Eagles sit at a crossroads. Pederson’s regime flamed out almost as quickly as it burst onto the scene and the team went in a different direction with Nick Sirianni. The first-time head coach isn’t left completely out in the cold at quarterback, as Jalen Hurts is waiting in the wings. Philly made the move to Hurts in Week 14, and the rookie flashed a lot of potential. Over the final month of the season, Hurts ranked sixth among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring, thanks in large part to 267 rushing yards. Only Lamar Jackson had more among quarterbacks over that span.
Hurts would seem to be in the driver’s seat for the starting gig, but we can’t 100% rule out the Eagles selecting a quarterback in the first round of April’s draft. Philly currently holds the No. 6 pick, and we could very well see at least one of the top four quarterbacks in this year’s class still on the board at that point.
However, if it is Hurts as the presumptive starter, his fantasy stock skyrockets. Hurts’ ability as a runner gives him a high weekly floor. He also showed upside with his arm, topping 300 passing yards in Weeks 15 and 16. He certainly has a lot of improvements to make, but there’s a good chance he has a long leash in 2021. With the starting job, Hurts becomes an extremely desirable late-round option in 1QB leagues. There’s no doubt that he comes with volatility, but his high-end chops in the run game and ability to make plays give him a lot of fantasy appeal if he ends up as the starter in Philly.