With the Philadelphia Eagles firing head coach Doug Pederson on Monday, it appears there’s a good chance that the team’s former No. 1 quarterback, Carson Wentz, won’t be heading elsewhere after all.
On Monday afternoon, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler cited a source familiar with the situation, tweeting that Pederson’s dismissal “significantly” increased the chances of Wentz staying in Philadelphia. He noted that ahead of the firing, it became clear that keeping both Pederson and Wentz would be “difficult.” And while it’s still possible that the Eagles will try to trade the former No. 2 overall draft pick during the offseason, Fowler stressed that the relationship between the signal-caller and the organization “appears salvageable” at this point.
As recalled by Bleacher Report, Wentz had a difficult 2020 campaign, one where he became much less productive on the field and was eventually replaced behind center by rookie Jalen Hurts. Rumors had also swirled in recent weeks, hinting that the signal-caller was planning to request a trade because his relationship with Pederson had become “fractured beyond repair.” However, the outlet pointed out that the coach’s sacking might be a sign that Eagles management isn’t giving up on the fifth-year pro.
“Pederson’s firing seems to suggest that [general manager Howie] Roseman and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel on Wentz just yet. The focus of Philadelphia’s offseason now figures to be building around the second overall pick in the 2016 draft and finding a head coach who can fix him, for better or worse.”
According to Pro Football Reference, Wentz won only three of the 12 games he started in 2020, throwing 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and tallying just 2,620 passing yards before he was replaced by Hurts. He also registered career lows in completion percentage (57.4 percent) and QB rating (72.8) and got sacked 50 times, resulting in a total loss of 326 yards.
“To say he looked like a deer in headlights is being kind,” Bleacher Report wrote. “But the Eagles were likely going to be stuck with him in 2021 regardless of who demanded what and who didn’t like one another anymore.”
If the Eagles decide to trade Wentz, it could turn out to be a very expensive move for the organization, which would end up with close to $34 million in dead salary-cap space. Still, there have been several clubs that have been mentioned as potential suitors for the former North Dakota State star, including the Indianapolis Colts, who are currently coached by former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
Even with the possibility of a resurgence with another team in mind, Bleacher Report speculated that the best course of action may be for Wentz to remain in Philly, in hopes that he would return to Pro Bowl-caliber form.