The relationship between Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles is reportedly "fractured," and the quarterback will request a trade during the offseason rather than compete with Jalen Hurts for the starting job heading into the 2021 NFL season.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported the following update on Sunday NFL Countdown ahead of the Eagles' regular-season finale against the Washington Football Team:
"His relationship with the Eagles is all but fractured. In fact, it is fractured. Wentz is expected to ask the Eagles for a trade and will help the Eagles facilitate a trade. The reaction of Jeffrey Lurie, the owner, will be vital to this one, but right now Wentz clearly wants out of Philadelphia and a fresh start somewhere else."
Multiple teams, including the Indianapolis Colts (led by head coach Frank Reich, who previously worked as Wentz's offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017), are expected to express interest in the QB, but the Eagles' asking price will be "significant," per Mortensen.
Wentz struggled before Hurts replaced him in the lineup entering the team's Week 14 game against the New Orleans Saints. He completed a career-low 57.4 percent of his throws for 2,620 yards with 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 12 games.
The 28-year-old ranks 28th in ESPN's Total QBR (49.4) and 34th in passer rating (72.8) heading into the final week of the regular season. That's a sharp drop-off in play from the previous three years, when he combined to throw 81 touchdowns and 21 interceptions across 40 appearances.
It left Eagles head coach Doug Pederson little choice but to give Hurts, a 2020 second-round pick, a chance to spark the offense during the stretch run of the campaign. While the 2019 Heisman Trophy finalist has been mostly successful, accounting for six touchdowns (five passing and one rushing) over the past three weeks, it wasn't enough to alter the Eagles' fortunes. They were eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16.
In late December, Pederson praised Wentz for how he handled the quarterback change.
"Listen, that's something that I really appreciate about Carson how he's handled this," he told reporters. "He doesn't want to be a distraction to the team. He wants to help the team win. That's the bottom line. We don't let those kinds of things creep into our thinking and try to keep them out of the locker room so it won't divide your team."
It doesn't sound like Wentz is interested in a prolonged battle with Hurts for the top spot on the depth chart in Philadelphia, though.
ESPN's Adam Schefter previously reported the 2017 Pro Bowl selection is "not pleased with the way events have unfolded in the organization" and would want to "move on" if he's ticketed for a backup role.
While there would likely be baseline interest in Wentz on the trade market based on his prior success, his contract situation could make it difficult for all interested parties along with the Eagles.
A post-June 1 trade would create $25.4 million in extra cap space for Philly in 2021 but leave a $24.5 million dead-cap hit for 2022, per Spotrac. Meanwhile, his four-year, $128 million contract runs through 2024 with cap hits that range from $31.3 million to $34.7 million, an issue for the acquiring team.
In turn, Wentz may need to agree to a substantial contract restructuring to accommodate a trade.