Carson Wentz is prepared to leave the Philadelphia Eagles if he isn’t their starting quarterback.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday, citing sources, that the spurned signal-caller isn’t happy with “the way events have unfolded in the organization” and wants out if he’s going to be a backup.
Wentz, 27, was benched in-game for 2020 second-rounder Jalen Hurts in Week 13 against the Packers amid his worst season since entering the NFL. Through 12 starts this year, he has completed a career-worst 57.4 percent of his passes for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns and an NFL-high 15 interceptions.
This report comes a week after sources told ESPN that the organization still has “belief” in Wentz. However, that sentiment may have shifted after the Eagles’ improbable, 24-21 win in Week 14 against the Saints (10-3), during which Hurts looked like a palpable improvement over Wentz. The rookie completed 17 of 30 attempts for one touchdown, zero interceptions and rushed 18 times for 106 yards while quelling the team’s four-game losing streak.
Wentz will back up Hurts for the second week in a row as the Eagles (4-8-1) take on the Cardinals (7-6) on Sunday. Head coach Doug Pederson has yet to commit to making Hurts the full-time starter, though the move seems inevitable at this point if he continues to play at this level.
“Player and team sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen last weekend that Hurts will remain the starter this season,” Schefter added.
Any option to move on from Wentz would be costly for the Eagles, who recently extended him for $128 million through 2024. The former No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft carries an enormous $34.7 million cap hit ($59.2 million dead cap) in 2021, which drops to $31.3 million ($24.6 million dead cap) in 2022 and $36.3 million ($15.3 million dead cap) in 2023 according to Spotrac.
His 2022 base salary of $22 million becomes fully guaranteed three days after the new league year begins in March; his $10 million 2021 roster bonus is also paid out at the same time. The Eagles may opt to designate him as a post-June 1 release, in which case they would owe Wentz his 2021 salary, but could spread out his $59.2 million dead cap hit over two years.
If they choose to put him on the trading block, the Eagles would only incur a $33.8 million cap hit that would count against their 2021 cap in full. This would require another team to agree to pay the struggling North Dakota State product’s $25.4 million salary plus a $10 million roster bonus in 2021, which would likely require some incentive from the Philadelphia.
The Eagles currently sit in third place in a soft NFC East behind the Washington Football Team (6-7) and the Giants (5-8).