As SportsLine oddsmakers favored, Eagles coach Doug Pederson has announced that rookie second-round quarterback Jalen Hurts will get his first NFL start Sunday vs. New Orleans, with former franchise QB Carson Wentz riding the pine. That's a very tough defense to go against for Hurts, and the Eagles are 7-point underdogs on the William Hill Sportsbook NFL odds, but we are here to talk about Wentz's potential future (i.e. a trade) and SportsLine odds on where he might be playing in 2021.
"We're not where we want to be as an offense. I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump, to try to get everybody playing better," Pederson said of his decision.
Hurts will become the youngest quarterback to start for the Eagles in the Super Bowl era as the 2019 Heisman runner-up will be 22 years and 168 days old Sunday. The previous youngest Eagles starting QB was Randall Cunningham (22 years, 172 days old) in 1985.
Needless to say, if Hurts doesn't play well the rest of this season then the Eagles moving on from Wentz is a moot point. The former No. 2 overall pick will see the start of his four-year, $128 million contract begin in 2021. His guaranteed base salary is set for $15.4 million in 2021, and his dead cap number is a whopping $59.22 million for next season.
Wentz is too talented for the Eagles to simply release him, but they couldn't do it with those numbers even if they wanted to. Thus, if Wentz isn't with Philly next season it was because he was traded. SportsLine oddsmakers have listed six favorites – and one CLEAR favorite.
The Eagles surely will ask for a minimum of a first-round pick for the 27-year-old Wentz. He could rework his deal to facilitate a trade if he wants a new start. You won't see quarterback-needy teams like the Jets and Jaguars on this list because they will be most likely picking Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields 1-2 in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Indianapolis Colts don't have a veteran quarterback under contract after this season with both Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett becoming free agents. Of course, the Colts' head coach is Frank Reich, the Eagles offensive coordinator in 2017-18. Wentz had his best season in 2017 and was close with Reich.
The Colts are due a whopping $91.3 million in cap space next year, according to ESPN. Thus, the team could take Wentz and perhaps send back its mid-to-late first-round pick in theory – currently No. 23.
New England doesn't appear to have a long-term quarterback on its roster with Cam Newton set to become a free agent and Jarrett Stidham a huge unknown and not showing much when given a chance to play. The Pats are set to have more than $67 million of cap space and currently own the No. 16 overall pick in the 2021 draft.
The Drew Lock experiment in Denver doesn't seem to be working and John Elway still hasn't been able to find a quarterback since Peyton Manning retired. However, the Broncos are looking at only about $20 million in cap space next year.
How about a one-for-one trade? San Francisco sends Jimmy Garoppolo to Philadelphia for Wentz (not going to happen, but it sure would be interesting)? While Kyle Shanahan has said he expects Jimmy G to be his 2021 starter, he regressed this season and has proven injury-prone. The Eagles probably have no interest in him regardless.
How ironic would it be for Chicago to trade for a former No. 2 overall pick after the Bears' own former No. 2 overall, Mitchell Trubisky, was a bust? The Bears definitely need a long-term quarterback and may finish with too "good" of a record (they currently would pick 13th in the draft) to get any of the top four prospects.
While Trubisky won't be back next year, the Bears are financially tied to Nick Foles, who of course was Wentz's former backup in Philadelphia and led the Eagles to the Super Bowl when Wentz was hurt. Chicago is not in a good cap position, however, and likely will be undergoing a full front office and coaching overhaul this offseason.
Finally, we have to mention Washington. No way the Eagles would trade their one-time franchise QB to a bitter division rival, right? Philly did just that in April 2010 in shipping Donovan McNabb to Washington. The Football Team doesn't have a long-term QB on its roster with Dwyane Haskins having fallen out of favor.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: If not the Eagles, which team will Carson Wentz be playing for Week 1 of the 2021 season?
- Colts Even
- Patriots +300
- Broncos +550
- Bears +1000
- 49ers +1500
- Washington +2500
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