Carson Wentz

Colts Won’t Pursue QB Trade

The Colts may be without Carson Wentz for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean the team will pursue a trade. Chris Mortensen reports (via Twitter) that Indy won’t be making a trade for the likes of Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew, or Marcus Mariota.

[RELATED: Carson Wentz To Have Surgery, Out 5-12 Weeks]

The reporter notes that Wentz could begin rehabbing his foot after two weeks and “hasn’t been ruled out” for Week 1 (although he admits this is an optimistic timeline). Mortensen opines that if the “relatively safe surgery and rehab” happens to go awry, then the team could reconsider a trade for a quarterback. The organization did provide a rather wide timeline for Wentz’s return, with head coach Frank Reich suggesting that the recent acquisition could be back within five to 12 weeks. The early side of that timeline could see Wentz on the field against the Seahawks to begin the year.

Following news of Wentz’s impending foot surgery, we learned that the Colts wouldn’t be pursuing a trade for Foles, who’s currently buried on the Bears depth chart. It makes sense that the sentiment would apply to other signal callers; Minshew and Mariota wouldn’t be available for cheap, and the Colts front office probably isn’t willing to give up assets for what could end up being a backup.

With Wentz temporarily sidelined, the Colts will instead move ahead with their collection of backups. 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason should see a larger role, although it’s worth noting that the quarterback has barely seen the field in three of the past four years (including his time in college). The Colts also recently added Brett Hundley, but the veteran hasn’t started a game since he went 3-6 in nine games with the Packers in 2017.

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Nick Foles On Potential Trade

The Bears brought in both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields this offseason, leaving Nick Foles in an awkward spot. He’s currently getting paid a lot of money for a third-string quarterback, so it’s been thought all offseason that a trade could be logical if the right situation arose.

That may have just happened with the Carson Wentz foot injury in Indianapolis. It’s looking like Wentz may miss a significant chunk of regular season time, and Indy doesn’t have any great options to fill-in right now. Foles happened to speak to the media Monday, and appeared to be angling for a trade to the Colts without outright saying it.

Foles raved about Colts head coach Frank Reich, saying “listen, Frank Reich is one of my favorite, if not favorite, coaches of all time,” (Twitter link via Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network). He revealed that there were already a couple of trade opportunities that came the Bears’ way but said “I don’t want to go to someone I don’t know,” (Twitter link via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune).

For what it’s worth, veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson was told the Colts have had no “substantive ‘pt-to-pt’ talks” with the Bears about trading for Foles yet (Twitter link). It seems to be a real possibility and Indy could make it happen but “everybody, including Carson Wentz, would have to be onboard,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network says (Twitter video link).

Of course, Foles filled in for an injured Wentz during the Eagles’ legendary Super Bowl run while Reich was Philly’s OC, so there’s a lot of history here that could complicate things.

Meanwhile, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets the financial breakdown of what Foles would be owed if acquired in a trade. He’s got a $4MM guaranteed salary for 2021. In 2022 he’s got a guaranteed $4MM roster bonus with a $4MM base salary ($1MM of which is guaranteed). Essentially the Colts would have to pay him $4MM this year and at least $5MM next year if they traded for him. Nothing seems imminent, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear more.

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Carson Wentz To Have Surgery, Out 5-12 Weeks

Yesterday, it was reported that Carson Wentz was looking to avoid surgery on his troublesome foot and heal up with rest and rehab. Clearly over the past 24 hours that was ruled out, since Colts head coach Frank Reich announced Monday that Wentz would have surgery and be sidelined for the next 5-12 weeks.

That’s a pretty open-ended timetable for a return, so it’s anyone’s guess as to when Wentz will actually be back under center. Five weeks could have him back right in time for the start of the regular season, 12 weeks means he’d miss almost half the regular season. Reich revealed the injury isn’t exactly new, with doctors telling the team it may date back to Wentz’s high school football days.

Apparently there’s an old broken bone in his foot that has now become loose. The surgery will be to remove the bone. It’s a tough blow for a Colts team that had playoff aspirations. They’ve been tight-lipped about the situation, and it’s also unclear what they plan to do at quarterback if Wentz does in fact miss regular season games.

They could go with last year’s fourth-round pick Jacob Eason, who didn’t sniff the field as a rookie, or with former Packers and Cardinals backup Brett Hundley who they just signed the other day. Hundley does at least have a decent amount of starting experience. Rookie sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger from Texas is on the roster as well, and a trade for a veteran is a distinct possibility at this point.

There are also significant draft pick implications with this timeline. When Indy made the trade with the Eagles to land Wentz, they agreed to give up a 2022 second-round pick. However, that pick becomes a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75 percent of the team’s snaps this season, or 70 percent and they make the playoffs.

It’ll be very interesting to see how that now plays out. If Wentz is going to come very close to missing say a fourth of the season, it might be in the team’s best interest to sit him an extra week and save the ever valuable first-round pick.

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Latest On Colts’ Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz will try and avoid surgery on his injured foot (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). If all goes well after rest and rehab, the Colts quarterback could be available for the season opener. But, if his condition does not improve, Wentz will be forced to go under the knife and miss the start of the 2021 season. 

Wentz is looking to reboot his career under old pal Frank Reich. But, before he can mount his return, he’ll need to get the green light from team doctors and independent specialists. For now, he’s been kept off of the practice field.

The Colts intend to use Wentz as their Week 1 starter. But, if he can’t go, they’ll have to rely on the likes of second-year QB Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger. Longtime stopgap Jacoby Brissett is no longer in the fold, so the Colts are short on options.

He’s with the docs, trying to figure what out the process is,” offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said last week. “[We’re] still evaluating what the next move is, how bad it is. Then we’ll go from there.”

Wentz was once considered one of the league’s best young quarterbacks. However, it’s been a while since his Pro Bowl nod in 2017. His final year with the Eagles was a mess and resulted in Jalen Hurts ascending to the starting job. Hurts was first-string for four of his 15 games, completing 52% of his passes for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also added another 354 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 63 carries, prompting the Eagles to trade him to the Colts for a package of draft picks.

The Eagles received a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round for the QB. That conditional choice could turn into a first-round selection if Wentz plays 75% of the snaps or 70% with a playoff appearance.

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Colts’ Carson Wentz To Miss Time

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz has suffered a foot injury that will sideline him for an undetermined period of time (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo). Garafolo doesn’t sense that the Colts are panicking about it, but it’s definitely a situation to watch as the season draws near. 

He’s with the docs, trying to figure what out the process is,” offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said on Friday (via ESPN.com). “Still evaluating what the next move is, how bad it is. Then we’ll go from there.”

It’s a frustrating setback for Wentz, who is looking to reboot his career under old pal Frank Reich. He is/was slated to be the Week 1 starter for the Colts and they no longer have Jacoby Brissett as a Plan B. Beyond Wentz, the Colts have second-year QB Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger — needless to say, they don’t offer the same level of experience or upside.

Wentz will hope for a speedy recovery as he looks to regain his 2017 Pro Bowl form. He was a far cry from that in his final year with the Eagles, before ceding the job to Jalen Hurts. Hurts went on to start in four of his 15 appearances, completing 52% of his passes for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also added another 354 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 63 carries, showcasing better mobility than the former No. 2 overall pick.

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Doug Pederson Addresses Eagles’ QB Decisions, 2020 Downfall

The Eagles using a second-round pick on Jalen Hurts raised eyebrows last year, and it ended up being a precursor to the end of an era.

While other factors contributed to the five-year Doug PedersonCarson Wentz run abruptly ending, the since-fired head coach said the Hurts move was not part of a plan to develop Wentz’s heir apparent. It is rather remarkable that the Eagles taking Hurts 53rd overall preceded such swift fallout, considering the Alabama/Oklahoma product’s status as Philly’s long-term starter remains uncertain. But less than a year after the pick, Pederson is unemployed and Wentz is in Indianapolis.

You go into drafts and you go into each year looking for quarterbacks,” Pederson said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via NFL.com). “And we continued to look for quarterbacks, and that’s always something that will never change. We won a Super Bowl with our backup quarterback. And we’ve had to play with our backups a couple of times in Philadelphia.

So we did that a year ago and brought in Jalen Hurts — not to undermine Carson Wentz, not to do anything to take away his job or anything because Carson was our starter. He was the franchise and all that moving forward. But (we wanted) someone that could come in and could be the backup and learn how to play the NFL game — bring his talent to the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Pederson ended up benching Wentz in early December, following a rough stretch for the former No. 2 overall pick. A rash of injuries affected both the Eagles’ offensive line and their receiving corps, and Wentz’s play predictably worsened. The benching led to a fracture between Wentz and Pederson.

The Eagles then parted ways with both, ushering in a Hurts-Nick Sirianni pairing — barely a year after the team narrowly lost a wild-card game. Though the Eagles were believed to be interviewing candidates with an eye on jump-starting Wentz, making an ex-Frank Reich lieutenant a logical option, the franchise quickly went in a different direction.

And really as the season began, things just started to kind of I guess spiral out of control,” Pederson said. “Injuries began to set in. We weren’t playing very well. Turnovers offensively, just a number of things, penalties, more injuries compounded problems, and it just became harder and harder as the year wore on.

“… It’s just unfortunate for me because I was hoping to really have an opportunity to fix the issues that we had and kind of get everything back on track — whether it was going to be this year or the next year. And, obviously, that didn’t happen.”

Pederson, 53, said he will attempt to land a second head coaching job. He discussed Seattle’s offensive coordinator position, but that was the Super Bowl-winning HC’s only known link to a 2021 gig. The Eagles added a 2022 first-round pick in trading down with the Dolphins this year. Barring an injury that prevents Wentz from taking 75% of Indy’s 2021 snaps, the team is in line to collect another from the Colts in the Wentz trade. This would give Philly a good opportunity to draft Wentz’s true successor, if Hurts fares poorly this season.

It is unclear how well Hurts will need to play to prevent the Eagles from entertaining another first-round quarterback pick, but given that he was not drafted with a QB1 role in mind, Philly figures to be linked to 2022 QB prospects.

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Colts HC Frank Reich On Carson Wentz

One of the (several) blockbuster moves this NFL offseason was the trade of Carson Wentz from the Eagles to the Colts. Philly moved on from the former second overall pick, while Indy will now have their fourth Week 1 starting quarterback in as many years.

The fallout from this trade will be significant, and will take years to take shape. One of the people who will be most impacted by however it turns out is Colts head coach Frank Reich, and in a recent interview with Albert Breer of SI.com he opened up about the deal for his new quarterback. Perhaps most interestingly, Reich revealed that the team was originally planning on drafting a signal-caller before they stumbled into the Wentz tradee.

“Was it going to be a draft pick? Honestly, I think Chris and I were thinking, somehow we were going to figure out how we were going to be able to draft the quarterback of our future. And then this thing came with Carson and it fell into our laps,” Reich said.

The “figure out how” part makes it seem like the Colts and GM Chris Ballard were plotting a trade up in order to draft one of this class’ top passers. It’s fun to think about how that alternate history would’ve played out. Reich expressed confidence that Wentz can turn things around after his disastrous 2020 season, and said he doesn’t need to go all the way back to 2017 to see that, but just the year before last.

“All you had to do, for me, was turn on the film in 2019, and with four games to go the Eagles needed to win out. And not only did they need to win out, but in each of those games, as I recall, looking at the film, Carson had to play great in the second half, and play a major role in that team winning those games in the second half,” he explained.

Reich also made it clear he doesn’t want to be viewed as a guru who’s going to work his magic and reinvent Wentz on his own. “I’ve already had a conversation with Carson, to say, ‘O.K., everybody’s throwing the word fix around and I get it,’” Reich said. “I wanted to get that off the table with Carson, because as a coach, you’re not trying to make it all about you. I’m not the fixer.”

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Carson Wentz Fallout: Hurts, Patriots, Pederson

The Carson Wentz era in Philadelphia came to an end today, as the former second-overall pick was dealt to the Colts. However, just because Wentz was sent packing, that doesn’t necessarily mean Jalen Hurts will slide into the starting spot. Sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen that the Eagles intend to bring in “competition” at quarterback, and the “starting job is not expected to automatically go to Hurts.”

The Eagles made a significant commitment to Hurts when they selected him in the second round of last year’s draft, and the former Alabama/Oklahoma standout showed flashes of potential during the 2020 season. Hurts ultimately started four of his 15 appearances this past season, completing 52 percent of his passes for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. He added another 354 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 63 carries.

It’s pretty clear that Hurts is the heir apparent at the quarterback spot, so this report is probably mostly lip service … teams don’t want their young players to rest on their laurels. Rather, the team is likely looking toward a veteran free agent who will provide some extra motivation to the young signal caller.

Let’s check out some more Wentz-centric notes:

  • The Colts ended up sending Philly a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick. According to Zak Keefer of The Athletic, Indy’s offer “hadn’t changed all that much across 10 days of negotiations.” The Colts front office ultimately believed the compensation was “fair,” and they never intended to “meet the Eagles’ initial demands of multiple first-round picks.” Per Keefer, the Colts understood that Wentz wasn’t their only option to replace Philip Rivers, and the front office was weighing other options while negotiating with Philadelphia.
  • We learned earlier today that the Bears had inquired on Wentz but never made a definitive offer. The same goes for the Patriots. According to Jeff Howe of the The Athletic, New England called the Eagles about the quarterback but lost interest when they heard the asking price. As the reporter notes, the Patriots are unlikely to “overpay for a veteran if it’s not a perfect fit,” especially at this point in the offseason.
  • How did it get to this point between Wentz and the Eagles? ESPN’s Tim McManus writes that the drafting of Hurts may have marked the “beginning of the end,” but there were plenty of additional factors that came into play during the 2020 season. As the Eagles losses and injuries continued to mount, (former) head coach Doug Pederson stripped Wentz of “much of his control over the offense.” As a result, Wentz vicariously lost faith in his head coach and the system.
  • Wentz didn’t just lose faith in Pederson. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Wentz “lost faith in [general manager Howie Roseman‘s] decision making. Wentz held a similar sentiment toward owner Jeffrey Lurie, who supported his GM and the front office’s decision to select Hurts in the second round.

Latest On Panthers’ Quarterback Outlook

The Panthers were prepared to part with their current starting quarterback and their No. 8 overall pick for Matthew Stafford, and owner David Tepper appears prepared to approve a guns-blazing push for Deshaun Watson.

Carolina is believed to be in on a few quarterbacks in this complex offseason at the position, according to The Athletic (subscription required), but the team was not viewed as a serious Carson Wentz suitor. Taking it a step further, Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan tweets the Panthers were not interested in the former Eagles passer.

Teddy Bridgewater, offered to the Lions in the Panthers’ Stafford proposal, may not be long for his role as Carolina’s QB1. But the Panthers sat out the Wentz process, joining the Patriots and Broncos — who were also in the mix for Stafford, though the QB did not want to be dealt to New England — in that regard. This led to the Eagles shipping Wentz to the Colts. Philadelphia’s initial ask of a Stafford-type haul for Wentz induced multiple teams to bow out of the pursuit early.

As for the Panthers’ next move, it might not be a trade for Sam Darnold. They do not appear especially high on the Jets quarterback, according to The Athletic, and a growing sense has emerged that Bridgewater may be back at the controls for the 2021 Panthers. Armed with the draft’s No. 2 overall pick, the Jets are mulling a Darnold decision. Multiple teams have inquired on Darnold thus far. Their choice could impact the Panthers, who may be out of position — barring a trade-up maneuver — to snag one of the top three QBs in this draft.

Returning OC Joe Brady remains confident in Bridgewater, per The Athletic. Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63MM deal last March. However, Tepper is said to be hoping the team finds an upgrade — even if Watson cannot be pried from the Texans.

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Bears Did Not Make Offer For Carson Wentz

One of the two known Carson Wentz suitors during this trade saga, the Bears do not appear to have presented legitimate competition to the Colts for the former Eagles quarterback.

The Bears did discuss Wentz with the Eagles, but Jay Glazer of Fox Sports tweets the team did not make an offer for the former No. 2 overall pick. Chicago backed out of the trade talks recently, according to Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter). The Colts concluded the race by sending a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-rounder to the Eagles to land Frank Reich‘s former pupil.

Regardless of the Bears’ finishing position in the respective sweepstakes for Wentz and Matthew Stafford, they remain in search of a quarterback. Chicago does have a first-round pick for the first time since the 2018 draft, but thanks to the team’s late-season resurgence, that selection sits at No. 20 overall.

The Colts, who pick 21st, secured Wentz and will not be in the market for a major trade-up maneuver come April. Although other QBs may well be available for trade in this action-packed offseason, the Bears will be connected to a first-round trade-up going into a crucial year for the Ryan PaceMatt Nagy regime. Nick Foles remains under Bears control for the 2021 season, on an easily manageable salary ($4MM), but the team will almost certainly bring in a starter-caliber passer via trade, free agency or the draft.

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