Carson Wentz

Eagles To Interview Josh McDaniels

After an unusually quiet start to his offseason, Josh McDaniels will be part of this year’s HC interview circuit. The Patriots OC will meet with the Eagles about their top coaching job, Bo Wulf and Zac Jackson of The Athletic report (subscription required).

The frequently sought-after coordinator will meet with Jeffrey Lurie on Sunday. While McDaniels is certainly one of the more polarizing candidates available, he has already begun recruiting staffers in the event he can land the Philadelphia gig, per Jackson and Wulf. That strategy turned out to have notable consequences in Indianapolis.

McDaniels spurning the Colts three years ago led to the Eagles losing OC Frank Reich. Their offense has not been quite the same since, and the unit cratered this season. McDaniels, however, is not coming off his best season. While he was in place as Patriots OC when Tom Brady grew from Super Bowl winner on a defense-powered team into an MVP, McDaniels could not coax much from New England’s Cam Newton-directed offense. However, the Patriots battled frequent injury issues and have not had much in the way of weaponry over the past two seasons.

Even after McDaniels backtracked on his Colts commitment, the former Broncos HC remained a candidate in 2019 and 2020. The Eagles, though, are the only known team to reach out to the veteran coordinator this year. McDaniels joins fellow Pats staffer Jerod Mayo among those in consideration for the Eagles job.

McDaniels would be tasked with rebooting Carson Wentz‘s career. The Eagles have told candidates they plan to “in an ideal world” keep Wentz for next season, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link). Wentz’s status helped drive a wedge between ownership and Doug Pederson (and Wentz and Pederson), but Pederson’s ouster has improved the former starter’s prospects in Philly.

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Fallout From Doug Pederson Firing: Eagles, Wentz, Staff

Monday was a pivotal day in Eagles franchise history, as the team fired Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson. There’s been a lot trickling out since then, and we’re here to bring you all the fallout from the decision:

  • This all has been “boiling” since last offseason, when owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman pressured Pederson to fire offensive coordinator Mike Groh, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. A source told McLane that Pederson actually threatened to quit over it, but Eagles brass didn’t take it seriously. We noted in our initial writeup yesterday a report that “Pederson was sick of people telling him what to do.”
  • To that end, Lurie was apparently “underwhelmed” by the staffing suggestions Pederson made for the 2021 season when they met last week, a source told McLane. Pederson apparently wanted to promote from within, as McLane reports he wanted to promote QBs coach Press Taylor to offensive coordinator and to “bump up defensive line coach Matt Burke to defensive coordinator.” Clearly Lurie was more inclined to bring in bigger names from outside the organization, and it sounds like this was a sticking point in the ultimate divorce.
  • Finally, McLane points out in another tweet that Roseman will now be on his fourth head coach (third that he’ll hire), after Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, and Pederson. McLane writes that “Pederson and Roseman had decreasingly seen eye to eye on personnel.” Roseman is turning into somewhat of a polarizing figure, but he clearly has a lot of power.
  • One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind when the decision came down was what it meant for Carson Wentz. It might be good news for the former second overall pick, as a source told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that the firing “significantly increases the chances” of Wentz staying in Philly next season (Twitter link). We had heard just before the end of the regular season that the relationship between Wentz and Pederson was fractured beyond repair, and this could be a sign that Lurie and Roseman believe Wentz should be the quarterback in 2021. The increased likelihood of Wentz returning was confirmed by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who added that had Pederson been retained Wentz would’ve wanted out (Twitter video link).
  • Lurie released a statement through the team explaining the decision and thanking Pederson, which you can read via this tweet. Not surprisingly, he said Pederson will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.
  • The Eagles also tweeted a statement from Pederson, thanking the team, the city, and the fans.
  • We’ve already heard the team is interested in Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, but Lurie also said at his press conference explaining the decision that assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley would be a candidate for the job. Staley is very popular in the locker room and a number of former players immediately voiced support for him on social media, but that still seems like a pretty big long-shot.

Eagles Aren’t “Talking About” Carson Wentz Trade

Carson Wentz wants out, but the Eagles aren’t in any rush. Trading the quarterback is “not anything we’re talking about right now,” GM Howie Roseman says (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). 

[RELATED: Eagles’ Ertz Wants To Stay]

Even after getting the hook for rookie Jalen Hurts, the Eagles are said to still have faith in Wentz. Wentz, meanwhile, is frustrated. That’s been brewing for a while — he was annoyed with the surprise second-round selection of Hurts back in the spring.

It’s quite possible that Roseman is simply looking to maintain leverage. Major changes are coming to the Eagles no matter what, and the shakeup could include the departure of Zach Ertz. Meanwhile, head coach Doug Pederson will stay on board, according to a recent report. The two have butted heads, so Philly might not be big enough for both of them.

Trading Wentz before the third day of the league year would result in a dead cap charge of ~$34MM. Cutting Wentz would dead cap hit of nearly $60MM. Even if it’s spread out over two years, that’s a cap killer. Frank Reich — the former Eagles OC who could lose Philip Rivers to retirement — may look to reunite with his one-time protege.

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Carson Wentz To Request Trade

The relationship between Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz is fractured beyond repair, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com. Wentz is expected to ask the Eagles for a trade this offseason and will do whatever he can to facilitate a deal out of Philadelphia.

Wentz was benched for rookie signal-caller Jalen Hurts a few weeks ago, but shortly thereafter, it was reported that Philadelphia had not lost faith in Wentz and had no intention of trading him (though that may have simply been a tactic to maintain its leverage in trade negotiations). Wentz, however, was said to be rattled by the team’s decision to select Hurts in the second round of this year’s draft and was upset with how his benching unfolded. As a result, he is looking for a fresh start elsewhere.

Just yesterday, we learned that the Eagles plan to retain Pederson for the 2021 season, so assuming Mortensen’s report is accurate, the club may be choosing its head coach over its former MVP-candidate quarterback. However, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network says the Eagles still believe the situation is salvageable (Twitter link), so it remains to be seen how aggressive the team will be in trade talks.

If the club does elect to move on from Wentz, a trade is much more feasible than a release. Trading Wentz before the third day of the 2021 league year would result in a dead cap charge of just under $34MM for 2021, but given that Wentz’s cap number for next season is set to be just above $34MM, the Eagles would actually save a bit of cap space and would at least have some draft pick compensation in their pocket. Releasing Wentz would result in a massive dead cap hit of nearly $60MM, and while the Eagles could spread out that hit over two years by designating him a post-June 1 cut, carrying $30MM on the books for two consecutive seasons for a player no longer on the roster wouldn’t make much sense.

Because of the presence of former Eagles OC Frank Reich and their abundance of cap space, the Colts have been rumored as the most likely destination for Wentz in the event a trade is consummated. Indeed, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says Wentz would prefer Indianapolis over several other clubs (video link), and if incumbent Colts signal-caller Philip Rivers elects to retire at season’s end, Indy will certainly be in the market for a QB.

Rapoport says that Rivers, who signed a one-year, $25MM pact with the Colts this offseason, is very much open to retirement, and his decision may hinge on whether the team advances to the playoffs. TV networks are said to be eyeing Rivers, who could easily transition to the broadcast booth if he hangs up the cleats.

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Eagles’ Doug Pederson “Fully Confident” He’ll Return

Doug Pederson is not on the hot seat, according to Doug Pederson. The Eagles head coach says he is “fully confident” that he will return in 2021, despite the team’s disappointing season.

[RELATED: Eagles’ Doug Pederson On Hot Seat]

I feel fully confident to be the head coach of the Eagles in 2021,” said Pederson, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since his inaugural 2016 season in Philly. “The thing I’m most proud of this football team, we have been in the postseason three of the last five years since I’ve been here and that’s pretty good.”

We have won a championship here. We have gone through a season where a lot of our veteran guys are not playing due to injury. We are playing with a lot of young players. There is always going to be evaluation in the offseason and my job is evaluated as well. I fully expected to be the coach next season and I welcome the opportunity to get things right, get things fixed and take this team into next season.”

Depending on how the season finale goes, the Eagles will finish either 5-10-1 or 4-11-1. Either way, it’ll the worst report card in Pederson’s five years. In that span, the Eagles have invested serious resources in quarterback Carson Wentz, only to watch him regress dramatically in 2020. Now, owner Jeffrey Lurie will be left to decide whether Pederson — a Philadelphia hero, not long ago — is the right man to lead the Eagles moving forward.

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Carson Wentz Not Interested In QB2 Role

As expected, the future of Carson Wentz in Philadelphia is fast becoming a hot topic in the NFL news cycle. This morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com published a report saying that Wentz is not interested in being a backup quarterback and will ask to be traded if Jalen Hurts continues as the team’s starter.

Obviously, no player wants to be a backup, especially a player like Wentz who is not too far removed from being a legitimate MVP candidate and whose massive contract has quickly turned into an albatross. But if his goal is to get a fresh start somewhere else, then leaking his unhappiness might not be the best way to go about it, as it could hurt the Eagles’ leverage with other clubs and add another layer of complexity to trade talks.

According to Schefter, Wentz is unhappy with how his benching has unfolded. It seems his primary point of contention is that head coach Doug Pederson has not said whether the switch to Hurts is permanent, though sources tell ESPN and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) that the rookie passer will remain the starter for the rest of the regular season (and presumably into the playoffs if Philadelphia should qualify). Schefter’s report also lends credence to prior rumblings that Wentz’s confidence was shaken when Hurts was selected in the second round of this year’s draft.

Just last week, we heard that the Eagles are committed to Wentz as their long-term solution under center, though many believe that was simply to help themselves in their seemingly inevitable trade negotiations. As we detailed in that story, the club will need to make a decision on Wentz’s future by the second day of the 2021 league year, which will be sometime in the middle of March. On the third day of the league year, Wentz’s 2022 base salary of $22MM becomes fully-guaranteed, and he will receive a $10MM roster bonus for 2021.

In addition to the Colts, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP sees the Patriots, Broncos, and 49ers as potential trade partners.

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Eagles To Stick With Jalen Hurts As Starter

The Eagles are sticking with Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback, head coach Doug Pederson announced. Hurts — starting in place of Carson Wentz — impressed on Sunday as he led the Eagles to a 24-21 win over the Saints.

[RELATED: Eagles To Keep Carson Wentz?]

Thanks in part to Hurts, the Eagles snapped a four-game skid and kept their playoff hopes alive. Now, the Birds are a mere 1.5 games back of the Washington Football Team for the NFC East lead.

Hurts completed 17-of-30 passes against the Saints. More importantly, he dazzled on the ground. His 18 carries for 106 yards put him in rarified air — he’s just the fifth Eagles quarterback to rush for 100 yards in the Super Bowl era, joining the likes of Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, and Randall Cunningham.

Meanwhile, the Eagles will need to decide on Wentz’s fate by the second day of the 2021 league year in March. On Day 3, Wentz’s 2022 base salary of $22MM gets locked in and he’ll receive a $10MM roster bonus for 2021. Cutting Wentz would result in a massive dead cap hit of nearly $60MM, but a trade would be much more palatable for their finances.

If the Eagles aren’t able to squeeze into the playoffs, they’ll have many more decisions to make, including the fate of Pederson.

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Eagles To Keep Carson Wentz?

In the wake of the Eagles’ decision to bench struggling starting QB Carson Wentz in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts, speculation that Philadelphia might try to trade Wentz this offseason has begun to swirl. However, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that the team has no intention of trading its embattled signal-caller.

A few of Wentz’s prominent teammates, like DT Fletcher Cox and C Jason Kelce, publicly voiced their support for Wentz this week, and one team source insisted that the benching in no way changes the belief that the organization has in the former No. 2 overall pick. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports also hears that the organization is hopeful that Wentz can regain his prior form next season and is committed to helping him do just that.

However, as La Canfora observes, rival front offices are still doing their due diligence on Wentz in case the Eagles should make him available via trade. And if Hurts should perform well over the final few weeks of the season, it could be that Wentz will be playing elsewhere in 2021.

One way or another, Philadelphia needs to make a decision by the second day of the 2021 league year, which will be sometime in the middle of March. On the third day of the league year, Wentz’s 2022 base salary of $22MM becomes fully-guaranteed, and he will receive a $10MM roster bonus for 2021. Cutting Wentz would result in a massive dead cap hit of nearly $60MM, and while the Eagles could spread out that hit over two years by designating him a post-June 1 cut, carrying $30MM on the books for two consecutive seasons for a player no longer on the roster appears untenable.

Trading Wentz before the third day of the 2021 league year would result in a dead cap charge of just under $34MM for 2021 — which could not be spread out over two seasons — but given that his cap number for next season is set to be just above $34MM, the Eagles would actually save a bit of cap space and would at least have some draft pick compensation in their pocket. That is perhaps why one NFL executive told Schefter that a trade is probably the best-case scenario for Philadelphia at this point.

One team that has repeatedly come up in trade rumors surrounding Wentz is the Colts, largely because of Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich. Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator from 2016-17, and the 2017 season was easily the best of Wentz’s career. He was a legitimate MVP candidate before a torn ACL suffered towards the tail end of the campaign kept him out of Philadelphia’s magical run to the Super Bowl, and since the Colts will likely be looking for a long-term passer at season’s end, a Reich-Wentz reunion makes plenty of sense.

Any deal would obviously be complicated by financial considerations, both for the Eagles and the acquiring club, and a lot will depend on how Hurts plays down the stretch. If the Eagles elect to fire head coach Doug Pederson after the season, the new HC’s opinion on Wentz would certainly be a key factor as well. Regardless, you can be sure that we will be talking about the Wentz situation a great deal over the coming months.

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This Date In Transactions History: Eagles Place QB Carson Wentz On IR

With Carson Wentz hitting the bench this weekend, it’s only appropriate to look back at one of the first notable transactions involving the quarterback. On this date in 2017, the Eagles placed Wentz on the injured reserve.

At this point three years ago, Wentz hadn’t yet been labeled as injury prone. The 2016 second-overall pick started all 16 games during his rookie season, with Wentz playing the second-most snaps in the NFL that year (per Football Outsiders). The young quarterback was also rolling during the 2017 campaign, helping the Eagles to an 11-2 record by tossing 33 touchdowns through 13 games (a performance that would ultimately garner him his lone Pro Bowl nod).

However, during Philly’s NFC-East-clinching Week 14 win over the Rams, Wentz suffered a torn ACL, ending his season. We all know what happened next; backup Nick Foles took over under center and helped guide the Eagles to a Super Bowl LII victory over the Patriots.

Wentz suffered (pseudo) season-ending injuries in both of the next two seasons. After missing the first two games of the 2018 season as he recovered from knee surgery, the quarterback regained his starting spot. A back injury ended up sidelining him for the remainder of the season and playoffs, with Foles again taking over as the starter. Wentz managed to appear in all 16 games during the 2019 campaign, but during his postseason debut, he suffered a head injury following a helmet-to-helmet hit with Jadeveon Clowney during the NFC Wild Card game. That first-quarter injury ultimately sidelined Wentz for the rest of the game.

Wentz managed to return from his concussion and start each of the Eagles 12 games in 2020. However, the 27-year-old’s performance took a significant dip; Wentz has connected on a career-low 57.4-percent of his passes, and he leads the NFL in sacks taken (50) and interceptions (15 vs. only 16 touchdowns). Doug Pederson ended up benching Wentz for rookie Jalen Hurts during the second half of last weekend’s loss to the Packers, and the 2020 second-rounder will get the start this weekend against the Saints.

On this date in 2017, there was still plenty of optimism surrounding Wentz; NFL.com listed him third in their ranking of the top-100 players heading into the 2018 campaign. Things obviously could have been a lot worse for the Eagles (the team can always point to their Super Bowl rings), but the transaction that took place three years ago today proved to be a sign of things to come.

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Eagles To Start Jalen Hurts, Bench Carson Wentz

Well it’s official, Carson Wentz is being sent to the bench. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has made his decision and he’ll be starting Jalen Hurts under center for their Week 14 game against the Saints, sources told Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

It’s not a surprising move considering Hurts replaced Wentz during Sunday’s loss to the Packers and moved the ball much better, but it sure is a monumental one. Whether this is the end of Wentz’s run in Philly remains to be seen, as his contract now looms over the franchise. The second overall pick of the 2020 draft is due over $50MM in guaranteed money over the next two seasons after this one.

It’s very hard to envision him not being on the roster in 2021, unless the Eagles are willing to absorb a massive dead cap hit. They could look to trade him, although needless to say it won’t be easy to iron out a deal.It’s fair to say Philadelphia brass brought this quarterback controversy upon themselves by drafting Hurts in the second-round back in April. Whether that pick shattered Wentz’s confidence or whatever else, his play had regressed to atrocious levels. He leads the league in interceptions, and nobody else is even a close second.

It’s anyone’s guess what Hurts will look like in an offense with a shaky offensive line and inconsistent pass-catchers, but he can’t be any worse than Wentz statistically at this point. It’s possible Pederson is making this move now in an attempt to save his own job, as we heard a couple of days ago that the coach who won the Super Bowl just a few years ago is on the hot seat.

It’s a remarkable fall from grace for Wentz, as at this point last year he was being widely praised for helping the Eagles storm back and win the NFC East. It wasn’t too long ago that Wentz was considered an MVP candidate before going down with a torn ACL and LCL. But things change fast in the NFL, and unfortunately injuries robbed Wentz of the chance to have any memorable postseason moments with the team the past few seasons. There’s a lot still left to be written, but it looks like this could be the beginning of the end for Wentz in Philadelphia.

Hurts, the 53rd pick of April’s draft, accomplished a ton in college at both Alabama and Oklahoma. As ridiculous as it sounds, the 3-8-1 Eagles are still alive in the pitiful NFC East. It’ll be interesting to see if Hurts sparks something in this locker room, or if their struggles continue just as much as before.

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