After being benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB Carson Wentz has been put in a tough spot. He can either choose to wait in Philadelphia until next season to fight for his job or force a deal elsewhere should Hurts continue to be the starter for the foreseeable future. The Eagles organization must also make a hard choice here, as Wentz would carry an over $59 million dead cap hold should he be waived prior to the start of next season. This cap hit would reduce to over $18 million should he stay on the roster or get dealt in a trade.
Should Carson Wentz demand a trade away from the Eagles this upcoming offseason, here are some teams that I believe would benefit from his talents and may present a promising situation for the quarterback to thrive in.
San Francisco 49ers
Last year’s Super Bowl runners-up are currently facing a severe injury crisis. To start, both QB Jimmy Garoppolo and superstar TE George Kittle have been and continue to be out for the remainder of the season. This has forced the 49ers to start backup QB Nick Mullens, who has done decent enough in replacing Garoppolo, but has not shown signs of being the future franchise guy for San Francisco. Additionally, injuries to running backs, starting receivers, and both offensive and defensive linemen have forced head coach Kyle Shanahan to upgrade practice squad players and sign free agents to fill the void.
San Francisco currently finds themselves at 5-9 and at the bottom of the NFC West. The 49ers will be determined to make the appropriate changes necessary to bring them back to title contention, and it starts with the quarterback position. One of these changes could very well be Jimmy Garoppolo, as he has showed that he continues to carry accuracy issues and is not dynamic enough to be a franchise quarterback. Should they be interested, San Francisco has the assets to make a deal with Philadelphia to bring in Carson Wentz. Wentz would be an immediate upgrade from Garoppolo and has the talent to bring the 49ers back into relevancy.
Wentz on the 49ers would be the best situation he’s ever been a part of as a pro, due to their great offensive line, dynamic skill players all around, and A+ coaching and play calling. I truly believe that should Carson Wentz land on this football team, San Francisco will be right back in fighting for the NFC West crown and a spot in next year’s Super Bowl.
People may at first glance look at the Colts and think, “They are 10-4 and are right there to win the AFC South, why go for a quarterback change?” While that is true, the reality of the situation is that Phillip Rivers is 39 years old and will only getting worse. Yes, I know that Rivers is having a resurgence year thanks mainly to his league-best offensive line and dominant running back core, but he is not the long-term solution for the Colts. I believe that in bringing Carson Wentz to the Colts, even beginning as the backup to Phillip Rivers next year, he would put Indy in a position to succeed for the next 5-10 years.
Similar to the 49ers scenario above, the offensive line for the Colts would be definitely the best Wentz will have up to this point in his NFL career. Unlike in Philadelphia, the Colts would also not be entirely reliant on Wentz’s dynamic playmaking ability to win football games, given the great running game and emergence of receiving weapons, such as Michael Pittman Jr. and Zach Pascal, as well as the promising play of T.Y. Hilton.
I should also mention that the Colts possess a top-5 defense in the league at the moment and will continue to be great due to their overall youth and depth in all positions.
The Indianapolis Colts are a very intriguing option should Wentz force a move.
New England Patriots
This choice might seem a bit far-fetched for some but hear me out. New England is now officially out of playoff contention and will have their first losing season in 20 years. The Cam Newton experiment has frankly been a failure and should not continue after this season’s end.
Future hall of fame coach, Bill Belichick, will be determined to make major changes to improve his Patriots team in an AFC East that looks more competitive by the week. This includes making acquisitions to improve the Patriots’ stale offense by bringing in better skill players and improving the disappointing offensive line. But the priority should come through a quarterback change. Carson Wentz can be the player to turn New England around.
By bringing in Wentz, Belichick guarantees that the Patriots will possess a top-10 QB for the foreseeable future and will have the ability to focus on building a foundation for him to succeed. I believe that Wentz is in need of a culture and coaching change, as a means of bringing him back to successful play on the field. If there is a coach and team that can bring the best out of Wentz it is Bill Belichick and New England.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are finding real success with an aging quarterback this year, but how sustainable is it? Drew Brees’ career is coming to its end sooner rather than later which would leave New Orleans with a major hole at quarterback for years to come. Taysom Hill has proven a decent quarterback throughout Drew Brees’ spell on the sidelines with injury and Jameis Winston shows some promise, but neither of these guys are talented enough to truly carry the mantle Brees has left. By trading for Carson Wentz, the Saints can extend their Super Bowl window by a few more years and will ensure that they have the heir to Drew Brees for the next decade.
Similar to the Colts scenario, should Wentz be traded and become the backup to Drew Brees (if he decides to play next year), he can better learn the system and continue to develop until his number is finally called. This would be a move that would not necessarily improve the team immediately, but one that helps the Saints’ transition after Brees be a seamless one. Just think of what WR Michael Thomas and Carson Wentz could do together if on the same team! Watch for New Orleans to explore their options and enquire about Wentz’s availability this offseason.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers have shown us anything this year, it is that they are more reliant on Ben Roethlisberger than in years’ past. While Big Ben is doing his best to help the Steelers win football games with his arm, this game plan will fast forward his inevitable regression. With this in mind, Pittsburgh may need to begin exploring options to succeed Roethlisberger, as his current backups lack the ability to do so.
Should the Steelers make a move for Wentz, they will be ensuring division contending success for many years to come. He would start as Ben’s immediate backup, which would allow him to feed off of the future hall of famer to continue growing his game and learn the Steelers’ offense. As Pittsburgh has a plethora of great receivers, a decent offensive line, and dominant defense, Wentz would be put in a winning situation for a very long time.