From the time that the Philadelphia Eagles selected Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, there has been a clock seemingly ticking on Carson Wentz as the starter in Philadelphia. That situation concluded with Carson Wentz being traded to the Indianapolis Colts on February 18th. Let’s look at the Carson Wentz contract structure following his extension and the impact on the Eagles’ and Colts’ salary cap number following the trade.
How does Carson Wentz’s contract extension break down?
Wentz was drafted with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year, fully guaranteed $26.6 million rookie deal with an option for a fifth year. He played three years on that rookie deal before signing his $128 million contract extension in 2019. At signing, $66.5 million of that money was guaranteed, with the total guarantees coming out to $107.9 million.
The base contract value is actually only $111 million. However, there are some easily achievable escalators built in. They would take the amount up to the $128 million value that the deal is considered to be.
As part of the contract, Carson Wentz had a $16.4 signing bonus and an option bonus of $30 million. His salaries in both 2019 and 2020 are fully guaranteed, as is his $10 million roster bonus in 2021. Additionally, Wentz’s 2021 salary became guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 NFL season.
What is Carson Wentz’s salary cap number?
What this means is that Wentz counted for $18.7 million against the cap in 2020. However, the $10 million roster bonus, the $15.4 million in guaranteed base salary, and the $9.3 million prorated signing bonus mean that his salary cap hit in 2021 jumps to $34.7 million. All of which is guaranteed against the cap regardless of whether Carson Wentz is on the roster or not.
Looking further into the future of the contract, Wentz’s salary cap hit will always be impacted by the prorated bonuses on his deal. Those figures account for over $9 million in 2022 and 2023 before dropping to $6 million in 2024.
In terms of his salary, the final three years sit at $22, $20, and $21 million, respectively. There is a total of $11 million in roster bonuses spread across those three years. His cap number across those final three years would be $31.3, $34.3, and $32 million.
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What does this mean for the Eagles after the trade?
The Eagles are in a bind in 2021. They do not have an easy way to get back under the projected cap. They will need to negotiate contract extensions and re-structures with a number of players to get under the cap. Otherwise, they are going to have to make wholesale changes to the construction of the roster.
The only way the Eagles could reduce Carson Wentz’s cap number was to trade him and his contract. However, there are two considerations with the trade. Firstly, the trade will not take effect until March 17th when the new league year begins. Secondly, the Eagles save less than $1 million on that original $34.7 million following the trade. This is due to the remaining prorated bonus accelerating onto the 2021 cap if he was to be traded. However, the Eagles will have no further salary cap hits for Wentz after 2021.
What happens to Carson Wentz’s contract after the trade?
As a result of the Carson Wentz trade, the Colts acquire him with a significantly reduced contract. Wentz was due to count $34.7 million against the cap for the Eagles in 2021. However, $9.27 million of that remains with the Eagles. Therefore, Wentz has a cap hit of $25.4 million for the Colts in 2021 following the trade. Even with Wentz on their roster, Spotrac projects the Colts to have around $50 million in cap space in 2021 immediately following the trade.
Additionally, the Colts are likely locked in with him on their roster in 2022. This is because $15 million of Wentz’s 2022 salary becomes guaranteed on the third day of the 2021 league year. The remaining $7 million becomes guaranteed at the start of the 2022 league year. In 2022, Wentz’s cap number will be $22 million following the trade.
The Colts have the option to release Wentz in 2023. At that point, there is no more guaranteed money in his deal. If they choose to keep Wentz he would cost $25 million in 2023 and $26 million in 2024.
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