The 2020 NFL season has seen the relationship between Carson Wentz and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson dissolve to a point where Wentz is now expected to request a trade this offseason. With an expensive contract, where are some possible landing spots for Wentz?
Any team trading for Carson Wentz would need plenty of cap space
It has been less than two years since Carson Wentz signed his contract extension; therefore, a trade would not be cheap. 2021 sees Wentz owed $15.4 million in salary and a $10 million roster bonus. Both of those numbers are guaranteed, so any team taking on Wentz would be taking on a $25.4 million cap hit immediately.
The money associated with Wentz’s signing bonus remains with the Eagles
However, one bonus for any team trading for Wentz is that some of his salary cap obligations remain with the Eagles. All of Wentz’s remaining prorated signing bonus would be absorbed on the Eagles cap in the 2021 season. Therefore, the Eagles would absorb $33.8 million of the remaining money on Wentz’s contract. However, the Eagles cannot afford to cut Wentz. Other than the New Orleans Saints, no team has a worse salary cap situation than the Eagles.
All of this means that any team looking to sign Wentz would only need to account for around $20-25 million in cap space per season instead of the $30-35 million facing the Eagles. Let’s take a look at which teams would have the cap space and the situation to take on Carson Wentz in 2021.
Indianapolis Colts | A reunion with Frank Reich is a good landing spot for Carson Wentz
There is no doubt that a potential move to the Colts makes a lot of sense for Carson Wentz. Wentz was an MVP candidate when Colts head coach Frank Reich was running the offense in Philadelphia. With Philip Rivers’ future in Indianapolis unknown, the Colts are potentially in the market for a new QB. Reuniting with his old QB may make more sense for Reich than wading into the free agency market.
The Colts have around $60 million in projected salary cap space. With no recognized QB currently under contract for 2021, adding Wentz would not cause any financial difficulties in 2021.
New England Patriots | Could Wentz be set to replace Cam Newton in New England
Cam Newton is not expected to be back in New England in 2021. Therefore, with Wentz having been replaced as the starter by Jalen Hurts, could the Patriots add Wentz? The Patriots also have little in the way of recognized options at the QB position for 2021. Therefore, they may be willing to take on Wentz’s contract with nearly $60 million in salary cap space.
San Francisco 49ers | Could the 49ers replace Jimmy Garoppolo with Carson Wentz?
The 49ers are in an interesting position in terms of the quarterback position. They can cut Jimmy Garoppolo and save close to $25 million. They could use that space to bring Carson Wentz to the West Coast. Wentz would allow the 49ers to challenge in the NFC West in 2021 immediately.
However, one concern with bringing Wentz in would be how he reacts if the 49ers also look to draft a QB for the future. Will Wentz be happy playing while looking over his shoulder in the way he has this year?
Which other teams could be in the market for Wentz in the 2021 offseason?
While the Patriots, Colts, and 49ers all make immediate sense, several other teams could consider bringing in Wentz in 2021.
Washington Football Team
As it stands, Washington has no stable future at the quarterback position. While it is unlikely the Eagles would trade Wentz in the division, Washington could work to make a deal. The expectation is that if the Eagles decide to move on from Wentz, they would have to sweeten the deal. If Washington was willing to let the Eagles off in terms of sweetening that deal, the Eagles might decide that it is preferable to pay draft picks to send Wentz elsewhere.
Much like the situation with the 49ers, the Lions could move on from Matthew Stafford in 2021. However, if they are not willing to turn things over to a rookie QB immediately, they could bring in Carson Wentz. Wentz would have some good weapons at his disposal in Detroit to re-ignite his career. Additionally, the Lions could focus their remaining attention on upgrading the rest of their team.
New York Jets
Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that the Jets might look to move down from the number two spot in the draft. While that would likely mean they are sticking with Sam Darnold, they could still trade for Carson Wentz to compete in camp. It would be an expensive way to challenge Darnold, but the Jets have around $70 million in cap space. Bringing in a veteran presence who knows the pressure of being a high draft pick could be just what Darnold needs.