We can state definitively that the Eagles weren’t holding off until the Super Bowl was done with to announce a Carson Wentz trade.
Monday brought no significant developments in the team’s efforts to deal away the disgruntled 28-year-old quarterback it traded up to draft second overall in 2016, then signed to a $128 million contract extension in 2019. The Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts, who have coaching connections to Wentz’s most successful Eagles days, are still considered the most interested parties.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman apparently started out asking for two first-round picks and something else, which would not have been an outlandish price for Wentz a year ago, perhaps, but is unlikely to be met after a season in which Wentz underwent an unprecedented regression. Wentz was benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts during a Dec. 6 loss at Green Bay, and still managed to lead the NFL with 15 interceptions.
Other possible Wentz destinations have been posited, but Chicago and Indianapolis are believed to be the only teams to have made offers. It is unclear whether any of the other teams mentioned in speculation have any interest in acquiring Wentz, who was widely considered one of the NFL’s top 10-to-12 QBs just a year ago.
Chicago’s connection is quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who was the Eagles’ QBs coach when they won Super Bowl LII. DeFilippo was promoted Monday, adding the title of passing game coordinator on the staff of head coach Matt Nagy, a former Eagles assistant under Andy Reid.
Indianapolis has head coach Frank Reich, the offensive coordinator here when DeFilippo was quarterbacks coach, and Reich is hiring Press Taylor, Wentz’s friend and his QBs coach with the Eagles from 2018 until last month.
Both the Bears and the Colts are presumptive playoff-contending teams that lack a starting quarterback. In Chicago, Mitch Trubisky has been benched and brought back, and seems headed to free agency this spring, off an 8-8 season. Some reports have the Eagles acquiring the other Chicago quarterback, Nick Foles, in a Wentz trade, which would mean a third Philly go-round for the “Philly Special” Super Bowl MVP. That’s a ridiculous thing to contemplate, but who’s to say it couldn’t happen? The 11-5 Colts lost Philip Rivers to retirement.
What can the Eagles reasonably expect to net for Wentz? Projections are all over the place, reflecting the uncertainty over whether his 2020 season was an aberration, or an indication of a player in sharp decline. Probably a first-round pick, if it isn’t in the top 15 or so. Maybe additional picks, conditional upon Wentz starting a certain number of games, or hitting certain benchmarks that would indicate his rebirth as a viable starter. Maybe a first and a player. If anything less than a first is involved, it would have to be part of a package of picks, one would think.
New RB coach?
The Eagles are reported to have filled what might be the last position-coach vacancy on new head coach Nick Sirianni’s staff. Kentucky Sports Radio said the Wildcats’ recently hired running backs coach, Jemal Singleton, is leaving to take the post vacated by Duce Staley, who has gone to the Detroit Lions.
Singleton, 45, spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons coaching running backs with the Colts, before Sirianni arrived in 2018. Singleton was running backs coach for the Raiders in 2018 and the Bengals in 2019 and 2020. The report said he will also have the title of assistant head coach, which Staley had.