Jeffrey Lurie was so sick of Carson Wentz that he traded him for Rasul Douglas and JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
Those are recent third- and second-round picks by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. On Thursday, Roseman shipped Carson Wentz to the Colts for a third-round pick in 2021 and a conditional second-round pick in 2022.
It was robbery.
It is the worst trade in Philadelphia sports history. It was forced by the most irredeemable and selfish sports villain not just in the history of the town, but perhaps in the history of sports. He forced a cataclysmically low-return trade before he played a down under his new, $128 million contract, and forced it when his value was lowest.
The Eagles sunk five draft picks and nearly $80 million in paychecks into Carson Wentz. In return, they got zero playoff wins, zero Day One draft picks, and three years of Wentz-related drama and strife. Wentz will count about $33 million against the Eagles’ 2021 salary cap, crippling the team and creating a hole at the most important position.
If any team deserved to see if Wentz could regain his MVP form of 2017, it was the Eagles. They literally paid for that right.
Incredibly, some might consider Wentz a victim, but understand this: The Eagles spent the past five years trying to facilitate Wentz’s success. All of Wentz’s complaints emanated from his behavior, his play, his dissatisfaction, and his insecurities. These issues led him to sabotage the Eagles for the foreseeable future.
The Eagles didn’t get robbed by the Colts.
They got robbed by Carson Wentz.
Over, and over, and over.
First, he played far below his pay grade, and betrayed the future plans to which he and the Eagles committed. Then, he torpedoed his trade value. Finally, he manipulated a move for lesser return.
The owner finally just said, Whatever. Just get rid of him.
Sources told The Inquirer that, if traded to Chicago, Wentz would be upset. The Bears’ offer was slightly better than the Colts’, but they weren’t willing to risk Wentz not showing up. That’s right: The guy most responsible for the Eagles’ 4-11-1 record in 2020 set his own destination. Disgusted, Lurie sent him away.
This was the last, and least, of Carson Wentz’s in-house robberies.
Wentz pocketed close to $40 million in 2020 alone, and most of that money advanced to him for the following four years of service. Then he told his bosses he wanted out.
Carson Wentz’s word means nothing.
Doug Pederson benched Wentz during Game 12, then, the next day, told Jalen Hurts he would be the starter for Game 13. On the morning of Game 13, an ESPN story broke that Wentz wanted to be traded unless he was guaranteed the starting spot in 2021. Just hours before the final game of the season, after Hurts followed his masterful debut with two more pedestrian efforts, a similar ESPN story reasserted that Wentz wanted out if Pederson remained as coach. Next, a week after Lurie hired Nick Sirianni to replace Pederson, ESPN reported that Wentz still wanted to be traded.
At this point, two things became clear. First, Wentz wasn’t going to report to work in Philadelphia. Second, wherever he landed next, he could neither be trusted nor satisfied.
These issues imploded whatever trade value Wentz might have had.
Wentz played horribly in 2020. More than 20% of the 50 sacks he took were deemed his fault, according to profootballfocus.com.
The same website found that, when the pocket was clean, his interception total (10) and completion percentage (73.8) both were worst in the NFL.
He led the NFL in turnovers (19) and tied for the interceptions lead (15) despite playing fewer than 12 full games. His passer rating, 72.8, was the worst in the league. He earned that title -- league’s worst quarterback -- because, when his porous line blocked well for him, and when his receivers did get open, he missed them anyway.
How do these performance metrics reflect Wentz’s self-destruction? Because, according to team sources, Wentz routinely went rogue, overriding Pederson’s play calls. Because, according to team sources, Wentz routinely tried to make more difficult throws for home-run plays rather than the simpler, quicker, more efficient options.
Be optimistic if you like, but be realistic, too.
Yes, the second-round pick in 2022 can commute to a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75% of the Colts’ snaps in 2021, or 70% with the Colts making the playoffs. Those are pretty big “ifs.”
Wentz has not played 75% of snaps in two of the past three seasons. He got hurt in 2018, which has been the case at some point every season except 2020. And he was benched in 2020.
Don’t think Frank Reich won’t bench Wentz if he plays badly. The Colts are a good team without Wentz. Reich and his staff cannot afford for Wentz to actively lose games. That’s what Wentz did with the Eagles: More than the avalanche of injuries, more than the thin roster, more than Pederson’s imperfect decisions and play calling, Carson Wentz was, by miles, the worst part of the 2020 Eagles.
And don’t think the Colts are a playoff lock. They missed the playoffs two seasons ago. They made it as a wild card in 2020, mainly due to Philip Rivers’ fine farewell season -- a season that was light years better than Wentz’s 2020.
So, don’t count on that second-round pick in 2022 becoming a first-rounder.
By 2022, it might be the Colts who are trying to trade Wentz.
By 2022, Wentz might not be worth a second-round pick.