Doug Pederson has talked about “fixing” Carson Wentz in the offseason. But according to a Sunday ESPN report, the benched quarterback has no interest in being fixed, at least by Pederson and the Eagles.
The network reported that Wentz’s relationship with Pederson is “fractured beyond repair,” according to sources, and that he plans to ask for a trade after the season. The 4-10-1 Eagles played their final game Sunday night against the Washington Football Team at Lincoln Financial Field.
Wentz was benched in the second half of the Eagles’ 30-16 Week 13 loss to Green Bay and replaced by second-round rookie Jalen Hurts. Hurts has started the last 3 games. The Eagles are 1-2 in those 3 games.
Before he was benched, Wentz was having the worst season of his career. It certainly wasn’t all his fault. The Eagles have been ravaged by injuries this season and used an NFL-record 14th different offensive line combination against Washington. But he still played poorly.
Wentz is 34th in the league in passing with a 72.8 passer rating. Even though he hasn’t played in nearly a month, he still is tied for the league lead in interceptions with 15. Only Denver’s Drew Lock has a lower completion percentage than Wentz’s 57.4. And he has the third lowest yards-per-attempt average (6.0) in the league.
Nothing about Sunday’s report is surprising. The broken relationship between Pederson and Wentz is the worst kept secret at the NovaCare Complex. Wentz feels he’s been made a scapegoat by Pederson and the organization for the team’s struggles this season. And with the news Saturday that Pederson was going to be retained for a sixth season, it’s only natural that Wentz wants to start over someplace else.
If the Eagles decide Hurts can be a franchise quarterback, they probably would be happy to oblige Wentz. But the huge contract extension he signed 2 summers ago complicates, though doesn’t eliminate, the possibility of a trade. The ESPN report said the Eagles’ asking price for Wentz would be “significant.” But a source inside the organization told the Inquirer that they pretty much have accepted the fact that a second-round pick might be the best they’re going to be able to get for Wentz because of his contract.
First, the Eagles have to decide whether Hurts can be their franchise quarterback going forward. And frankly, they don’t know that yet. He’s started just three games. Sunday night’s game against Washington isn’t going to provide much more clarity. So they’re ultimately going to have to make a judgment call on him.
There’s also the possibility, albeit remote, that the Eagles might select yet another quarterback in the first round of the April draft. Depending on Sunday’s outcome, they could be selecting as high as fourth.
Asked earlier this week which quarterback he thought was the best one to lead them going forward, Pederson said, “We’re not there yet as far as answering all those questions. Things can obviously change, and we’ll answer that at a different time.
“We know there will be a lot of decisions to be made moving forward, and that’s obviously for a different time. But I know that we can get back to that, get back to the fundamentals, the basics. Get back to who we are.”