Seeing that we’re going on three consecutive days of Carson Wentz-Bears rumors, I’m just about ready to take this to the next level. Or at minimum, I’d like for you to meet my friends while on a video chat. No pressure. (That’s a quarantine dating joke).
• A quick roundup as to how we got here in the first place. In January, the first reports surfaced that Wentz would seek an offseason trade – a request that came after a woeful season under center concluding with word of a fractured relationship between himself and Doug Pederson. But even after the Eagles split with their head coach, Wentz’s future was still up-in-the-air. A month later, rumors broke that the Eagles were taking calls from teams inquiring about Wentz’s availability. We were curious about the Bears being a fit. A day later, there was significant buzz that made it look like a Wentz trade was on the horizon. Much of that speculation connected the Bears and Colts as possibilities. And yet, Colts GM Chris Ballard proclaimed no trade was happening on Friday. It didn’t. Bullseye, Mr. Ballard. But clearly, there was enough smoke to push Indy’s GM to make such a statement. All caught up? Cool.
• One day after the buzziest rumors came out, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler kicked some tires and came away with this:
After asking around on Wentz, some teams closely evaluating the QB market thinking deal happens sooner than later, but they believe #Eagles GM Howie Roseman wants a 1. Unlike Stafford sweepstakes, don't think this is huge field of teams, in part due to contract ($47M over 2)
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 6, 2021
• More from ESPN teammates Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen:
Eagles are expected to trade Carson Wentz in the coming days in what would be the latest blockbuster QB deal to rock the NFL, sources tell @mortreport and me. The most pertinent questions now become where, when and for what. But it could happen as early as this week.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 6, 2021
• Announcing a big trade on Super Bowl weekend just wouldn’t be right. The NFL knows it. And so do the teams that want to do business. But Fowler hints that a deal could be struck quickly. HOWEVA … figuring out the terms of the deal will be a challenge. There is a belief that Eagles GM Howie Roseman wants a first-round pick. But trading a first-round pick to take on what’s left on a four-year, $128 million extension for a quarterback coming off a career-worst season doesn’t sound all that appetizing. Moreover, a limited group of interested teams might not create the type of bidding war that would ultimately create that coveted first-round pick. Hence, there’s a clear hurdle that must be cleared before a deal is done.
• Even still, Jeff McLane (Philadelphia Inquirer) links up with two sources who relay to him that “they’d heard the Eagles were getting close” to trading Wentz. McLane mentions the Colts as as “a likely landing place” for Wentz, but also mentions the Bears, Colts, and Carolinas as being in the market for a quarterback. However, does not infer that any of those teams are the ones close to making a deal with Philly.
• The Athletic’s Stephen Holder talks through how a deal that seemed unthinkable not that long ago could come together:
NEW: You can mock the Carson Wentz/Colts idea if you wish. But this actually makes a lot of sense and I feel strongly that it could work. How? Why?
Details on the money, the deal and the player. https://t.co/CFYr3ke9IB
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) February 5, 2021
• I’m most intrigued by the parallels drawn to the trades of quarterbacks such as Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, Teddy Bridgewater, and Alex Smith. The Dolphins packaged Tannehill and a sixth-round pick to the Titans four fourth- and seventh-round selections in 2019. Earlier in that same offseason, the Broncos sent a fourth-round pick to the Ravens for Flacco. In a move that turned out to be the first domino to fall that ultimately shaped the NFL as we know it today, the Chiefs moved Alex Smith to Washington for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller during Super Bowl Week 2018. And in the same offseason, the Jets flipped Teddy Bridgewater and a sixth-rounder to the Saints for a third-round choice. Given the perspective of those deals, a Wentz trade shouldn’t cost a team a first-round pick. Full stop.
• Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune provides a look from above as a quarterback-starved Bears franchise dives into the market:
Carson Wentz for the #Bears?
They've got to explore every possibility. They're going to be linked to nearly every QB – available or not – and they've got to study every imaginable option.
One more thing – they are desperate.https://t.co/gHkCLXWxVn
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) February 6, 2021
• Sometimes, what a reporter doesn’t write in a piece like this has value. So seeing that Biggs does not dismiss the notion of the Bears’ interest or possible connection to trading for Wentz is worth noting. Then again, Biggs underscores how Chicago will be connected to every available quarterback until they land on someone new. Should a Wentz deal not come together, then we’ll all move to the other fallback options. Among the ones Biggs name-checks: Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Alex Smith. I intentionally left off Matt Ryan, who doesn’t seem to be available at this time.
• Patrick Finley sorts through the pros and cons of the Bears trading for Wentz:
There are ups and downs to the Bears pursuing Carson Wentz. https://t.co/g4jDH40Hlb
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) February 6, 2021
• It’s a fun exercise to go through on a Saturday morning. But it’s worth circling that, near the top of the post, Finley writes the Colts are considered favorites if the Eagles move on from Wentz.
• Adams Jahns and Hoge weigh in on Wentz:
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) February 5, 2021
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