Just about everybody who is rumor-mongering about the Carson Wentz situation agrees about a couple foundational things: (1) the Bears and Colts are involved, but the market beyond those two is murky at best (if it exists at all); and (2) Wentz is definitely going to be traded, maybe as soon as today or tomorrow. So, yeah, we’re on this stuff as tightly as we can be.
Some of the latest …
• Inside the Birds’ Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher just dug into all things Wentz on their latest, including confirmation that the Eagles have been hoping to get two first for Wentz, a la the Matthew Stafford trade. That has always been absolutely nuts for reasons we’ve laid out before, but notably, Caplan says the Bears are not interested in giving up two first for Wentz (I say notably not because that’s a surprise, but because it’s coming from Philly): “As I understand it, the Bears are not interested in giving up two first round picks. They gave up two first round picks [in 2018] to get to get Khalil Mack and then some. They don’t want to do that. I kinda of laughed at the poeple who wanted to comapare the [Matthew] Stafford trade. Folks, Matthew Stafford is a proven NFL quarterback who’s never been benched. Carson Wentz may be a very talented quarterback, but he was benched. The Bears want the guy, that’s based on multiple sources. They want the guy, but I can’t see [Bears GM] Ryan Pace caving in here.”
• Mosher added that everyone is hearing about the Bears and Colts, but you never know when there are other teams waiting in the wings: “There are certain teams that lie to lay low and see what the market is like and hear the reports and try to get a feel for what it is, and then all of a sudden they like to come in at the end. I would not be surprised that if teams that are normally aggressive sneak in there. The Patriots tend to be like that, the Raiders can be like that at times. You just never know who’s going to get more desperate at the end and sweeten the pot at the last minute.”
• Speaking of which, you’ll recall from earlier that Mike Kaye indicated at least one other mystery team was involved, and now Mike Garafolo says it, too:
“I am told that there are more teams involved and I will also tell you that the Bears and Colts have other QBs they are keeping an eye on.” pic.twitter.com/pOQWJUQPn5
— Joe Ostrowski (@JoeO670) February 8, 2021
• Is that just posturing by an Eagles team desperate to get a decent final offer from the Bears or Colts for a guy everyone knows they have to trade? And is that counter just posturing by the Bears and Colts to tell the Eagles that they have other options? Things feel quite a bit more “hot” than Garafolo makes it sound, as he’s the first guy recently to suggest a trade won’t necessarily happen in the next two days.
• Meanwhile, a local take from Brad Biggs: “The Bears have been rumored to be in the mix to acquire Wentz via trade from the Philadelphia Eagles, but the buzz has been so loud in coaching and front office circles it’s either the least stealth move GM Ryan Pace has ever made or his counterpart in Philadelphia, Howie Roseman, is desperately trying to create more interest. The Bears are an easy mark in the high-stakes quarterback carousel because they are desperate. The Indianapolis Colts have also been linked to Wentz and sources say the Eagles have been working overtime to involve other teams.”
• Biggs isn’t quite saying it, but he’s hinting at it: maybe the Bears’ interest and aggressiveness here has been overhyped? Note that it’s almost all coming out of Philadelphia and the national media, which means the leaks aren’t coming from Halas Hall.
• Thoughts on how a deal involving Wentz could expand on the Philadelphia side:
Adding to this: Based on my conversations about Wentz's market, I wouldn't be surprised if a potential trade involved multiple non-Wentz players as well. https://t.co/cRewSVLj9r
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) February 8, 2021
The Ertz one is almost too obvious, but we know Philly may have moved him at the deadline if not for an injury
He wants a new deal and doesn't look like he's gonna get it from Eagles
Also, star soccer player Julie Ertz plays for the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL
— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) February 8, 2021
• There are significant financial considerations there when you’re talking about a team taking on additional contract(s) beyond Wentz’s – and what that could mean for what is going in the other direction – but it’s not hard to see a version of the trade that makes more sense than just Wentz for the 20th pick or whatever. You’ve got the rumor about Foles and Cohen being included, I’ve seen rumors of the Eagles including a lesser pick on their side. And if you start talking about additional players, finding the right “fair” balance in a deal might be a little easier.
• Some good background reading on Wentz’s regression(? decline? flukey struggles?) over the last couple years in Philadelphia, which provide insight into the guy the Bears might wind up acquiring. Based on that write-up, it seems like the situation had soured and degraded to the point where it is unsurprising Wentz struggled in 2020 … but it also raises serious concerns about whether he’s primarily the source of that souring, and how it would look elsewhere.