As the Eagles try to build leverage for a Carson Wentz trade, circumstances continue to make it harder for the Eagles to maximize the return on a quarterback whose contract they’d love to dump.
John Clark of NBC Sports Philly-delphia recently reported that “a group of the Eagles young receivers” plan to work out with quarterback Jalen Hurt in Texas, at some point in the next month.
No similar reports have surfaced regarding Wentz. Presumably, that’s because Wentz still wants out and because momentum has pointed in the direction of a trade for a while now.
The process has become bogged down by the team’s desire to get more than whatever has, or hasn’t, been offered. Eagles great Ron Jaworski recently said that the Colts have offered only a pair of second-round picks. The Philadelphia Inquirer also has reported that no first-round picks have been put on the table.
The question becomes whether the Eagles will take the best deal they can get before a $10 million roster bonus becomes due on March 19, or whether they’ll pay the money to Wentz and wait for a better offer to materialize later.
They’ve played the waiting game before and won. In 2016, the Eagles supposedly were ready to roll out Sam Bradford for Week One, with Wentz (then a rookie) on the bench. The Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater not long before the season opener, and the Eagles quickly landed a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick for Bradford.
Serious quarterback injuries, especially in practice, are extremely rare, however. Even then, many teams are content to opt for the next man up than to pay a king’s ransom for a plug-and-play replacement.
The Eagles also could wait for the outcome of the current quarterback carousel. Maybe a quarterback-needy team strikes out in free agency or the trade market, making that team interested in Wentz. Maybe a team that plans to address its needs in the draft fails to get the guy it wants.
However it plays out, the Eagles are playing a dangerous game of chess, checkers, and chicken. They want more than whatever they’re being offered. To get more, they have to risk losing the offer(s) they already may have.
Ultimately, owner Jeffrey Lurie will have to be persuaded to write a $10 million check to Wentz as the seed money for an effort to attract a better bird than the one they currently hold in their hands. Given the very real chance that the money could end up being wasted, a team like the Colts needs simply to sit back and wait.
Maybe in the end the Eagles will let the roster-bonus deadline pass and pay the $10 million, if only to finagle a better trade package for Wentz. Indeed, it seems like the Eagles are as concerned (if not more concerned) with how the trade will look than they are in simply getting the best deal for Wentz that they can.