The 2021 offseason for the Eagles is going to be a doozy.
From finding an adequate replacement for soon-to-be-gone defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, to maneuvering contracts to get under the cap, the Birds’ front office will have their hands full.
But as we all know by now, the biggest question mark lies with the quarterback position. Reports surfaced on Sunday that Carson Wentz will request a trade this offseason, and while both Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson shot down those reports on Monday during their end of the year press conference, Wentz’s refusal to speak to the media following Sunday’s reports speaks volumes.
If Wentz won’t come out and say he wants to be a part of the long-term future here in Philly, after reports suggested he’s already got one foot out of the door, the only conclusion we can come to is that he really wants out.
It’s hard to say what kind of value Wentz will garner on the trade market, but there are a handful of QB needy teams who would probably love a shot at this reclamation project. The Colts, Patriots, and maybe even the 49ers could show interest. Right now, it’s impossible to know for sure.
So, if Wentz is gone, that’ll leave the team with Jalen Hurts and Nate Sudfeld as the only two quarterbacks on the roster. That’s not ideal, although some fans will claim they have faith in Hurts moving forward as the starting quarterback, but I’m not so sure.
Hurts went 1-3 as a starter, tossed 5 touchdowns to 3 interceptions, failed to complete over 57% of his passes in any of his starts, and finished with a QB rating of 70.5. I know he’s a rookie, but having a cumulative completion percentage of just over 50% is worrisome. He’s a playmaker, but he certainly didn’t show enough to warrant being the unquestioned starter next season.
I doubt the team is sold on Hurts, either. Especially given the fact that both Roseman and Pederson will be on thin ice heading into next season. Do you really think they want to hitch their wagon on Hurts’ success next year?
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If Wentz is gone and Hurts isn’t your guy, the only other possibility is trying to draft a quarterback with their top pick in this upcoming draft. At No. 6 overall, the top-three quarterbacks will already be off the board when the Eagles are on the clock, so trading up is the only realistic chance they’ll have.
There’s no way Jacksonville will give up the first overall pick, but the Jets at No. 2 don’t necessarily need to take a quarterback. Depending on who they decide to bring in as their new head coach, there’s a possibility that they’d be willing to give Sam Darnold another shot at becoming a franchise quarterback. Darnold isn’t a bust just yet, and we’ve seen quarterbacks flourish after escaping the grasp of Adam Gase (i.e. Ryan Tannehill).
If New York is willing to listen to offers for their pick, the Eagles should be calling. Jets GM Joe Douglas has a relationship with Howie Roseman as they both worked together in Philly. If the Eagles are able to get a few picks for trading Wentz — maybe a second or third rounder and another late round pick — they could package those picks to move up to the second selection.
As much as we like to bash on Roseman and Pederson, they’re not as stupid as we sometimes make them out to be. They know they’ll be on the hot seat heading into 2021, drafting a quarterback will buy them some time.
We also can’t forget that the team actively tried to lose their Week 17 game to ensure a higher draft pick. Moving up from six is much easier than moving up from nine, where they would’ve selected had they won against Washington.
Could this all be a part of some master plan out of Roseman and Pederson? Maybe, maybe not. But we ought to acknowledge this as a possibility. Starting over with a rookie quarterback next season is more likely than we may want to believe.