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Carson Wentz’s career in Philadelphia may not be over.
As the Eagles turn to 2020 second-rounder Jalen Hurts this week, ESPN reports the team hasn’t given up hope on its Pro Bowl QB.
“None of this changes the belief that people have in Carson,” a source told ESPN.
Wentz, 27, was having his worst season to date before he was benched for Hurts during last week’s loss to the Packers. Through 12 starts, the fifth-year quarterback had completed 251 of 437 (57.4 percent) of his passes for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns and a league-high 15 interceptions.
The prospect of moving on from Wentz presents a complex challenge. Although they drafted Hurts this past year, the team is carrying a significant financial liability with Wentz’s $128 million contract extension, which begins in 2021 and extends into 2024. He carries an enormous $34.7 million cap hit ($59.2 million dead cap) in 2021, which drops to $31.3 million ($24.6 million dead cap) in 2022 and $36.3 million ($15.3 million dead cap) in 2023 according to Spotrac.
Their decision is time sensitive and could carry financial implications as early as March when the new league year begins. Wentz’s 2022 base salary of $22 million becomes fully guaranteed and his 2021 roster bonus of $10 million is paid out on the third day of the league year. If the Eagles choose to cut him as a post-June 1 release, they would still owe him his 2021 salary, but could spread out his $59.2 million cap hit over two years.
If Philadelphia were to successfully broker a trade for Wentz before the new league year, they would only incur a $33.8 million cap hit that could not be spread out. This would, of course, require a team to agree to pay the struggling quarterback’s $25.4 million salary plus a $10 million roster bonus in 2021.
The former No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft from North Dakota State was the highest selection ever from an FCS school. He has a 62.7 career completion percentage and has thrown for 16,811 yards, 113 touchdowns and 50 interceptions through 68 regular season starts.
At 3-8-1, the Eagles sit in third place behind the Giants (5-7) and Washington Football Team (5-7) in the NFC East. They hope to quell a four-game skid this week with 22-year-old Hurts at the helm at home against the Saints (10-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m.