Cross one option off the Patriots’ list of potential 2021 quarterbacks
98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The New England Patriots may need a quarterback, but they will not be in the Carson Wentz sweepstakes this offseason.
As a matter of fact, no one will, as the Philadelphia Eagles reportedly still believe in Wentz and plan on keeping him around in 2021, according to a Sunday morning report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Despite his struggles throughout this season, the Eagles still believe in Wentz as a player and person, and still believe he can return as the type of standout quarterback he once was,” Schefter wrote.
Schefter’s report comes on the heels of Wentz losing his starting gig to 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts, and with the Eagles ‘on the clock’ with Wentz in regards to his high-priced contract.
And without any result considered a particularly viable solution if you’re the Eagles.
As Schefter explains, cutting Wentz could cost the Eagles as much as $59.21 million in 2021 (or $29.6 million over two years if they spread it out that way). Trading Wentz, meanwhile, would leave Philly with $33.82 million worth of Wentz-related, salary cap charges. That’s a lot of bills for the Eagles to just eat. And it’d be one gigantic gamble for the team trading for Wentz, as a team would absorb his $25.4 million per year salary if a trade was completed before the third day of the 2021 NFL year.
Again, that’s a lot of money for a quarterback who’s outright bombed this season, with a career-low 57.4 completion percentage to go with a career-high 15 interceptions through 12 starts in 2020. It doesn’t help that Wentz has been straight-up beat up by his offensive line, too, as he’s been sacked a staggering 50 times on the year, 10 more times than second-place Russell Wilson.
Bringing it back to the Patriots, was Wentz to New England ever a realistic thought? Probably not. He hasn’t even been linked to the Patriots in any trade rumors from either insiders or outsiders.
But if the Patriots are going to move on from Cam Newton, who will remain the team’s starter even after a bottoming-out loss to the Rams last Thursday, and if Jarrett Stidham isn’t deemed ready for the spotlight, you could’ve bet that Wentz would’ve come up at some point this offseason.
Instead, the Patriots will have to look at a 2021 NFL Draft class featuring a solid amount of quarterbacks, and a free agent class that’ll include Newton, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton, and Mitchell Trubisky among others, while the trade market may feature the Jets’ Sam Darnold should New York secure the No. 1 pick and draft Trevor Lawrence. There’s also potential options such as the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, who has struggled to stay healthy in San Francisco, as the 49ers will have their out on Garoppolo’s then record-setting contract in 2021.
The good news is that the Patriots will be able to do just about anything they want at the position, really, as they are slated to enter the offseason with almost $69 million in cap space.