Carson Wentz To Patriots? Case For Acquiring Eagles QB Via Trade

Wentz is a high-upside, low-floor option on the QB market

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Among quarterbacks who have hit the trade market since the end of the 2020 NFL season, Carson Wentz has one of the highest ceilings and lowest floors, making him one of the most divisive options available.

The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly are expected to trade Wentz this week, per ESPN.

Since being selected second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Wentz has, at different points, been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and, more recently, one of the worst. Here’s where he ranks in EPA (expected points added) per play plus CPOE (completion percentage over expected) over the last five seasons:

2016: 22nd of 30 QBs
2017: 3rd of 29 QBs
2018: 10th of 32 QBs
2019: 16th of 28 QBs
2020: 31st of 31 QBs

Those 2017 and 2020 seasons stick out like sore thumbs when looking at his career as a whole. The 2020 version of Wentz is worth being outright released. The 2017 version is worth multiple first-round picks. Knowing that 2017 season happened, however, the only quarterbacks available either via free agency or trade with a higher upside are Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott. But there’s a ton of risk involved in acquiring Wentz since his most recent season was absolutely horrific while top Eagles receivers like Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson, Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffery all missed time with injuries, giving way to playing time for Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, Jalen Reagor, Richard Rodgers, Boston Scott, John Hightower, Quez Watkins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

Wentz was not put in an advantageous situation last season and faltered, completing just 57.4 percent of passes for 2,620 yards with 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions just two seasons after back-to-back years with a 100-plus passer rating.

Wentz is 35-32-1 in his career. He led the Eagles to an 11-2 record as a starter in 2017. He’s missed 12 career regular-season games in five seasons.

The strongest case for acquiring Wentz is his upside and knowing that unless you’re going to swing for the fences, there might be no point acquiring a moderately below-average quarterback, using, say, Derek Carr as an example. If both players cost exactly the same, and one has a much higher ceiling and the other has a much higher floor, it’s probably worth taking the risk on the player with more potential, hoping that, in Wentz’s case, 2020 was an anomaly. And that’s entirely possible given the weapons Wentz was asked to worth with last season. Or maybe you strike out, and Wentz never recovers. Then you start over and keep looking for a quarterback rather than hoping that Carr can one day transcend his level of play over the last seven years when the Las Vegas Raiders have never trusted him to do anything other than dink and dunk down the field.

If the asking price for either quarterback is multiple first-round picks, then you move along and say thanks but no thanks and keep looking. But if Wentz can be had for a bargain, then it’s probably worth buying low on him rather than buying relatively high on a player like Carr.

Ultimately, the Patriots are unlikely to find the perfect quarterback this offseason unless Watson, Prescott or a top prospect lands in their laps. Beyond those players, it comes down to personal preference. If you want to play it safe, Carr is probably your guy. Wentz is the bigger risk.

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