Eagles rumors: After months of watching the Philadelphia Eagles struggle under Carson Wentz, head coach Doug Pederson finally made a change by starting Jalen Hurts. With things going so well, thanks to the rookie quarterback’s success, Wentz could be on his way out of Philadelphia.
It’s been a turbulent season in Philadelphia, with the team experiencing a myriad of injuries and team-wide struggles. Feeling the pressure of the NFL’s coaching hot seat, Pederson made Hurts his starting quarterback and the decision could have lasting implications.
Eagles rumors: Increasing odds for Carson Wentz trade in offseason
Carson Wentz came into the 2020 NFL season as the Eagles’ unquestioned franchise quarterback. While the front office had spent a second-round pick on Jalen Hurts, many believed he was a developmental piece who would be traded later on.
Instead, everything spiraled out of control for Wentz. Entering Week 13, he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, and the team sat at 3-8-1. Pederson benched Wentz with the calls for change growing louder, either at quarterback or head coach, and made Hurts the starter.
Hurts immediately proved himself in his first NFL start, stunning the New Orleans Saints and demonstrating he deserved a greater opportunity. While Philadelphia lost to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15, the rookie recorded 338 passing yards, 63 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. Now, he will be the starter for the remainder of the season and likely heading into 2021.
NBC Sports’ Peter King shared this week that he believes the likelihood of Wentz being traded this offseason is significantly increasing. Following the quarterback’s struggles and his reported displeasure with the organization, King said the odds of Wentz playing elsewhere in 2021 have skyrocketed from 34% to 52%.
Eagles rumors: Carson Wentz stats and hopes for a trade
Wentz certainly isn’t pleased with being benched and how the situation in Philadelphia has unfolded. When Nick Foles won a Super Bowl, he was the city’s hero with Wentz on injured reserve. Then, just a year after Foles left in free agency, the Eagles brought in another talented backup behind him. Evidently, it has fueled Wentz dealing with confidence issues and distrust with the organization.
If Wentz wants out, that’s likely a request the Eagles will be happy to grant. Hurts has won over the hearts of the fan base and proven to his teammates and coaches that he can be a starting-caliber quarterback immediately. Even more so, he has shown poise under pressure and in clutch situations, which is rare for a rookie.
Meanwhile, it’s impossible to ignore Wentz stats this season. The Eagles posted a 3-8-1 record with him as the starter and despite riding the bench the past two games, he still leads the NFL in giveaways (19). On top of his abysmal 57.4% completion rate, league-high 50 sacks taken and 6.0 yards per attempt, he crumbles under pressure.
Through 12 games, per Pro Football Focus, Wentz had a 48.6 quarterback rating and 4/5 TD/INT ratio when pressured this season. Even when the pocket is clean, Wentz struggles. His 82.5 quarterback rating when throwing in a clean pocket, ranks 52nd in the NFL this season. By comparison, Hurts has a 110.5 quarterback rating when the pocket is clean.
Wentz’s contract will make a trade more complicated, but the Eagles would certainly love to find a way out of the money owed to him. If he becomes available, the Indianapolis Colts are already emerging as a potential landing spot this offseason. A reunion with Frank Reich, who Wentz found success under, could be the best way to salvage his NFL career.