By Bob Miller
The Carson Wentz era in Philly could be over.
Coach Doug Pederson has replaced him with rookie Jalen Hurts, who will start tomorrow against the New Orleans Saints.
The odds on who will be the Eagles quarterback next year:
Wentz currently the favorite at -175. Hurts’ odds are at +175 and Other is at +200.
Sportsbooks have also shared odds on whether Wentz will take a snap this week against the Saints, with No listed as the favorite at -500, and if he will start a game between Weeks 15 and 17, with No also being the favorite at -250.
The Eagles have been missing right Lane Johnson and Jason Peters for most of the season. The lack of depth on the line has allowed opposing defenses to put an enormous amount of pressure on Wentz, resulting in the league-leading sack total. It’s not close to the season that David Carr endured with Houston in 2002 when he was sacked an NFL-record 76 times, but it’s still a lot.
The Eagles have been playing without DeSean Jackson for most of the season, Zach Ertz has missed significant time and Alshon Jeffery looks completely lost. That’s forced Wentz to have to throw the ball to receivers like Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Richard Rodgers, who have not been able to create any separation from defenders.
Fulgham had a promising stretch earlier in the season with four weeks of over 75 receiving yards, but in the team’s last four games he has not had more than two receptions or 16 receiving yards.
The lack of offensive weapons has forced Wentz to turn a bad play into a horrendous one.
Apart from his play on the field, the thing that makes this situation even worse is his contract. Wentz signed a four-year extension for $128 million that kicks off next season. He has a cap hit of $34.7 million next year and if he is cut before next season, it will be up to $59 million. That is an excruciatingly tough pill to swallow if you’re Philadelphia.
Any way you slice it, the Eagles have a major problem. If they trade him before next season, it will be $33.8 million in dead money; if they leave him on the bench, that’s your highest-paid player making almost $35 million to stand on the sideline. The only hope for the Eagles is that this was simply a really bad year for the former No. 2 overall draft pick.
Right now it’s not a good situation for Wentz and it’s not entirely his fault. However, when you are a starting quarterback for an NFL team and you make the money that he will make next season, people will always look at your production. The truth is that Wentz hasn’t been the same player since he suffered an ACL injury in a game against the Los Angeles Rams in December 2017.
He had two decent seasons in 2018 and 2019, leading the Eagles to consecutive playoff appearances. This year can be considered a writeoff with COVID-19 and the team’s glut of injuries, but it looks like Wentz is broken and unaware of how to fix it. The hope is that he will be able to rebound next year with a healthier line and more offensive weapons.
Here are the odds on whether Wentz will take a snap this week and if he will start another game this season.
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