Inside The Birds: Can Eagles Get First For Wentz?
Although Carson Wentz remains on the Eagles’ 53-man roster, it appears inevitable that the tumultuous relationship between the franchise quarterback and front office is destined to end in parting ways.
In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan dish the latest updates on the Wentz sweepstakes and provide an overview of the running back group heading into the offseason.
Carson Wentz watch
Adam Caplan: “I just don’t see a scenario, based on how much I know he wants out of Philly – I just know how general managers and teams think; dealing with this stuff over the years with various teams, when they’re convinced a guy, under any circumstance, does not want to return – they just want the guy gone. As much as the Eagles want to keep Wentz because they drafted him, traded up for him – the cap hit, which is enormous – they really don’t want to trade him. But, because of his insistence of getting out – I’m not Carson Wentz, I just talked to a lot of people about this who would know – I don’t see him changing his mind.
Wentz has just got to understand, when you don’t play well, you’re an open target. That’s the reality of being a franchise quarterback. It’s not going to change just because he moves into another city.”
Geoff Mosher: “There are certain things that can happen that change a trade. You can fail a physical, teams can back out at the last second – they get cold feet, they decide that what they agreed to two weeks ago before they consummated, they decide to go in a different direction. I’ve heard of that.”
Caplan: “I had a high-ranking source with another team tell me to keep an eye on Denver. Obviously, they’ve got [quarterback] Drew Lock, who did not play well last season.
I’ll be honest with you, man, the longer this goes on – it’s going to happen at some point that they move him – but if this continues to go on, I’m going to start questioning whether [the Eagles] are going to get a first-round pick.”
Mosher: “The question I have is this, Adam – and I totally understand that there’s gamesmanship – how long can you wait out when you only have a certain amount of offers? You’re trying to come in and sweeten the pot, but what are you using to leverage that? If you’re not getting that offer now, how much is waiting and waiting going to help you get that offer? You have to create the perception somehow that you are getting a really sweet offer.”
Caplan: “We’re in early February here; free agency doesn’t start until March 17th. Now, we’ll get into the vesting dates on guaranteed money, but as one agent told me, ‘The dates are just there. Both sides can agree to move it back.’ Because Wentz wants out – if you’re Carson Wentz, you should agree to anything the Eagles want to get out. If they want to move the vesting dates to the guaranteed money three weeks, then do it, just so you can get out.”
Mosher: “I do think somehow, a conditional pick should or could be involved here. I get that there’s risk that you’re acquiring somebody broken who can’t be repaired, but there’s also the very potential that if you’re acquiring him – especially the Colts with the coaching staff and offensive line – that you think you can get a really good quarterback. So, I feel like there’s room here for – if he makes the Pro Bowl, it’s a second-round pick; if not, it’s a fourth. Not like the whole compensation is a fourth, but that’s part of it.”
Caplan: “[Wentz] has what’s called an advanced guarantee on his contract. If [Wentz] is on the roster on March 19th, the third day of the league year, his base salary in 2022 is fully guaranteed. So, obviously you’re gonna have to move this vesting date back if he’s not gone by then. Look, I’m at the point now that anything is possible with this thing lasting. This is my sense – this thing would have been done if [Howie] Roseman would have gotten what he was looking for. Even if it’s not two first-round picks – even if it’s just a first and whatever – do the deal, man. My sense is, [Roseman] hasn’t gotten what he’s willing to think is fair market value.”
Caplan: “[The Eagles] need a No. 2 back; Boston Scott is just not – he’s a changeup. What he’s good at, is when he’s brought in for 5-7 touches a game – at most – sometimes 3-5 touches. That’s just what he is, he was miscast by [Doug] Pederson and his coach’s last season. It has nothing to do with Duce Staley, it’s more Doug Pederson not understanding what they needed. They need a power back.”
Mosher: “The offense never had a fourth-quarter lead to just be able to give [Miles Sanders] the ball and let him help run the clock out, so he had a very odd-looking year. I still think he’s got a chance to be a dynamic, top-5/top-10 running back in this league. I wonder if the new coaching staff – [Nick] Sirianni’s goal, you’ve heard him say it before, is to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers within 5-10 yards of scrimmage. He was talking about his receivers, but we know that Miles Sanders can catch the ball when you throw it to him within reach. He can be what we thought he was last year this coming year, but he’s got to stay healthy. That’s why they need a better backup.”
Caplan: “I reached out to some coaches I know who have worked with a bunch of coaches on this staff. A couple guys said to me, ‘You can count on they’re going to have a No. 2 back with some size.’ Jonathan Taylor was their starter, but Jordan Wilkins was a bigger back, an upright back; Nyheim Hines was the changeup. A Colts source said to me that Frank Reich, Patullo, and Sirianni especially liked having that bigger back, because if you’ve got a lead he can grind it out, short-yardage, he can handle volume. That’s, to me, what they’re going to do.”
Mosher: “From the evidence we have in Indianapolis, they were never a committee. They were Marlon Mack when they drafted him, and then Jonathan Taylor, who was clearly their most talented running back. But [the Colts] do use several backs in different ways.”
New coaching hire
Caplan: “[Joe Kasper] is a low-level guy. He came from Duke, as a grad assistant on offense, so now he’s coming here as a defensive quality control. He was also a player personnel analyst and he’s had time on both sides of the football.
Most, if not all [quality control coaches], either they don’t coach a position or they coach a position but they’re the assistant where they don’t do the day-to-day – the position coach does it. [Quality control coaches] do research. Like Press Taylor, when he was assistant quarterbacks coach, didn’t coach the quarterbacks; his job was to do research for Doug Pederson.”
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.