The NFL’s quarterback carousel has arguably never been more active and intriguing.
The New England Patriots are heavily involved but Bill Belichick and Co. are being advised against chasing one of the horses on the merry go round.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz is one of the most commonly mentioned names as a trade from the City of Brotherly Love to the highest bidder is reportedly coming soon, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The NFL insider gives one of the latest updates on Wentz’s situation below in the video segment embedded in the tweet below.
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 8, 2021
Paul Perillo of Patriots.com doesn’t believe the Patriots would be wise to give up what the Eagles are reportedly seeking in return for the former No. 2 overall pick whose career has fallen on hard times. The Eagles are reportedly looking for what was described as the “Matthew Stafford package” in exchange for Wentz.
Schefter said: “If we go back and look, that was a third-round pick this year, two future (first-round picks) and Jared Goff.”
That’s a steep price for any quarterback, let alone a guy coming off a season that saw him benched for rookie Jalen Hurts. Wentz also set career lows in completion percentage (57.4%), and he threw almost as many INTs (15) as TDs (16) in 2020. To put it plainly, Wentz’s stock isn’t high at the moment.
Perillo seems to echo these sentiments. He wrote:
As for the Patriots, most reports have included Chicago and Indianapolis as potential landing spots for Wentz. Given what the Eagles are looking for, Bill Belichick would be wise to stay out of that bidding war as the rebuilding process can’t afford to part with so many resources in the draft. If the price drops, a reclamation project like Wentz would be intriguing given his talent and past success.
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Too Much for Wentz
Most general managers appear to be on the same page when it comes to Wentz’s trade value.
According to Michael Lombardi of The Athletic, the Eagles were turning teams off with their high asking price. “The Matthew Stafford package” is a lot for a quarterback many seemingly view as a reclamation project rather than a ready-made QB1.
Lombardi tweeted the following on Tuesday:
The Eagles asking price, according to one team source, was ridiculous, laughable, and not worth countering. Until they lower their expectations, based on the uncertainty of the player and contract, their initial price will never be obtained.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) February 9, 2021
Based on the fact that the Eagles still don’t have a deal for Wentz as of early Thursday afternoon, you’d have to conclude Lombardi and others are correct.
A More Realistic Option
Perillo and others have used the word “realistic” to describe Las Vegas Raiders’ free-agent quarterback Marcus view Mariota as it pertains to a potential signing with the Patriots.
More realistically, reports out of Las Vegas have included the Patriots as a possibility to grab Raiders’ backup Marcus Mariota. Mariota, who is also a former No. 2 overall pick, lost his job in Tennessee to Ryan Tannehill last year and signed with the Raiders as Derek Carr’s backup in 2020.
The Patriots wouldn’t likely have to cough up much to get Mariota, who has excellent mobility and size at 6-4 and 222 pounds. He’s been erratic as a passer with 77 touchdowns and 45 interceptions in his career for an overall rating of 89.5.
If you’re a Patriots fan, it’s probably a little easier to get excited about the prospects of your team turning to Mariota as their next starting quarterback. Mariota doesn’t have the troubling injury history that Wentz has. Sports Injury Predictor says Wentz’s history suggests he has an 83% chance of injury in 2021 while Mariota has a 23% chance.
The Eagles quarterback has missed eight regular-season contests and an entire Super Bowl run from 2017-18 after suffering a torn ACL.
Mariota also doesn’t come with the alleged “accountability issues” that reportedly plagued Wentz in Philadelphia.
In totality, Mariota is a more sensible option. Signing Mariota to a one or two-year deal that would almost certainly come cheaper than the $25.4 million Wentz would cost his next team in 2021–while also not parting ways with valuable assets–is a no-brainer when compared to the prospects of trading for Philly’s complicated QB.
There are several options for the Patriots to explore, but when it comes to Mariota and Wentz, there appears to be a clear choice.