Carson Wentz traded to Colts. Eagles’ Jalen Hurts to start at QB for 2021?

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Carson Wentz traded to Colts: Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s Twitter account, the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to trade QB Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and a second-round pick that could ultimately transition into a first-round pick in 2022. This appears to signal that the Eagles would like Jalen Hurts to start at quarterback — or that they may be drafting one with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Carson Wentz traded to Colts. Eagles’ Jalen Hurts to start at QB for 2021?

In order for the 2022 second-round pick to turn into a first-rounder, Wentz’s playing time must be “at or above" 75% in 2021. Moreover, another way for the 2022 second to become a first is for Wentz to play “at least 70% of the plays" and the Colts advance to the postseason.

Did the Eagles make the right move?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the Chicago Bears were believed to be the front-runner to land Wentz since Super Bowl 56 weekend. In fact, the last we heard about the Colts, they offered two second-round picks, per multiple outlets, and the Eagles scoffed at the offer, stating they wanted to wait for a “great deal," similar to the one the Lions received in the Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff deal.

The aforementioned substantial return was never going to happen. I knew it, you knew it, the Eagles knew it and the 31 other teams in the league knew it.

For the Eagles, they had to not only make a decision rapidly, but they had to take what they can get. The Eagles were not making a decision between Wentz and Nick Foles, two similar quarterbacks, this time around. As starter, it was between Wentz and Jalen Hurts — two drastically different style signal-callers. Wentz is your prototypical 2021 version of a pocket passer with mobility, whereas Hurts is closer to Lamar Jackson and is incredibly dynamic with his legs.

So what is the issue?

The issue is you can’t build a team around Wentz the same way you can build a team around Jalen Hurts as starting QB. We are early enough in the offseason before the start of Free Agency and the NFL Draft to where you don’t go in one direction in Free Agency, then move Wentz on draft-weekend but the personnel you signed was a better fit for the guy playing elsewhere.

Despite the compensation, on paper, being low, the Eagles made the right move for their organization by dealing Wentz away now. They weren’t getting a better offer and if Wentz does, in fact, play enough of the Colts snaps, the Eagles will end up getting a first-round pick out of the trade after all.

What’s next for the Eagles?

Unless the Eagles make another move, which would be likely to trade QB Jalen Hurts, the impending second-year signal-caller will start Week 1 as Eagles quarterback.

However, let’s pump the brakes on naming Jalen Hurts starter.

On “the John Kincade Show" via 97.5 the Fanatic on Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said “I don’t think they’re just set at the quarterback position,” speaking on the Eagles. This is a day before the Wentz deal but assuming he would be moved. To me, this suggests that the Eagles might not be all-in on Hurts either, especially considering the fact that new head coach Nick Sirianni may want to bring in his own quarterback.

With Carson Wentz traded to Colts, Jalen Hurts could be the Eagles' starting quarterback for 2021, though Philadelphia may take a QB in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. (USA TODAY Sports)

With Carson Wentz traded to Colts, Jalen Hurts could be the Eagles’ starting quarterback for 2021, though Philadelphia may take a QB in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. (USA TODAY Sports)

The Eagles sit with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The top four incoming quarterback prospects, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance are all projected top-10 picks. However, the big three — Lawrence, Wilson, and Fields — are all expected to be gone before Philadelphia picks. If the Eagles indeed intend to take a quarterback, they could target the one who falls. Another option is rolling the dice and trading up to get the one they want. They don’t have to move up far and have the draft capital to do so, especially if they can find a dancing partner in a potential Hurts deal.

Assuming the Eagles stick with Hurts because this is what we know right now, they will have to get better around him to ensure his best path to success. There are rumors that the Eagles could move off of Zach Ertz, which would leave a hole at tight end, but we know that Dallas Goedert is more than ready to fill the potential vacancy.

We know that Miles Sanders is a running back with a high-ceiling but needs a line in front of him and more carries than Doug Pederson was willing to forward him. Sanders also played some of his best football when Hurts was starting last season, popping against the Saints, who at the time, was the best-run defense in football.

Wide receiver and offense line are the issues that could haunt the Eagles and Hurts.

While the Philadelphia front five are normally amongst the NFL’s best, they were decimated by injury in 2020. OG Brandon Brooks and LT Andre Dillard both missed the entire season, never taking a snap while LT Jason Peters — Dillard’s replacement — and RT Lane Johnson both missed time.

The Eagles spent last year’s first-round pick on WR Jalen Reagor, but aside from flashing at the end of the year with Hurts, the impending second-year wideout did not pass the eye test. Meanwhile, both veterans, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson appeared in a combined 12 games. The Eagles ran most of the year with Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward — with Reagor — deployed as their top receivers.

While Reagor has first-round pedigree, Fulgham and Ward were career practice squad guys before Philly gave them a shot. Whether it is Hurts, a rookie, or Randall Cunningham at quarterback for the Eagles, they must get better at receiver to thrive and keep up with the league.

Eagles Fantasy Football Outlook With Hurts

From a fantasy football perspective, Hurts would be a nice play at quarterback depending on what the Eagles do this offseason and also where his ADP falls. Although I would not view him as highly as I viewed Lamar Jackson prior to his emergence — the Ravens have Greg Roman at offensive coordinator, who had success with dynamic run-first quarterbacks — the Eagles run a different offense and will have to make a choice to adjust to Hurts’ playing style. This is on Sirianni, who primarily ran 12 personnel with the Colts and relied on yards after the catch while emphasizing running backs in the passing game. The Colts were ranked in the top 10 running 12 personnel sets under Sirianni in 2018 and 2019 while falling to 16th in 2020.

The good thing about Sirianni is that he seems to know how to adjust to his quarterback, having to navigate through signal callers that include Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, and Philip Rivers during his tenure in Indianapolis.

In his four starts for the Eagles last season from Weeks 14-17, Hurts finished as a QB1 three times with a 17.3-point floor and a 37.8-point ceiling (19.3, 37.8, 20.6, 17.3).


Anthony Cervino

Anthony Cervino is an NFL Writer and Betting Analyst for The Game Day. He is also a lifelong NFL savant and self-proclaimed league historian. In the industry, Anthony has excelled in both the fantasy football and sports betting space with fantasy his proverbial bread and butter. Anthony has made appearances on SiriusXM, amongst other publications. He is also the co-creator of the FF Faceoff (Faceoff Sports Network) and the FF Faceoff Mental Health Podathon partnered with the Hayden Hurst Foundation. Industry Clout: 15th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for both draft and in-season accuracy (2019) | 8th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for sleepers (2020) | 13th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for in-season accuracy, including 2nd at quarterback and 3rd at tight end (2021).

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