The Carson Wentz trade saga has dragged on for over a week now, but that really shouldn’t be surprising after it was reported that the Philadelphia Eagles were seeking two-first-round picks in return for their former No. 2 overall selection.
As things stand, the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears have been the only two teams mentioned by name that have made inquiries about Wentz, though there could be other organizations lurking in the shadows waiting to see if negotiations fall through or if the Eagles reconsider their initial evaluation.
It’s been widely reported that Wentz would prefer to be dealt to the Colts, as it would see him reunited with former offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Despite their willingness to trade him, the Eagles clearly have the 28-year-old’s interest at heart, so they would no doubt unload him to Indy without blinking as long as Chris Ballard made a serviceable offer.
However, in light of the Colts’ insistence on driving a hard bargain in negotiations, the Bears have reportedly emerged as the front runners to land Wentz.
The Colts are still refusing to budge in their evaluation of Carson Wentz.
During a Monday appearance on “The Herd,” Sports Illustrated insider Albert Breer disclosed that the Bears have pushed harder than the Colts for Wentz, implying that Indianapolis could lose their ground in negotiations if they don’t step up their pursuit.
If we’ve learned anything from GM Chris Ballard’s latest comments about his search for a quarterback, it’s that he isn’t going to get into a bidding war for somebody he and the Colts’ coaching staff isn’t entirely sold on.
And why would he?
Seeing as though Wentz would clearly prefer to play in Indy over Chicago, he still has significant leverage here.
After all, the Eagles would have to convince Wentz to accept playing with the Bears. Not that the five-year pro has a say in where he ends up (his contract doesn’t contain a no-trade clause), but Chicago would need some semblance of assurance that he wouldn’t mail it in and force another trade upon arriving.
When you consider that Chicago could have a new head coach and general manager as soon as the middle of next season if the team underperforms, it makes complete sense why Wentz wouldn’t be open to the idea of being dealt there.
However, if the Colts don’t start pushing the envelope in negotiations, his preferences might not end up mattering in the end.
Again, from a fan’s perspective it’s encouraging to know that Wentz wants to end up in Indianapolis, but that doesn’t mean Ballard should move heaven and earth to make a deal happen, especially after the miserable campaign he put together in 2020.