The NY Jets could trade for Carson Wentz under one condition

NY Jets, Carson Wentz Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Carson Wentz Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets are expected to explore their options in the quarterback market this offseason. But one name that hasn’t received as much attention is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

And there’s a good reason for that.

Wentz is fresh off a disastrous 2020 season in which he finished with just 16 touchdowns as compared to 15 interceptions in 12 games. The former No. 2 overall pick completed just 57 percent of his passes and averaged 6.0 yards per attempt.

By pretty much every metric, he was one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

To make matters worse, his massive contract has left his organization in quite a bind. Due just shy of $100 million over the next three years, the Eagles find themselves in a disastrous situation with Wentz.

The latest reports indicate that Philadelphia “doesn’t plan to trade him” but that they aren’t hanging up on potential suitors either. The Jets could be one of the teams interested in trading for Carson Wentz.

Under one very important condition.

How the NY Jets could benefit from a Carson Wentz trade

Given the many options the Jets have at the quarterback position this offseason, it would be massively foolish to take a chance on Wentz returning to his prior form.

Whether it’s trading for Deshaun Watson, selecting a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, or even sticking with the incumbent Sam Darnold, it’s hard to argue that rolling with Wentz is a favorable alternative.

That said, the Jets can still play a role here. If the Eagles are willing to pay.

The Eagles technically have an out in his contract after this upcoming season where they could be hit with a dead cap charge of around $24.5 million to cut ties. Depending on Wentz’s play in 2021, they might just take that.

If not, Wentz will carry a dead cap charge of $15 million the following year before a much more reasonable $6 million in 2024. Either way, his contract is massive, and a major liability given his performance.

But the Jets are in a very fortunate situation at the moment. They’re one of the few teams — even with the expected shrinkage of the salary cap — that have enough financial flexibility to take on Wentz’s contract.

Wentz would be a liability, but he wouldn’t completely sink their cap situation like he’s doing to a team like the Eagles. And if Philadelphia really wants to get Wentz and his contract off their hands, they might just be willing to pay to get it done.

We’re talking a straight-up salary dump here.

The Eagles could send Wentz and additional draft capital (perhaps a future first-rounder and then some) to the Jets in exchange for virtually nothing. The Jets would be taking on his contract and getting paid in draft capital.

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That capital could then be used to further build the roster or be used as additional ammunition in a possible Deshaun Watson trade. Either way, it’s a win for the Jets.

We’ve seen salary dumps like this take place in recent years with quarterbacks on bad contracts. Whether it was the Brock Osweiler deal from a few years ago or, most recently, the Jared Goff trade, they’ve all had the same effect.

But what would this mean for the Jets’ quarterback situation?

In theory, the Jets could then use the additional draft capital to either build around Darnold or build around a rookie quarterback they select with the No. 2 overall pick. Wentz would simply be extra depth until they could move on from his contract.

Carson Wentz isn’t worth taking a gamble on — not when there are plenty of better alternatives out there. But the Jets could still benefit from a Wentz trade.

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It all depends on how eager the Eagles are to move on from the former MVP frontrunner.