Breaking down Eagles' compensation in Carson Wentz trade


The Eagles finally did it on Thursday. 

They agreed to trade Carson Wentz to the Colts for two draft picks, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Eagles will eat $33.8 million in dead money, which isn’t ideal but they needed to move on and now they have.

The Eagles didn’t end up getting a first-round pick in the trade ... at least not yet. 

Here’s a closer look at the trade, as confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

Colts get: Carson Wentz 

Eagles get: 2021 third-round pick, 2022 conditional second-round pick 

Let’s start off with that 2021 pick, which is No. 85 overall, a relatively deeper pick in the third round because of the Colts’ success in 2020. With that pick in hand, the Eagles now have eight picks and are projected to get another through the compensatory formula. 

Here’s a look at their nine projected picks (picks are own picks unless otherwise noted): 

  • Round 1: No. 6
  • Round 2: No. 37
  • Round 3: No. 70
  • Round 3: No. 85 (from Colts in Wentz trade)
  • Round 5: TBD
  • Round 5: TBD (from Cowboys in 2020 draft trade)
  • Round 6: TBD
  • Round 6: TBD (projected comp pick)
  • Round 7: TDB 

But let’s get to that 2022 pick, because that’s the more intriguing part of this trade. Based on Wentz’s awful season in 2020 and his injury history, it makes sense for a conditional pick to be included in this trade. The Colts are willing to give up more if Wentz works out. 

So that second-round pick can turn into a first-rounder in 2022 if one (or both) of two things happens: 

1. Wentz plays 75% of the Colts’ offensive snaps in 2021.

2. Wentz plays 70% of the Colts’ offensive snaps in 2021 and the Colts make the playoffs.

Barring an injury — which is obviously a possibility — the chances of the Eagles getting back a first-round pick are actually really good. Here’s a look at Wentz’s offensive snap count percentages in his career: 

  • 2016: 100%
  • 2017: 78%
  • 2018: 66%
  • 2019: 99%
  • 2020: 72%

The interesting thing here is that the Eagles need Wentz to stay healthy in 2021 and play well enough to stay on the field but not play well enough for the Colts to have a low draft pick. For reference, the Colts have the No. 21 pick in this year’s draft after an 11-5 season with Philip Rivers under center.

Ultimately, this isn’t a great return on a possible franchise quarterback, but the Eagles didn’t really have a ton of leverage. They were in a position where there were only two top bidders and one of them was worried Wentz didn’t want to play there. Ultimately, they traded Wentz for what is relatively reasonable compensation but it's a tad underwhelming. They didn’t get a first-round pick but at least they have a chance to. 

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