How much leverage does Carson Wentz really have?


It might sound crazy to hear that Carson Wentz has some leverage in determining his landing spot in a trade … but he does.

Up to a certain point.

We bring this up a day after SI’s Albert Breer was on The Herd and mentioned that Wentz would rather go to Indianapolis than Chicago and presented that as the possible hold-up on the deal.

"I think it's pretty clear at this point that the Bears have pushed harder than the Colts to get Carson Wentz. [...] I think the Bears would like to at least know that Carson Wentz is on board before pulling a trigger on a trade."

It would be easy for the Eagles to say they don’t care what Wentz wants and that they’ll trade him to whichever team offers the most in compensation. But you have to look at it from the Bears’ perspective too. If they’re going to give up significant draft picks and end up paying Wentz’s $25 million salary in 2021, they’re going to want a happy Wentz. What’s the point in trading for a quarterback who doesn’t want to be there?

From Wentz’s perspective, there are plenty of questions about the Bears. That starts with the presence of quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who once got the most out of Wentz in Philly but also coached him harder than his replacement Press Taylor. We’ve heard plenty of reports that Wentz doesn’t prefer that coaching style.

On top of that, if Nick Foles isn’t part of the return for Wentz, Foles might end up as Wentz’s backup in Chicago. Is Wentz going to be OK with that? Again?

When you look at the two teams who have been in on Wentz the most, the Colts would clearly be a better situation from Wentz’s perspective. They have a better roster with a better coaching staff and a stable front office. But if the Colts aren’t willing to come close to what the Bears’ offer, then the Eagles can’t just trade Wentz to Indy to make him happy.

This idea of Wentz’s influence on his potential trade destination isn’t new. In fact, it’s something former Eagles president Joe Banner brought up with John Clark in an interview last week.

“He can influence a deal and his agent can influence a deal,” Banner said. “The agent could be making it clear to the teams which place he’d rather go. And this is true in any instance, not just Carson. An acquiring team, especially of a quarterback, is not going to want to acquire a player that doesn’t really want to be there. There are subtle ways they can influence.

“[Wentz’s agent] can also make an appeal to Howie, ‘Listen, we’re having a breakup, we’re getting a divorce, but we had some great time together, can we try to work on this together and hopefully you can get what you need but you can also be conscious of what he’s looking for.’ Sometimes those things go on behind the scenes and in this instance, if there’s a possibility to work out in a place where Wentz feels good about and the Eagles are able to get in the ballpark of what they’re looking for, I’d hope they’d have a bias towards that outcome.”

So it’s clear that Wentz has some leverage. And if the offers from the two teams were close, he’d probably be able to steer it in one direction over the other.

The problem here is that it seems like the Bears are really leading the charge right now. And the Eagles have some leverage left too. While I don’t think it would be a good situation to hold on to Wentz and wait, they technically can do it.

If Howie Roseman can’t get the Colts to increase their offer and he determines that whatever the Bears have presented to them is the best they’re going to get, he can play the Eagles’ last card: “Hey, Carson, it’s either Chicago or come back here.”

Right now, this feels like this has turned into a giant game of chicken between the Eagles, Bears, Colts and now Wentz himself.

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