Trading Carson Wentz was a move that altered the Philadelphia Eagles franchise, putting the organization in a transition period as the team moved on from one of the key components of their Super Bowl championship roster from five years ago. Moving on from a franchise quarterback isn’t easy, even if Wentz demonstrated he wasn’t the same player the Eagles drafted with the No. 2 overall pick back in 2016.
Wentz asked to be traded and the Eagles granted that request. General manager Howie Roseman wasn’t going to give Wentz away, especially with four years owed on a massive contract extension he agreed to in 2019. The contract looked to be untradeable (in terms of getting solid compensation) with Wentz having a poor 2020 season where he was one of the worst quarterbacks in football.
Roseman arguably pulled off his best-ever deal when trading Wentz, using that trade to facilitate a series of moves that have set the Eagles up to build a potential Super Bowl contender.
The future of the Eagles looked bleak when they dealt Wentz in February of 2021. Now, it’s brighter than ever. Here’s a look at the Wentz deal, with all the assets that it has turned into.
The Wentz trade
Colts receive: Carson Wentz
Eagles receive: 2021 third-round pick and 2022 conditional first-round pick
The Eagles received a conditional first-round pick from the Colts in the deal, with some parameters. Philadelphia received the 2022 first-round pick from the Colts if Wentz:
- Played 75% of the snaps in 2021, or
- Played 70% of the snaps in 2021 and the Colts made the playoffs
Wentz reached the 75% threshold in December, so the pick became a first-round selection from Indianapolis. If Wentz didn’t reach any of those parameters, the pick would have been a 2022 second-round selection. The Eagles ended up receiving the 16th overall pick from the Colts.
In short, the Eagles received a 2022 first-round pick (No. 16 overall) and a 2021 third-round pick (No. 84 overall) from the Colts for Wentz. Before the Eagles even received the 2022 first-round pick for Wentz, Roseman had parted ways with the third-round pick.
Landing DeVonta Smith
Eagles receive: 2021 first-round pick (No. 10)
Cowboys receive: 2021 first-round pick (no. 12), 2021 third-round pick (No. 84)
Roseman used that 2021 third-round pick from the Colts to help the Eagles move up in the draft and select a No. 1 wide receiver for Jalen Hurts — who earned the starting quarterback job after Wentz was dealt. The Eagles traded their 2021 first-round pick (No. 12 overall) and that Colts’ third-round pick (No. 84) to the Dallas Cowboys — moving up two spots and selecting DeVonta Smith at No. 10 overall.
Smith had the most receiving yards in a season by a rookie in Eagles history (916). He finished with 64 catches for 916 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 14.3 yards per catch. Smith accounted for 46% of the Eagles’ yards for wide receivers and 45.5% of their receiving touchdowns in 2021. He is one of just 24 rookies in NFL history with 60 catches, 900 yards, and an average of 14 yards per catch in a season — showcasing why the Eagles believe he is a No. 1 wide receiver.
The Matt Pryor trade
Eagles receive: 2022 sixth-round pick
Colts receive: Matt Pryor, 2022 seventh-round pick
The Eagles made a minor trade with the Colts prior to the 53-man roster deadline in August — one that eventually would tie into the Wentz deal. Philadelphia dealt veteran guard/tackle Matt Pryor and a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Colts (No. 240) in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick (No. 194).
That minor trade played a major role in the Eagles landing a No. 1 wide receiver, as well as premium draft capital in 2023 and 2024.
Getting a first-round pick from the Saints
Eagles receive: 2022 first-round pick (No. 18), 2022 third-round pick (No. 101), 2022 seventh-round pick (No. 237), 2023 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick
Saints receive: 2022 first-round pick (No. 16), 2022 first-round pick (No. 19), 2022 sixth-round pick (No. 194)
The Eagles entered the offseason with three first-round picks: No. 15 (from the Miami Dolphins), No. 16 (from the Colts in the Wentz deal) and No. 19 (their own). There were plenty of assets for Roseman to facilitate a trade if he wanted to acquire a star player or get future draft capital for 2023 and beyond.
The Saints were the dance partner Roseman was seeking, as he approached New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis about acquiring one of his first-round picks. The Eagles and Saints didn’t take long to strike a deal.
The Eagles used the first-round pick they acquired from the Colts in the Wentz deal (No. 16) and the sixth-round pick they acquired in the Pryor deal (No. 194) to get future draft capital in 2023 and 2024 from the Saints.
Philadelphia moved up one spot in the 2022 first-round (No. 19 to No. 18), by giving up the Colts pick (No. 16). In return for giving the Saints the No. 16 pick, the Eagles also received a 2022 third-round pick (No. 101) and the Saints’ 2023 first-round pick and 2024 second-round pick.
The Eagles have two first-round draft picks in 2023 and two second-round draft picks in 2024. Not a bad haul for draft picks acquired from the Wentz and Pryor trades last year.
A.J. Brown — the cherry on top
Eagles receive: A.J. Brown
Titans receive: 2022 first-round pick (No. 18), 2022 third-round pick (No. 101)
The Eagles traded a 2022 first-round pick (No. 18) and a 2022 third-round pick (No. 101) to acquire Brown from the Tennessee Titans — giving Philadelphia a No. 1 wide receiver for Jalen Hurts and pairing him with DeVonta Smith. Philadelphia signed Brown to a four-year, $100 million extension with $57 million guaranteed.
Brown has 24 touchdown catches since the start of 2019 (DK Metcalf is the only player from his draft class to have more after his first three years.) Brown’s 185 catches and 2,995 receiving yards are the second most for a player after three seasons in Titans’ franchise history. Brown is averaging 16.19 yards per catch since the start of the 2019 season, trailing only Mike Williams (16.78) for the best mark of the NFL (minimum 150 receptions).
The Eagles didn’t use any of their own draft picks to acquire Brown, instead using the picks they acquired from the Saints earlier in April to make the deal.
Moving up in the sixth round
Eagles receive: 2022 sixth-round pick (No. 181)
Lions receive: 2022 sixth-round pick (No. 188), 2022 seventh-round pick (No. 237)
Philadelphia later would trade that 2022 seventh-round pick it acquired from the Saints (No. 237) to the Detroit Lions in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick (No. 181). The Eagles also gave up a 2022 sixth-round pick they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 188) to move up seven spots and select Kansas linebacker Kyron Johnson.
How did the Colts fare?
The Colts didn’t make as many moves as the Eagles, and traded Wentz to the Washington Commanders a year later. They used the 2022 seventh-round pick they received in the Pryor trade as part of the deal to send Wentz to Washington (along with a 2022 second-round pick).
Indianapolis received a 2022 second-round pick (No. 42) and 2022 third-round pick (No. 73) in return for Wentz. The Colts used the No. 73 pick to select Virginia tight end Jelani Woods. Indianapolis traded the No. 42 overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick (No. 53), a 2022 third-round pick (No. 77) and 2022 sixth-round pick (No. 192).
How did the Saints fare?
The Saints moved up from the No. 16 pick in a trade with the Washington Commanders to No. 11 overall, selecting Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave with the pick. New Orleans gave Washington a 2022 first-round pick (No. 16), a 2022 third-round pick (No. 98), and a 2022 fourth-round pick (No. 120).
New Orleans selected Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning with the No. 19 pick it acquired from Philadelphia. The Saints selected Air Force defensive tackle Jordan Jackson at No. 194 with that other pick from the Eagles.
The final result
Eagles receive: DeVonta Smith, A.J Brown, Kyron Johnson (No. 181), 2023 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick
Colts receive: Carson Wentz, Matt Pryor, Alex Pierce (No. 53), Jelani Woods (No. 73), Bernhard Raimann (No. 77), Andrew Ogletree (No. 192)
Saints receive: Chris Olave (No. 11), Trevor Penning (No. 19), Jordan Jackson (No. 194)
The Eagles clearly won this deal, getting a No. 1 wide receiver in Brown and another rising star in Smith. Philadelphia also has an additional first-round pick in 2023 and additional second-round pick in 2024.
The Colts already moved on from Wentz, banking on four draft picks from this year to salvage that deal.
The Saints gave up a lot of assets for three draft picks, ultimately giving up eight picks for two first-round picks and a sixth this year.
Roseman deserves a lot of credit for shaping the Eagles up to win in 2022 and beyond. Those future picks from the Saints could make the Eagles a Super Bowl contender for the next several years.