Takeaways from Eagles-Colts Carson Wentz blockbuster

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Let’s examine the Carson Wentz deal from both sides, starting with Indianapolis:

Indianapolis: Worth the risk

First let’s discuss the palomino in the room: Andrew Luck.

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay said Luck “is more retired now than he was a year-and-a-half ago?” Why do you think he said that? My bet is that the Colts had plans to pursue Wentz this offseason, but before they’d trade for a player with four years and $96 million left on his contract, they had to be sure that Luck wasn’t having second thoughts about playing. So I’m assuming they heard either from Luck directly or someone very close to the quarterback that Luck doesn’t see himself playing football anymore. And once they felt sure Luck was ensconced in retirement, they moved full speed ahead on Wentz.

Regarding the deal: The trade was fair to both the Colts and Eagles. A third-round pick this year and a first-round pick in 2022 (if Wentz plays 75 percent of the snaps in Indy this year, or 70 percent and the Colts make the playoffs) means the Colts will hand the Eagles the 84th overall pick this year and more likely than not a pick in the range of 23rd overall next year for Wentz. Plus, Indy takes the risk of the contract: $96 million over the next four years, with $47.5 million guaranteed. Heck of a risk on a quarterback who failed so spectacularly, and in many ways, in 2020.

Wentz is 28. He was awful last season and justifiably was benched for the last four games in Philadelphia. But he looked like the long-term guy the previous three years (81 TDs, 21 interceptions), and if anyone can fix him after the 2020 debacle it’s probably Reich. “I’m extremely close with Carson Wentz,” Reich told me a month ago on my podcast. He called Wentz “a lifelong friend,” and said, “I felt for Carson this year.” No question Wentz felt the vibe; I’m told the Colts were his first, second and third choices in trade, mostly because of Reich and also because he’s a Midwest (North Dakota) guy, and Indianapolis has about 1 percent of the sporting venom of Philadelphia. The offensive line is significantly better in Indy than Philadelphia, the offensive weapons are better, and the job security of Reich and GM Chris Ballard means the Colts will be a far more stable franchise than most spots where Wentz could have landed.

But the reason this deal took a while to come together is because finding a fair compensation package was tough. The Colts figured that, at 28, a quarterback three years removed from being a top-five QB and one year removed from still being considered a franchise player was worth a late-third and either late-first or second-round pick. With Indianapolis still in great cap shape even after committing to Wentz, it’s a smart risk—but a risk nonetheless.

This has been an absolutely bizarre period for quarterbacks with the Colts. Eighteen months ago today, Luck was the Colts quarterback. Two weeks prior to the 2019 season he retired. Jacoby Brissett was the 2019 guy, then Philip Rivers in 2020. With the January retirement of Rivers, Wentz takes his shot. It’s urgent that the Colts get this position right for the long haul. The scotch-tape job over the past two years has gone all right (the Colts are 18-15 since Luck walked away). But it’s been plenty costly: Ballard has spent $73 million at quarterback over the past two years, and gotten zero playoff wins out of it. He knows that has to change. The money Indianapolis has spent at quarterback over the past three years, with more to come this year:

2019: Brissett ($14.9 million), Luck ($12 million), Brian Hoyer ($5 million), Chad Kelly ($268,000). Total: $32.17 million
2020: Rivers ($25 million), Brissett ($14.5 million), Jacob Eason ($1.34 million). Total: $40.84 million.
2021: Wentz ($25.4 million), Eason ($780,000), TBD. Total: In excess of $26.18 million.
Three-year total (with one player to add): $99.19 million.

It’s easy to point to the reassuring presence of Reich and the relatively easygoing fan base of central Indiana to say Wentz will be back strong. As I’ve watched him and talked to those with knowledge of Wentz’s performance in 2020, I think three things went way wrong:

1) He saw ghosts; he often rushed throws even when he didn’t have to because he was used to heavy pressure from a line he didn’t trust anymore.

2) He didn’t respond well to hard coaching, tuning out much of what he was being taught. After the Eagles spent a 2020 second-round pick on a quarterback, Jalen Hurts, Wentz didn’t trust the front office either.

3) Wentz hurrying his drops and throws resulted in a crashing to earth of his accuracy, which declined from 69.6 percent in 2018 to 57.4 percent in 2020.

Reich, I’m sure, won’t stand for any “I got this” tendencies from Wentz—and I would be surprised if Reich hasn’t already communicated either directly or indirectly with Wentz that he’ll be coached hard in Indianapolis, and he’d better be ready for it. Wentz will have a fundamentals refresher course led by Reich, with further drill-down from coordinator Marcus Brady and QB coaches Scott Milanovich and Parks Frazier.

Last point about Wentz’s 2020 season: He hasn’t done enough in the NFL to fuss about a backup quarterback being drafted, and he hasn’t done enough to bitch (quietly though it was) about being benched. What he should have done when benched, even though he’d been sacked 4.3 times a game at that point, is say, “When you throw multiple interceptions in half of your starts, it’s just not good enough. I’ve got to be more accurate, and I’ve got to work to be better than this. It’s on me.” Leaders say that. I can think of another guy who thought he was in his prime and seethed when his team took a quarterback in the second round. Tom Brady responded by winning the Super Bowl in Jimmy Garoppolo’s rookie year. Brady won the Super Bowl in Garoppolo’s third year. When Garoppolo was traded in the middle of his fourth year, Brady was on his way to winning the MVP. At 40. Brady didn’t ask for a trade when Bill Belichick drafted a quarterback in the second round. He said, I’ll show you the mistake you made, drafting a quarterback when I’m still in my prime.

So I like the trade for Indianapolis, as I said. But there’s one man who can make it a great trade, and one man only: Carson Wentz.

Philadelphia: Has the Lombardi Trophy been fired, or traded?

Three years ago this month, after the Eagles’ stunning 41-33 Super Bowl victory over New England, I wrote a deep dive about the winning touchdown in the game—Wristband 145, I called it, because that’s what coach Doug Pederson called into the ear of quarterback Nick Foles before the play. Foles, super-subbing for injured franchise QB Carson Wentz, called the play next to “145” on the band: “Gun left trey, open buster star motion . . . 383 X follow Y slant.” The call resulted in a 11-yard TD pass to Zach Ertz, giving Philly a 38-33 lead with 2:21 left.

The play was not in the original 194-play game plan of the Eagles. Early in Super Bowl week, receivers coach Mike Groh went to offensive coordinator Frank Reich with an idea he thought would flummox the Patriots: a single receiver (Zach Ertz) to the left, three receivers (Trey BurtonNelson AgholorAlshon Jeffery) in a triangle to the right, a back (Corey Clement) in “star,” or sprinting, motion behind the triangle. One receiver to the left, four to the right. The Eagles, through Reich’s and Groh’s research, thought the Patriots would cover Ertz alone. Pederson called it. Groh and Reich were right—Ertz was singled. That touchdown gave the Eagles their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

Look at the key men in that play, and in that offensive powerhouse, who I just mentioned. And look at what’s happened in 36 months:

Doug Pederson: Gone. Fired last month after going 23-27-1 in the 51 games since the Super Bowl.

Nick Foles: Gone. Signed as a free agent in Jacksonville in 2019, traded to Chicago in 2020. Status for 2021 uncertain.

Carson Wentz: Gone. Traded to Indianapolis—after finishing 35th of 36 QBs in passer rating in 2020 and being benched by Pederson.

Zach Ertz: Very likely gone. Cap-strapped Eagles could save $4.7 million on the cap by trading or releasing him.

Mike Groh: Gone. Promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018, fired after 2019 season. Now receivers coach for Indianapolis.

Frank Reich: Gone. Departed two weeks after Super Bowl win to be Indianapolis’ head coach.

Trey Burton: Gone. Signed free-agent deal with Chicago in 2018. Now tight end in Indianapolis.

Nelson Agholor: Gone. Signed free-agent deal with Las Vegas in 2020.

Alshon Jeffery: Very likely gone. Should be a cap casualty this spring after missing 19 games due to injury in last three years.

Corey Clement: Likely gone. Unrestricted free agent. Buried on Eagles’ depth chart. Looking for a better role elsewhere.

The team as a whole, poof! Gone, into thin air. Doug Pederson’s last four years: Super Bowl win, playoffs, playoffs, 4-11-1 . . . fired. Whaaaaat? What has happened in sports?! Assuming Ertz and Jeffery are let go, all six starting skill players from the Super Bowl, gone. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, 14 years younger than Super Bowl champ Bruce Arians, retired at 54. Leader of the secondary, Malcolm Jenkins, gone. Special-teams captain Chris Maragos, retired. There might be a team in the 55-year history of Super Bowl that has dissolved faster than these Philadelphia Eagles, but I can’t think of one.

Craziest thing: This was a playoff team in 2018 and 2019. The year after winning the Super Bowl, Foles had them 27 yards from the end zone in New Orleans, 27 yards from the NFC Championship Game . . . but an interception wrecked that drive. In 2019, with Wentz finally starting a playoff game for the Eagles, he lasted eight minutes before being concussed and exiting the game. Then came the incendiary 2020 season, starting with drafting Jalen Hurts in the second round, continuing with Pederson missing the first two weeks of training camp with COVID-19, and Wentz playing poorly from the start. Plenty of blame to go around here, but the best point in this was made by Bucky Brooks of NFL Media: Being a starting quarterback in the NFL is not a lifetime appointment. Wentz didn’t think he should have been yanked. Did he watch his own tape?

The other day, Mike Florio’s Pro Football Talk TV show on Peacock played a clip from an interview with GM Howie Roseman, who has presided over the dissolution. Roseman, speaking less than 10 months ago, said this about Wentz: “We love Carson Wentz. We showed it with our actions. We showed it when we traded everything to go get him. We showed it when we paid him with that contract. It’s not like we’re trying to get out of that contract. We’re committed to that.”

This is why you don’t hear the Eagles, through off-the-record or unsourced material, defending the picks acquired in trade with Indianapolis. That’s because the Eagles didn’t win here. They may have made the right move in jettisoning Wentz; they likely couldn’t have brought him back without moving Hurts, and if Wentz played poorly in 2021, he was likely unmovable because of the $47.5 million in guarantees in his contract. It’s no-win for the Eagles. If Wentz plays great in Indy, the Eagles mishandled him and will be set back years in franchise development. If Wentz flops in Indy, the Eagles mishandled him and will be set back years in franchise development.

Over the weekend, in talking to two people who know the inner workings of the Eagles, it’s clear that there is a stunned disbelief inside the team from Lurie on down. A year ago, Pederson and Wentz were the keystones for the future of the franchise. Today, it’s almost inconceivable Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts are the coach and quarterback, and the franchise is cap-strapped with so few young building-block players. It used to be that a coach with recent Super Bowl currency wouldn’t get erased after one bad year. It used to be that a struggling young quarterback would take his medicine and fight to get his position back, not semi-force a trade so soon after making his money.

Roseman is public enemy number one with an angry fan base right now. “Angry” is a mild term, most likely. Philadelphia is mad as hell at the Eagles, and at Roseman. “I hate Howie Roseman with a passion now,” Eagles fan (presumably) Adam Michalesko tweeted after the trade. “I don’t want to be a fan anymore.” (Rumor has it he’ll be wearing a green jersey come September.) The Super Bowl seems 13 years ago, not three. But that’s the NFL world now, where spite is routing patience.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

How to watch the NFL on Peacock: Full Sunday Night Football Schedule, live stream info for the 2022 season

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The 2022 NFL Season is in full gear. This week it’s Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals vs Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. with Football Night in America. Kickoff time is at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 4: Hurts At Home In Philly, Players And Parents On Football Safety, And The Case For Aaron Donald

Every Sunday Night Football game this season will be available on both NBC and Peacock. See below for the full 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule as well as additional information on how to watch every game on Peacock.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) – Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – Broncos do just enough to pull off 11-10 win over 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs dominate Bucs 41-31

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: How to watch/live stream Bengals vs Ravens game 

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 5 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals vs Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 4: Hurts At Home In Philly, Players And Parents On Football Safety, And The Case For Aaron Donald

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: NFLPA Believes Tua Tagovailoa Shouldn’t Have Returned Last Week, Even If It Was A Back Injury

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – Broncos do just enough to pull off 11-10 win over 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs dominate Bucs 41-31

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

RELATED: How to watch/live stream Bengals vs Ravens game 


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 5 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!