The Philadelphia Eagles have not hesitated to commit to Carson Wentz, declaring the one-time MVP candidate , allowing his Super Bowl-winning backup Nick Foles to walk in free agency and openly for the former No. 2 overall draft pick.
The question isn't so much if the Eagles will lock up Wentz for the long term as it is when they will do so. Opinions andthere, considering Wentz is a 26-year-old with elite upside at a premier position -- and yet has also missed 13 games, including playoffs, the last two years due to injuries. But the reality is this: The Eagles intend to bank on him, whether it's now or later.
Neither Philly nor Wentz has to rush into a new deal now that the Eagles have picked up the QB's fifth-year option for 2020, but the team could be inclined to strike now, before another rise in the QB market and a potential Wentz breakout, and Wentz could easily prefer the security of more guaranteed money after back-to-back season-ending injuries.
ESPN's Adam Schefter suggested Wednesday that is, in fact, the case for both sides, telling 97.5 The Fanatic he believes Wentz and the Eagles "have begun talking" and will "get a deal in place" before the 2019 season begins.
A league source with a history of negotiations with the Eagles echoed the sentiment to CBSSports.com this week, predicting an extension will probably be finalized "this summer."
The source also estimated terms of a potential contract, projecting an average annual salary of around $30 million.
Cousins landed a three-year, $84 million deal ($28M per year) with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, while Wilson inked a four-year, $140 million deal ($35M per year) in April. Almost every new QB contract in recent years has reset the record for highest-paid at the position, but the source indicated that Matt Ryan's five-year, $150 million deal, signed with the Atlanta Falcons last May, could be a good benchmark for Wentz's extension. Ryan's $30M annual salary ranks fourth among NFL QBs.
Wentz's reps are likely seeking maximum guarantees, the source said, but Eagles personnel chief Howie Roseman figures to incorporate lots of playtime incentives to offset injury insurance for Wentz -- to mention precautions for a potential 2021 NFL lockout.
"He'll build club protections in for sure and include work stoppage protections for the team," the source predicted, adding that a likely incentive would have Wentz's salary "go up for each game played."
Wentz is currently set to make $8.4 million in 2019 -- ranked 22nd among all NFL QBs. Under his 2020 fifth-year option, he'd make $22.7 million, which would currently rank just outside the top 10 of annual QB salaries.