NFL News & Notes: Rumor Mill Heating Up for Wentz, Watson

It’s been well-documented how unprecedented this upcoming offseason could be in the NFL and primarily at the quarterback position. Drew Brees is mulling retirement while Philip Rivers made it official. Ben Roethlisberger and Steelers’ ownership publicly agreed that Big Ben would have to take a significant pay cut to remain the quarterback in Pittsburgh.

Then Aaron Rodgers made waves when he questioned whether he’d played his last game in Green Bay, uncertain about his future with Jordan Love waiting in the wings. However, Packers’ management went on the record to say that the likely MVP is their guy, and he would be back playing in Lambeau in 2021.

A lot of smoke, but there was fire as well in the form of a blockbuster trade between the Lions and Rams that saw Detroit and Los Angeles swap quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff. Rivers’ retirement may have been the first domino to fall in this inevitable quarterback carousel, but the Stafford-Goff deal may have set the stage for other trades in this unpredictable offseason.

Eagles Fielding Calls for Wentz

Ever since Carson Wentz was benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts in the final quarter of the season, his future in Philadelphia has been front-page news. Wentz’s strained relationship with the organization has not appeared to have subsided, even after head coach Doug Pederson's firing.

It’s being reported that Wentz has still not formally requested a trade, and the Eagles actually would prefer to keep the quarterback if new coach Nick Sirianni and his staff can fix Wentz's struggles. However, the club began fielding calls on Wentz's availability on Thursday, with multiple teams getting in contact.

One team that has been rumored to go after Wentz from the beginning has been the Indianapolis Colts. Their need for a quarterback after Rivers’ departure, coupled with Wentz’s familiarity with Frank Reich, has made sense from the get-go, and the Colts remain a frontrunner. Even Eagles’ former President & GM Joe Banner believes Wentz has run his course in Philadelphia, posting the following on his Twitter account:

“At this point, it seems clear that Carson Wentz will not be an Eagle this coming season. People should be realistic about what Eagles may get back. It will depend on how many teams are really interested. Either they will draft someone, or they are betting on Hurts as their starter.”

Watson to Denver?

The difference - at least publicly - between Wentz and Deshaun Watson, in terms of their frustration with their current organization, is that Watson has formally requested a trade. Houston hired a new general manager and head coach this offseason, and neither move changed Watson’s mind.

The organization has gone on the record to say they don’t want to deal their franchise signal-caller, but they’ll certainly have their pick of the litter in terms of the best offer. Watson’s former teammate, Kareem Jackson, talked to TMZ on Thursday and said that Deshaun has eyed a reunion and wouldn’t mind becoming a Denver Bronco.

"I had a couple of conversations with him," Jackson said of Watson. "Just with him saying that Denver is a place that's he's interested in landing."
"I mean, if Deshaun Watson goes anywhere, they are automatically contenders," Jackson said. "If he has pieces around him, he's an automatic contender."