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NFL Quarterback Carousel Continues: Carson Wentz Heading to the Colts

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

In what is expected to be an offseason full of quarterback movement across the NFL, the next domino fell on Thursday as the Eagles and Colts worked out a trade that will send former second overall pick Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts were in the market for a quarterback after Philip Rivers became their second starting quarterback to retire in two years. The move reunites Wentz with Colts head coach Frank Reich. The two worked together in Philadelphia when Reich was offensive coordinator of the Eagles in 2016 and 2017.

Naturally when a quarterback trade is made, people question how it will impact the market for Sam Darnold. I don’t see this trade having a tremendous impact on Darnold’s value in a trade, however. I think the differences between Wentz and Darnold are far greater than the similarities. The two biggest drivers of trade value are performance and salary. Wentz’s best years far surpass anything Darnold has done, while his contractual situation is far less appealing.

In term of practical impacts, I see two.

The Colts were viewed as a potential suitor for Darnold in a trade. We can now forget about that.

The trade also increases the odds the Eagles will look to draft a quarterback with the sixth overall selection. Yes, Philadelphia could stick with Jalen Hurts, but that isn’t a given at all. In the unlikely event the Jets neither select a quarterback at 2 nor trade it for Deshaun Watson, the value of trade down might have gone up. Philadelphia becomes a conceivable option, while teams looking to move up might have more urgency to get ahead of the Eagles.