Opinion: Everyone is a winner in Eagles’ Carson Wentz deal with Colts
NFL 

Chalk up the W's across the board.

After weeks of speculation, the Carson Wentz trade watch came to an end Thursday as the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts agreed to a deal that will send the sixth-year pro to Indy and multiple early draft picks to Philly.

The Colts agreed to part with a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional second-round pick that could turn into a first if Wentz plays 75% of his new team's snaps this year. Meanwhile, the Eagles also save $10 million in roster bonuses due to Wentz in 2021, and they rid themselves of $25.4 million of guaranteed base salary in 2021.

Indianapolis fills the quarterback void created by Philip Rivers' retirement, and Wentz gets a fresh start overseen by one of his most-trusted mentors in Colts head coach Frank Reich.

This was the move that NFL insiders long classified as the most logical for Wentz, the Colts and the Eagles. Even before it became evident that Philadelphia would part with the one-time face of the franchise after his abysmal 2020 campaign, people from rival organizations believed that Indy presented the best possible fit for the former second overall pick of the 2016 draft.

Carson Wentz will reunite with Frank Reich in Indianapolis. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

They pointed to the relationship between the quarterback and Reich, who served as Wentz’s offensive coordinator in Philly during the first two years of his career, including that sophomore season in 2017, when Wentz played like an MVP candidate before a torn ACL ended his season.

They believed that if anyone had the capability to help Wentz rebound from a year in which he threw 16 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions while getting sacked an NFL-leading 50 times in just 12 games, Reich was the guy.

Wentz’s confidence was shot last season. Rattled early by an injury-decimated offensive line, he never found a way to rebound, and his hesitancy, second-guessing and poor decision-making snowballed to produce one ugly performance after another until 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts took his job with four games left in the season.

A change of scenery is the best thing for the 28-year-old No. 2 pick of the 2016 draft. And his best bet for a strong rebound is to join as well-rounded a roster as possible.

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The Colts fit that bill. Indy boasts a strong offensive line, strong run game to ease pressure on any quarterback, and last season ranked top 10 in both yards and points. Defensively, the Colts ranked top 10 in yards and points as well. Indianapolis qualified for the playoffs, but fell to Buffalo in the wild-card round. And with both Houston and Jacksonville rebuilding, the Colts have a good shot to contend with the Titans for the divisional title once again. 

Wentz possesses both the mobility and arm strength that Rivers lacked, and he could help further elevate the offense. His familiarity with Reich and his offense would seemingly translate to a smooth transition.

The only question that NFL insiders had involved the Colts' willingness to meet the Eagles' asking price. Many believed that after seeing the Detroit Lions receive two first-round draft picks, a third-round pick and Jared Goff in return for Matthew Stafford, Philly brass coveted a similar bounty. But it remained unclear if the Colts would want to so greatly mortgage their future while also agreeing to take on a hefty Wentz contract, which features another three seasons and $75 million. 

The Colts didn't have to pay nearly as much as the Rams did to get their coveted passer.

The deal can't become official until the start of the league year on March 17. But the two sides reached the agreement, and now everyone gets what they want.

Wentz gets his fresh start, no longer has to wonder about organizational support and doesn't have to look over his shoulder. Indianapolis remains positioned to contend for a divisional title and more. A top-form Wentz gives them one of the most talented passers in a division that features Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee, potentially Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville and possibly a new face in Houston, where Deshaun Watson wants out.

The Eagles, meanwhile, can either fully commit to the development of Hurts, or they have resources to draft a top 10 quarterback (they already hold the sixth pick in 2021). They have also freed up cap space to pursue a veteran to compete for the starting job.

It's an instance where the rarely predictable NFL quarterback carousel whirled favorably for all parties involved. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones and listen to the Football Jones podcast on iTunes.

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