The Philadelphia Eagles swap their quarterbacks. A lot. But that had been a while since they handed out an unhappy Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts in February. The most recently traded Eagles quarterback was the one who made room for Wentz, Sam Bradford, AKA Sleeves, AKA Sammy Sleeves, AKA Sleevie Wonder, in 2016.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how these quarterbacks fared with their new team. Spoiler: Bad. This is not to say that the Eagles exactly came across all of their trading partners, as the players they drew with the acquired choices in those trades have not exactly set the world on fire either.
Let’s go as far back as the start of the Andy Reid era (yes, this would eliminate the quarterback trade that backfired on the Eagles long ago, Sonny Jurgensen).
But first we start with Wentz.
Carson Wentz, 2021
After a 2020 season in which he was benched after producing the worst stats in the NFL among starting quarterbacks, Wentz successfully forced himself out of Philadelphia via trade. The Eagles took by far the biggest hit in NFL history with dead money to give him, but they saved at least a third-round pick and a second-round conditional pick (which would eventually become a first-round pick) to in return.
His new home was Indianapolis, where he really could not have hand-picked a better situation as the Colts had a great offensive line, arguably the best running back in the NFL, a (modest) upgrade of wide receiver talent, a talented defense, and a head coach, to whom he felt a special attachment in Frank Reich. Off the field, Wentz said that “culture and values“fits his vibes.
On paper, Wentz’s statistics in 2021 looked decent enough as he threw 27 TDs against 7 INTs, but the eye test showed he looked like the “2019 version” of himself, with the occasional “2020 version” terribly sprinkled ind. He made occasionally spectacular throw, but moments of encouragement were overshadowed by his continued inability to make the “layup” throws.
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The Colts lost their last two games, with Wentz serving as the primary cause. He missed a wide-open TY Hilton against the Raiders Week 17, which probably would have put that match away, and he was horrible from start to finish against the Jaguars, playing his brand of “hero ball gone wrong” that was so well known in the Eagles’ 2020 season.
In that game, Wentz had one of his vintage avoidable fumbles while trying to throw a shovel pass when tackled. He also threw a devastating tapping while targeting a receiver who was simply not open.
At his post-season press conference, Reich was non-committal on Wentz ‘return to the team in 2022. The day after, GM Chris Ballard aired often among other things about Wentz ‘shortcomings, criticism of his mechanics, his penchant for holding the ball for too long, his inconsistency and his instability. It was essentially a summary of criticism that Wentz met from Eagles fans and media at times in Philly, but this time it came straight from the general manager’s mouth. Like Reich, Ballard did not commit to Wentz in 2022.
Chris Ballard on Carson Wentz: “At the time, we felt it was the right decision … I’re not going to comment on who’s going to be here next year and who’s not.”
– Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) January 13, 2022
From the Colts’ perspective, it’s not exactly tactful to blow up Wentz in public. If they plan to move on from him out of season, negative comments will only serve to diminish his value. If they intend to keep him, well, we already know how Wentz will react when they are challenged to take responsibility and make the improvements that his coaches deem necessary.
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From an emotional standpoint, a clearly frustrated Ballard was probably just a little too honest for his own good after his quarterback just ruined a season in which seven (!) Colts players reached the Pro Bowl, most in the NFL.
It’s as if Howie Roseman pulled the pin on a Wentz grenade and lobbed it into Lucas Oil Stadium.
We should probably also note here that Colts owner Jim Irsay was ready to say that Reich and Ballard would return in 2022, but that significant changes need to be made. If the Colts cut Wentz, he will count for $ 15 million in dead money, with a saving of just over $ 13 million. If they are somehow able to trade him, they will save a little over $ 28 million with no dead money left.
With the third-round pick that the Eagles acquired from the Colts in the 2021 draft, they ended up with DT Milton Williams and DE Tarron Jackson. The first round election in 2022 from the Colts landed just inside the upper half of the first round, at election No. 16.
Rodney Peete, 1999
Peete was traded to the Washington Football Team for a sixth-round pick in 2000. He played three games for the football team and tried just 17 passes before moving on to Oakland the following year.
With that sixth-round pick, Eagles C selected John Romero, seven picks before Tom Brady was taken by the Patriots.
Bobby Hoying, 2000
Hoying was traded to the Raiders for a sixth-round pick. He had seven passing attempts for Oakland over two years before retiring in 2001.
With that choice in the sixth round, Eagles center DE John Frank chose 21 choices before Brady was taken.
AJ Feeley, 2004
Feeley was traded to the Dolphins for a second-round pick in 2005. He saw action in just 11 games in Miami, and received a terrible 61.7 QB rating. Midway through the 2005 season, the Dolphins traded Feeley to the San Diego Chargers for Cleo Lemon.
With that pick in the second round, the Eagles selected WR Reggie Brown, who caught 177 passes for 2,574 yards and 17 TDs in five seasons in Philadelphia.
Kelly Holcomb, 2007
Holcolm was traded to the Vikings for a sixth-round pick in 2009. He played three games for the Vikings in 2007 and received a 73.1 QB rating. He retired the following free season.
The Eagles then swapped the sixth-round pick along with the 21st overall pick for the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft and selected Jeremy Maclin.
Donovan McNabb, 2010
McNabb was traded to the football team for a second-round pick in 2010 and a fourth-round pick in 2011. He played a year in Washington and received a QB rating of 77.1. He was demoted to the third string by Mike Shanahan before the football team sent him off to the Vikings for a sixth-round pick the following offseason.
The Eagles selected Nate Allen with that choice in the second round. The election in the fourth round turned to LB Casey Matthews and an election in the fourth round from 2012, which was used in conjunction with another draft to acquire LB DeMeco Ryans in a trade with the Texans.
Kevin Kolb, 2011
Kolb was traded to the Cardinals for a second-round pick and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Kolb ended up starting just 14 games for Arizona and got a QB rating of 83.2 in two years there. He sustained a number of injuries, including grass standing, a concussion and a rib injury, before the team asked him to go on salary. When the Cardinals and Kolb could not reach an agreement on a restructured agreement, they cut him.
After a barter, second-round pick was DE Vinny Curry and CB Brandon Boykin.
Nick Foles, 2015
Foles was traded to the Rams along with a second-round pick for Sam Bradford. In his only season with the Rams, Foles was without a doubt the worst starting quarterback in the NFL, getting a 69.0 QB rating before being benched in favor of Case Keenum. He was released after a season and signed with the Chiefs before returning to the Eagles, and yada yada yada, a million-plus fans in the streets of Philadelphia sang triumphantly about the size of his genitals.
Matt Barkley, 2015
Barks were traded to the Cardinals for a seventh-round pick. He was a regular on the Cardinals’ inactive roster during the 2015 season, never getting into a single game. The Cardinals eventually released him.
The Eagles selected LB Joe Walker with that seventh-round pick.
Mark Sanchez, 2016
Sanchise was traded to the Broncos for a conditional election in the seventh round. Sanchez lost a quarterback contest to a Trevor Siemian, a guy with zero career attempts at the time. He never made Denver’s 53-man list, so the choice was never given.
Sam Bradford, 2016
After then-Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater suffered a gruesome, career-threatening leg injury in training just before the start of the 2016 season, the Sleeves were traded to Minnesota for a first-round pick in 2017 and a fourth-round pick in 2018 that could has become a third or second round election based on improbable conditions that were not met. The Vikings started 5-0, but lost 8 of their next 10 games and did not qualify for the playoffs. Bradford’s play looked better on the statistics sheet (he completed 71.6 percent of his passes) than it did in reality, as he never encountered a checkdown that he did not embrace.
Bradford ended the 2016 season with a record of 7-8. He played two games in 2017, both wins, but was shut down for the season after wear and tear eroded away on his surgically repaired knee.
The Eagles selected DE Derek Barnett and DE Josh Sweat with the two selections acquired in that trade.
Joe Flacco, 2021
The Eagles bought Flacco in the offseason and he was the No. 2 quarterback for a while anyway, but became something of a lame duck No. 2 after the Birds switched to Gardner Minshew just before the start of the season. The Eagles would eventually give Flacco to the Jets for a sixth-round pick in 2022. He started a game for the Jets, a 17-24 loss to the Dolphins, and made a brief appearance in a 17-45 loss to the Bills.
An updated snapshot of the traded Eagles quarterback stats with their new team:
|Traded Eagles QB||Comp-Att (Comp%)||Yards (YPA)||TD-INT||Evaluation|
|Rodney Peete, WFT, 0 starter||8-17 (47.1%)||107 (6.3)||2-1||82.2|
|Bobby Hoying, Raiders, 0 starter||2-7 (28.7%)||10 (1.4)||0-0||39.6|
|AJ Feeley, Dolphins, 8 starter||191-356 (53.7%)||1893 (5.3)||11-15||61.7|
|Kelly Holcomb, Vikings, 3 starts||42-83 (50.6%)||515 (6.2)||2-1||73.1|
|Donovan McNabb, WFT, 13 starter||275-472 (58.3%)||3377 (7.2)||14-15||77.1|
|Kevin Kolb, Cardinals, 14 starters||255-436 (58.5%)||3124 (7.2)||17-11||83.2|
|Nick Foles, Rams, 11 starters||190-337 (56.4%)||2052 (6.1)||7-10||69.0|
|Matt Barkley, Cardinals, 0 starter||0-0 (0.0%)||0 (0.0)||0-0||REACH|
|Mark Sanchez, Broncos, 0 starter||0-0 (0.0%)||0 (0.0)||0-0||REACH|
|Sam Bradford, Vikings, 17 starts||427-595 (71.8%)||4259 (7.2)||23-5||101.1|
|Carson Wentz, Colts, 17 starter||322-516 (62.4%)||3563 (6.9)||27-7||94.6|
|Joe Flacco, Jets, 1 start||27-42 (64.3%)||338 (8.0)||3-0||113.0|
|TOTAL (66 starts)||1739-2861 (60.8%)||19238 (6.7)||106-65||83.6|
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