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Carson Wentz trade: Eagles facing largest dead-cap hit in NFL history as result of Colts deal

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick, low compensation for a player that is three years removed from being the MVP front-runner before injuries derailed his career. While there is a silver lining in the trade — the 2022 second-round pick can become a first-round pick — the Eagles set a dubious NFL mark in trading Wentz, just 20 months after signing him to a $128 million deal.

Philadelphia will take on $33.8 million in dead-cap space by trading Wentz, the largest single dead-cap hit in NFL history (per Spotrac). That shatters the previous record set by the Los Angeles Rams, who will take on $22.2 million by trading Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions. The Rams actually are third on the largest dead-cap space list as well by virtue of their Brandin Cooks trade to the Houston Texans last year. 

Here are the five largest dead-cap hits in NFL history: 

  1. Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) — $33.8 million
  2. Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams) — $22.2 million
  3. Brandin Cooks (Los Angeles Rams) — $21.8 million
  4. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) — 21.2 million
  5. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) — $19.9 million 

Now that Wentz’s contract is (partially) off the books in Philadelphia, here’s how much of a cap hit the Colts will take over the next four years of Wentz’s contract:

  • 2021 — $25.4 million
  • 2022 — $22 million
  • 2023 — $25 million
  • 2024 — $26 million 

Since the Eagles are taking on a $33.8 million dead-cap hit with a minimum salary cap set at $180 million, the Eagles are essentially using 18.8% of their available cap space on a quarterback that won’t be on the 2021 roster. Quite the massive fall for a franchise that appeared to have their signal-caller for the next decade. 




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