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Would Carson Wentz make sense for Bears? Yes and no

Almost a week after Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff came off the trade market, another veteran quarterback is up for debate: the Eagles’ Carson Wentz. 

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz watches his teammates warm up before the season finale.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz watches his teammates warm up before the season finale.
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Almost a week after Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff came off the trade market, another veteran quarterback is up for debate: the Eagles’ Carson Wentz.

Thursday, NFL Network reported that teams had begun calling the Eagles about trading the 2016 No. 2 overall pick. The team, though, is in no rush to make a move. Colts general manager Chris Ballard seemed to say the same thing Friday, when Indianapolis radio host Dan Dakich asked him about teams trying to pursue Wentz.

“We are exploring lots of options,” said Ballard, who’s not allowed to talk about acquiring opposing players, according to league rules. “I’ll tell you this, though: There’s no trade going down right now. Not today.”

The Colts are considered the favorite if the Eagles move Wentz. Coach Frank Reich was his offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.

The Bears, who have vowed to be aggressive in the market, have explored every possible quarterback available.

Would Wentz be a good fit for the Bears? Yes and no.

No: Mitch Trubisky was much better last year. Wentz, in fact, might have posted the worst season by any starter in the NFL. In only 12 games, he threw a league-high 15 interceptions. His 72.8 passer rating was the worst of any quarterback with 400 or more passes and the third-worst of any quarterback with at least 100 attempts.

Yes: Wentz’s ceiling tops that of Trubisky. In 2017, he was the NFL MVP favorite before hurting his knee in Week 13.

No: Coach Matt Nagy is close friends with former Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who was fired last month. Among the reasons for the split: a reported rift between Pederson and Wentz, whom Pederson benched for the last four games in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts. If there’s dirt on Wentz, Nagy probably has heard of it. Would Nagy want to bet his head-coaching career in a must-win season on Wentz?

Yes: Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo served in the same role during Wentz’s dominant run in 2017. Wentz’s experience in Philadelphia means he knows the basics of the Bears’ scheme — something general manager Ryan Pace cited as a reason for trading for Nick Foles last year.

No. He’s pricey. Wentz has four years and $98.4 million left on his contract and $47.4 million worth of guarantees over the next two years. After 2022, he can be cut at no cost. The Bears are projected to be $10.7 million over the salary cap if it’s set at $175 million, according to Overthecap.com, but the cap could go up the next month.

Yes: His contract figures to drive down the Eagles’ asking price — would anyone dare offer a late first-round pick? — and maybe the Bears could get something back for their troubles. The Lions scored extra draft picks for taking Goff, whose contract is similarly problematic. The Eagles can’t logically cut Wentz, but they could be incentivized to trade him before March 19, when he’s due a $10 million roster bonus. They would eat $33.8 million in dead cap money by trading him before then.

No: Wentz posted his worst season after the Eagles drafted Hurts. When Wentz was with Foles, he watched Foles win the Super Bowl one year and beat the Bears in a playoff game the next. Would Wentz look over his shoulder at Foles again?

Yes: The Bears could include Foles in their trade package back to the Eagles. The Bears then would need to add a backup passer. It wouldn’t be Trubisky. He and Wentz share agents, who probably wouldn’t want both clients fighting for the same starting job.

No: Trading for Wentz would take the Bears out of the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes — that’s if the Texans decide to trade their star quarterback.

Yes: What chances do the Bears have of winning that sweepstakes anyway?