NFL execs predict Carson Wentz's future: Why his contract is such a burden for the Philadelphia Eagles

Editor's note: This story was originally published on Dec. 1, prior to the news via ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen on Tuesday that Carson Wentz had been benched in favor of Jalen Hurts.

Four months ago, Carson Wentz was a consensus top-10 quarterback who channeled a young Ben Roethlisberger with his size, agility and a knack for splash plays.

"I've seen Houdini in him," said one NFC exec whose team has played against Wentz plenty over the past five years.

Like Harry Houdini's famous routines, Wentz's game is now handcuffed.

Wentz's career has reached a boiling point in 2020, accentuated by a curious lack of playmaking, an affinity for turnovers and a Philadelphia Eagles offense as injured as it is inept.

NFL executives and coaches ranked Wentz, 27, a former No. 2 overall pick, as the league's No. 8 quarterback in ESPN's summer project ranking top players at each position.

In June 2019, Wentz earned a four-year, $128 million extension just three years into his NFL career, cementing his place as the franchise's long-term solution at quarterback.

That same player now ranks 27th in ESPN's Total QBR (48.9), slightly ahead of Nick Foles, Nick Mullens, Drew Lock and Sam Darnold. Wentz is on pace for at least 20 interceptions after throwing no more than seven in each of his past three seasons.

A pair of lethargic performances against the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns (back-to-back losses) prompted the Eagles to increase backup Jalen Hurts' first-team practices before Monday's 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, which featured another shaky performance from Wentz.

Now, Wentz's job in Philadelphia is on the line.

After speaking with several NFL execs and team sources, ESPN breaks down what happened and what might be next for one of the game's most enigmatic passers.