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Eagles, Wentz say goodbye

NFL notebook

PHILADELPHIA — Carson Wentz helped steer the Philadelphia Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title and later received the richest contract in team history.

He’s already gone before that deal even kicked in.

The Eagles agreed to trade Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts, according to a person familiar with the deal. Philadelphia receives a third-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional second-round pick in 2022 that can turn into a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75% of the snaps this year or 70% and the Colts make the playoffs.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal hasn’t been announced.

Wentz is coming off the worst season of his five-year career and was benched for rookie Jalen Hurts after 12 games. He finished third in NFL MVP voting in 2017 when he led the Eagles to an 11-2 record before a knee injury ended his season and Philadelphia went on to win the Super Bowl.

The deal reunites Wentz with Colts coach Frank Reich, who served as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator his first two seasons in the league. Press Taylor, an offensive assistant coach with the Eagles during Wentz’s tenure, also has joined Reich’s staff.

The Colts are turning to their fourth starting quarterback in Reich’s four years. Andrew Luck retired abruptly before the 2019 season and Jacoby Brissett took over. Philip Rivers led the team to the playoffs in his only season in Indianapolis in 2020. After Rivers retired, Wentz became an ideal replacement for the team.

Brissett is about to become a free agent and the only other quarterback on the roster is Jacob Eason, who never took a snap last season as a rookie.

Wentz’s new teammates are already welcoming his arrival.

“Let’s get to work!!! Welcome to Indy! Can’t wait to see what the future holds in the 317,” two-time All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard wrote on his social media account, citing the city’s area code.

Elsewhere:

n The Atlanta Falcons have cleared almost $11 million in cap space by releasing two veteran starters — safety Ricardo Allen and defensive end Allen Bailey. According to Spotrac, the team cleared $6.25 million by releasing Allen, a four-time team captain, and another $4.5 million by cutting Bailey. The Falcons also waived quarterback Kurt Benkert, who spent the 2020 season on the Falcons’ practice squad. There may be more cost-cutting moves ahead for the Falcons, who rank near the bottom of the NFL in salary cap space.

n The NFL says the first position-specific helmet created for its players represents a major step in helmet technology, though it must still undergo testing by the league and the players’ union before being authorized for use. The helmet released this week by VICIS provides additional support in the front, where most head impacts take place for offensive and defensive linemen. VICIS, Riddell, Xenith and Schutt all have made models that have rated highly in the league’s testing in recent years.

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