Carson Wentz has been in the headlines for the past month. The Philadelphia Eagles benched him in favor of Jalen Hurts, which sparked the beginning of a quarterback controversy. Hurts played in the team’s final five games of the season, impressing coaches enough that many thought Wentz would be on his way out of Philadelphia.
That tune has changed over the past couple of weeks. It is now the feeling that Wentz could stay with the Eagles, despite how last season went with the team. Now the chances of him staying in Philly have increased again because the Eagles have made a surprising organizational decision.
Carson Wentz could be on his way out of Philadelphia
The season Carson Wentz had was the worst of his career, by far. Wentz led the NFL in interceptions (15) and was sacked the most out of any quarterback (50), per ESPN. His 49.3 QBR was one of the lowest in the league, which is more evidence that Wentz had a horrible year. The team lacked passion when Wentz was on the field. Even though Wentz’s play was abysmal, it wasn’t all his fault for Philly’s struggles.
The offensive line had 13 different lineup combinations during the season. With injuries to many of their key guys, the Eagles had to plug and play multiple guys. The lack of continuity was evident, as Philadelphia struggled to keep whoever was the quarterback upright in the pocket. The receivers were inconsistent throughout the year, and some dealt with injuries. The offensive line and receiver issues weren’t the main reason many thought Wentz was on the way out of Philly.
It was his relationship with head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson and Wentz seemed to have a strenuous relationship, which continued to deteriorate with Wentz’s subpar play this season. When Pederson benched Wentz, that put the relationship in dire straits. Everything came to a head in the NFL’s final weeks, where it was reported that Wentz was going to ask Philly for a trade this offseason. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson said that the relationship between Pederson and Wentz is “fractured beyond repair.”
With Wentz planning to ask for a trade, it looked like his time in Philly was coming to an end. It would’ve been a bitter divorce if there was going to be a divorce at all. Pederson was going to be the Eagles’ coach next season, and who knew what that meant for Wentz’s future.
The Eagles fire Doug Pederson as head coach
In what was seen as a shocking move by many, the Eagles fired Doug Pederson. Pederson brought the Eagles their one Super Bowl trophy back in 2017. It was the thought that his job would be safe. After meeting with ownership Monday, the Eagles believed that Pederson’s vision for the team didn’t align with theirs.
Pederson’s last season in Philly was full of bad management of players and situations. The way he maneuvered the Wentz’s benching was far from perfect. His press conferences were more awkward, with him stumbling over his words and contradicting himself. However, it was what he did in the Eagle’s final game of the season that might’ve sealed his fate.
Pederson decided to sit Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter of their season finale against the Washington Football team. The Eagles were trailing by three and still a chance to win the game. Nate Sudfield replaced Hurts, and the Eagles turned the ball over the next two drives. Eagles players were surprised about the move; some disliked it. A move like that could’ve turned the locker room against Pederson, and losing the locker room is a death sentence for any head coach.
With Pederson out as Philly’s head coach, this could have a significant impact on Carson Wentz’s future. Now that he doesn’t have to worry about his relationship with Pederson affecting things, could he be back under center for the Eagles next season?
Carson Wentz future could be completely different
Philadelphia still has Carson Wentz on their roster, and that situation isn’t going anywhere. It looks like the Eagles are choosing him over Pederson. If both of them stayed with the Eagles past this season, one of them was going to have to leave. The Eagles picked the player, which is a positive sign for Wentz and his future in Philly.
It would be a challenge for the Eagles to move Wentz because of his hefty contract. Wentz signed a four year, $128 million extension in 2019. If Philly wanted to trade their expensive quarterback to another team, it would cost almost $34 million in dead cap money for them. It would be more of a financial burden for the Eagles to move Wentz.
Not to mention owner Jeffrey Lurie seems to be on the Wentz bandwagon, supporting their $128 million quarterback. “I fully expect him to realize his potential. We have an asset, we have a talent, he’s a great guy, wants nothing more than to win big and win for Philadelphia. He’s just what you want,” said Lurie per Jamie Apody.
Carson Wentz’s future could be much different now that the Eagles have let go of Doug Pederson. The next head coach will have the task of trying to fix Wentz, as Philly still has faith in the No. 2 overall pick. Trading Wentz is still a potential option, but that looks less likely now that the Eagles have shown their loyalty to him, not Pederson.
All stats courtesy of ESPN