Carson Went

Posted: February 18th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 8 Comments »

Our long national nightmare is over. After an endless number of insider reports, bogus rumors and lots of random speculation, Carson Wentz has a new home.

Okay, now that’s out of the way. There is a lot for us to discuss.

Let’s start with the return. Howie Roseman wanted more than this. He worked hard to get more than this, leaking rumors at a record setting pace. In the end, he got solid return. Nothing to jump up and down about, but under the circumstances, this is fine.

The Eagles are rebuilding. They need young talent and that means they need draft picks. The 2022 pick can be a first rounder if Wentz plays 75 percent of the snaps this year or if he plays 70 percent and the Colts make the playoffs. Wentz has started 68 of 80 possible games in his career (85 percent). That makes it feel like the Eagles have a good chance to get the first next year.

Now let’s talk about why this was necessary.

A lot of people refer to this situation as an organizational failure. That is fair. The Eagles did a great job in acquiring Wentz and getting him off to a strong start in his first two years. After that, things fell apart for a number of reasons.

There is a lot of blame to go around. Howie Roseman gets a lot of it. Jeff Lurie has his share as well. Doug Pederson is part of this mess. We can’t absolve Wentz, though. He also played a key role in things falling apart. You can play the blame game and focus on who is most at fault, but that seems like a waste of time to me. This situation is a big shit sandwich and there were a lot of people helping to make it.

I think one key factor gets overlooked in all of this…bad luck.

Wentz was forever affected by the Eagles winning the Super Bowl with Nick Foles. Wentz was on his way to winning MVP. His team was 11-2 and the best in the league. He tore his ACL and then had to watch as his teammates went on a magical run and won the big game. Talk about your mixed emotions. Wentz got to see the joy that brought everyone, but he was an outsider. That’s not something you overcome easily.

Wentz missed a couple of 2018 starts early before taking back the reins of his team. He then got hurt in December and missed the rest of that season. The Eagles had another playoff run under Foles.

Foles then left in the 2019 offseason. This was completely Wentz’s team. He started all 16 games and led the Eagles to the NFC East title. Things seemed to be heading in the right direction. And then Jadeveon Clowney landed a cheap shot by hitting Wentz in the back of the head. That gave Wentz a concussion and took him out of his only playoff start after just a few snaps.

Ugh.

Roseman saw the need for a better backup QB and rolled the dice by taking Jalen Hurts in the second round. Roseman, who is incredibly thin-skinned and always looking over his shoulder, somehow didn’t think spending a high pick on a backup QB would affect his starter.

Ugh.

Obviously the 2020 season then became a disaster for Wentz and the team.

There is one more piece of misfortune that played a role…Josh McDaniels. He agreed to become the Colts coach in early 2018. At the last minute, McDaniels backed out. The Colts ended up hiring Frank Reich. If Reich had stayed in place, there would still have been issues to deal with, but I’m guessing Wentz and the Eagles would have handled them better.

Instead, Reich took off for Indy and now will have Wentz join him.

This is a favorable situation for Wentz. He joins a team with a terrific OL, some talented skill players and a good defense. They also have a good coach and a good GM.

Before we start nominating Wentz for Comeback Player of the Year let’s remember just how bad he was in 2020.

No one questions Wentz’s raw talent. He still has a great arm. He can make brilliant throws at times. He is mobile for a bigger guy and he’s tough as nails. He could bounce back and be a star QB again.

But there are no guarantees. We have never seen a player regress like he did at his age. Most guys fall apart in their 30’s when they hit “the wall”. Age catches up to them.

The mistakes he made in 2020 were more mental than anything. Once a player gets like that, it is tough to come back. Coaches can fix a lot of things, but getting a player right between the ears is the biggest challenge of all.

I know some Wentz fans will wonder if he can ever get back to 2017 form. I think the answer is “no”. This isn’t me hating on Wentz, as some would say. Things happened in that season that just weren’t sustainable.

https://twitter.com/ClevTA/status/1362483406060343296

Some critics will tell you Wentz is a mediocre QB outside of 2017. I think that’s going too far. He had a weak supporting cast in 2018 and 2019 and still posted solid overall numbers. I think he can be a solid QB.

2017 was an illusion. Forget about Reich or the OL or receivers, I just don’t think Wentz will get back to that level. That was lightning in a bottle.

Was the Wentz era worth it? Hell yes. The Eagles won Super Bowl LII. That doesn’t happen without Wentz.

Anyone who analyzes things and tries to tell  you that Cleveland won the initial Wentz trade is nuts. That team has one wildcard win since 2016. The Eagles have a Super Bowl, four playoff wins and two division titles. I don’t know how you can side with the Browns on that.

RGIII looked like a revelation in 2012. Washington got one good year out of him.

Jared Goff gave the Rams five pretty good years.

The Bears have one division title in Mitch Trubisky’s four years.

Jameis Winston flamed out in Tampa.

Derek Carr has played pretty well for the Raiders, but his job isn’t safe.

Having a young QB play well for a year or two guarantees nothing. Heck, the player can look great and that still doesn’t mean you will have long term stability. Even those teams who do get stability don’t always get what they really want.

Would you rather have 10 years of Donovan McNabb as a starter and no title?

Matt Ryan has given Atlanta great stability at QB since they drafted him in 2008. No title.

Philip Rivers was Mr. Charger for years. No title.

This is a bad situation and I wouldn’t pretend otherwise, but the Eagles got a Super Bowl out of it. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

As I’ve said before the only people I feel bad for are the kids. They see sports as this magical endeavor with bigger than life heroes. Plenty of kids love Carson Wentz. Adults know sports is a billion dollar business. We know the Eagles had to trade Wentz to get his salary off the books. We know Wentz was focused on getting out of Philly and finding the best landing spot for himself. This was business for everyone involved, except the kids.

The Wentz era has officially ended, but this has been a slow, ugly mess for a while. You can argue that it started in April when Hurts was drafted. Things got ramped up in the season opener when Wentz just fell apart against WFT. He looked so good for most of the first half and then it all went away. There was the benching in Green Bay.

And now he’s gone.

*****

Now the focus goes to Jalen Hurts and the future at QB. What will the Eagles do?

We’ll talk about that for the next few months, maybe the next year.

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