They drafted a quarterback they really didn’t need and it cost them the quarterback they always wanted.
And 20 months after giving him a historic contract extension, 13 months after he led the Eagles into the playoffs, two months after he made his 68th and final start in an Eagles uniform, Carson Wentz is no longer an Eagle.
The Eagles traded Wentz to the Colts on Thursday, but really, it was over on April 24.
It was over the moment the Roger Goodell stood up there and said, “With the 53rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select … Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Oklahoma.”
The damage had been done. And nothing could undo it.
Wentz either couldn’t deal with it. Or he didn’t want to deal with it. Either way, the Eagles should have known better.
They should have known Wentz well enough to understand the effect that drafting Hurts would have on him. How it would shatter the trust between Wentz and Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie, how it would create tension in the quarterback room and how it might ultimately affect Wentz’s performance.
This isn’t Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. First of all, Wentz is a decade younger than Rodgers and it’s fair to say doesn’t possess - or at least hasn’t shown - the intangibles that Rodgers has shown throughout his Hall of Fame career.
Wentz had to live through Nick Foles finishing off the 2017 Super Bowl run, and even though that obviously wasn’t Roseman’s fault, we all know that wasn’t the easiest thing for Wentz to go through, seeing his backup take the bows he felt were his.
Wentz bounced back from that, but drafting another QB in the second round when Wentz was 27 years old, in the prime of his career and coming off a playoff season, that was too much.
And I can’t understand how the Eagles didn’t realize the effect it would have had on an already fragile Wentz.
Roseman said after the draft his conversation with Wentz about Hurts was a difficult one. What did he expect? Wentz needed a wide receiver, not a backup.
The contract extension was in June of 2019. The Hurts pick was in April of 2020. All that happened in the 10 months in between was Wentz setting a club record for passing yards, throwing 27 TDs and 7 INTs, getting the Eagles to the playoffs and then getting cheap shotted by Jadeveon Clowney.
Either don’t sign him to a $128 million extension or don’t draft Hurts. If you’re the Eagles you simply can’t do both. Either Wentz is your quarterback or he’s not. Either you’re committed to him or you’re not. Either you believe in him or you don’t.
Now, I’m not crazy about the way Wentz responded to all this.
I don’t blame him for being disappointed or upset, but I also want my franchise quarterback to be a fighter. To face up to every challenge by rolling up his sleeves and growing even more determined than ever. If you don’t like Hurts being here, go out and prove you’re better than him. Embrace the challenge.
Now, nobody will ever be able to prove a cause-and-effect between Hurts getting drafted and Wentz going out and having a brutal season, but everything points to that being the case.
And Wentz deciding that he can’t play here even after Doug Pederson was fired really can only mean one thing. That he feels Roseman betrayed him by selecting Hurts. Why else would he want out?
Now it’s possible Wentz would have struggled just as badly this past season if the Eagles didn’t draft Hurts.
But I doubt it. We’re talking about a guy who had the 7th-highest passer rating in NFL history by a quarterback in his first four seasons. He had his ups and downs in 2018 and 2019 but nothing that hinted at what we saw this past year.
The Eagles broke Carson Wentz.
They invested a ton of draft picks in him, they gave him a record contract and then within months they took a premium draft pick that they could have used to fill a legitimate need and drafted a quarterback they didn’t need.
Franchise quarterbacks come don’t come along very often. The Eagles had one. Now they probably don’t. And they only have themselves to blame.
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