The Eagles and Colts made the Carson Wentz trade official on Wednesday afternoon as the new league year began.
Eventually, the Eagles will have a press conference in which they’ll have to answer direct questions about the trade and what led to it. But for now, the team released a series of statements through a story on their in-house website.
In GM Howie Roseman’s statement, he made it abundantly clear that Wentz wanted out of Philadelphia:
"It's no secret about how we felt about Carson Wentz as a Philadelphia Eagle, whether it was the process of trading up for him in the (2016) draft or extending him (his contract) after the 2018 season, and we had this season where there were some things that happened and, obviously, Jalen (Hurts) ended up starting the last four games. We had some conversations with him and his representatives about what was the best thing to go forward and when we were doing the coaching search, communicating with him and his agent – really good, productive conversations, really good people – and they talked about maybe it was time for him to have a fresh start, that he was looking forward to a fresh start.
"For us, we've got to do what's in the best interest of our team. And so, if it didn't work for us, if it wasn't a situation where we thought we were also benefiting and he was put in a good spot, that was the only situation that would work for the Philadelphia Eagles. As we went through it and went through the offers that we got, particularly the offer from the Colts, the opportunity to not only get the picks but also get some financial flexibility back for our football team we decided going forward that that was the right decision going forward for us.
"Everyone does things differently and I think one of the things that we've had success with is having relationships with our players and having open communication with our players. That doesn't work for everyone, and I understand that, but at the same time, that makes it even harder to let them go in those times when you grow this kind of attachment to them and you have all the conversations you have with them and you know their families. But at the end of the day understanding that he felt it was best for him to get a fresh start, understanding that it's hard to win in the National Football League and to win you have to have a group of people who are all tied together and who are invested in what's going on here.
"We just felt like it was a fair trade, it was a good trade for the Colts, it was a good trade for the Philadelphia Eagles and where we are right now and so, we pulled the trigger."
Thoughts: There’s more meat here than in Lurie’s statement that preceded it. The part about Wentz needing a fresh start is just true. I’m told the Eagles were interested in rehabilitating the relationship with Wentz after the season but it became apparent that it was better for both sides to move on. In particular, Wentz felt it was best to move on.
This statement also makes it abundantly clear that it was Wentz who really wanted to move on, saying that “he felt it was best for him to get a fresh start.” The Eagles knew they needed to honor that — if you have a franchise QB who wants out, you gotta get him out — but wanted to make sure they got back fair compensation.
Roseman also mentions the financial flexibility in addition to the draft picks the Eagles get back. That’s a big part of this. Because the Eagles have to swallow a record amount of dead money in 2021 but then they’re free in future years.
"The Eagles organization is truly grateful for everything Carson has meant to this team and the City of Philadelphia. His approach to the game of football and his passion to win brought so much pride and excitement to the team and our fans. He achieved great things as an Eagle, setting numerous franchise records and helping to guide the team to multiple division titles. Of course, we will always remember and value the crucial role he played in our Super Bowl Championship season in 2017.
"It was an honor getting to know Carson as a person and seeing first-hand how much he cares about using his platform to create meaningful change for the less fortunate. Carson is a tremendous, deeply compassionate human being who consistently represented the Eagles and our fans with class. We will all appreciate the substantial impact he made on our team and the community. We wish happiness and success to Carson and his family as they begin their next chapter in Indianapolis.”
Thoughts: Pretty cookie-cutter statement from Lurie and it doesn’t really go into what happened. But he does point out that Wentz was an integral part of the Super Bowl championship, a fact that is far too often overlooked.
"There's a lot of things to be excited about with (Jalen's) tape and so we're so excited to work with him and get going with him and talking ball with him. Right now, we're in a period where we're talking and just getting to know each other. I look forward to the day when we can talk and really dive into football.
"What we saw is a player who can really extend plays and create on his own ... we saw his ability to create when things weren't there. That's an unbelievable asset to have as a football team. You can see his toughness on tape and how he carried himself. ... He is a leader who loves football. There is no substitute for that."
Thoughts: Sirianni never coached Wentz and will never get to coach Wentz, so it makes sense that his statement was about Hurts. Later in the story, Roseman wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the Eagles use the No. 6 pick, but for now, Hurts has to be the guy. Sirianni is complimentary of Hurts and talks about his ability to create but doesn’t get too deep into his game. There will be time for that.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: