PALM BEACH, Fla. — Just hours after Colts owner Jim Irsay blasted Carson Wentz, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie took a more measured approach.
Lurie thanked Wentz for 2017, but admitted he wishes things would have ended differently with Wentz in Philadelphia.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Eagles traded the quarterback to the Colts last February — Wentz was traded again this offseason to Washington — Lurie on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings finally weighed in on the franchise-altering move to ship Wentz to Indianapolis.
While Lurie said things ended differently than he imagined between Wentz and the Eagles, he made it clear that he doesn’t think the Lombardi Trophy would have come to Philly without No. 11.
“Let me just say, Carson, 2017, we’ll never forget it,” Lurie said at The Breakers resort in South Florida, taking questions for the first time since January 2021.
“Probably played at an MVP level. There’s no way we’d be a No. 1 seed going into the playoffs if it weren’t for Carson. I doubt we would have been able to win the Super Bowl if we didn’t have the No. 1 seed. It’s hard to know. But that was the best of Carson. That was the best of Carson. When we drafted Carson, that’s what we hoped for; it was an MVP-level quarterback.”
There’s no questioning how great Wentz was for the Eagles in 2017. In 13 games that season before tearing his ACL and LCL in Los Angeles in December, Wentz lead the Eagles to a quick 11-2 start, throwing 33 touchdowns with just 7 interceptions. It was just his second NFL season but it looked like Wentz would dominate for a decade.
While he played well at times in 2018 and 2019, before bottoming out in 2020, Wentz never regained his MVP-like form.
“Not every quarterback and not every player is able to sustain that level of play,” Lurie said. “You have injuries, you’ve got lots of factors. It didn’t end how we envisioned it to end. But I’m always thankful.”
The Eagles sent Wentz to Indianapolis last February and in return got an eventual first-round pick (No. 16) that they’ll use next month. Wentz wasn’t even in Indy long enough to see the Eagles use that pick; he was moved to Washington earlier this offseason.
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On Tuesday, Irsay called the decision to move on from Wentz after just one season in Indianapolis “obvious” and intimated that Wentz caused chemistry issues in the locker room and blamed him for not carrying the team down the stretch.
Just like in Indianapolis, things ended on a sour note between Wentz and the Eagles the year before. The former franchise quarterback made it clear he didn’t want to return to Philadelphia to play after a 2020 season that saw him get benched for Jalen Hurts.
Wentz will return as a visitor with the Commanders during the 2022 season.
“I welcome Carson when he comes back,” Lurie said. “I think I’d rather take the road of, ‘He really helped us in a very important way in the 2017 season.’ And I wish he would have been able to maintain the level of growth throughout and it didn’t pan out that way.”