Eagles

Howie Roseman explains rare circumstances that led to Carson Wentz contract

Howie Roseman explains rare circumstances that led to Carson Wentz contract

When you look around the NFL and see the acrimony that often surrounds big-money contract negotiations — holdouts, threats, allegations, hard feelings — what the Eagles just accomplished is remarkable.

Howie Roseman and his staff and agent Ryan Tollner and his staff managed to craft one of the largest contracts in NFL history in a way that simultaneously:

1. Gives Carson Wentz the most guaranteed money in NFL history.

2. Gives the Eagles the flexibility to continue building a competitive team around Wentz.

Roseman on Monday spoke at length about how the complicated deal came about and how both sides were willing to make sacrifices in the best interest of the team.

Wentz could have gotten more money if he waited, had another season like he did in 2017 and stayed healthy and let the quarterback market rise as other QBs signed their deals. 

Roseman even joked that every time Wentz made a great play in minicamp, he felt more of a sense of urgency to get a deal done.

And the Eagles could have played hardball with Wentz, who has yet to play a snap in the postseason and hasn’t finished a season since his rookie year. They could have let him play under his fifth-year option in 2019 and even franchised him beyond that to retain his rights until he proved he’s truly an elite quarterback deserving of elite money.

Contract negotiations aren’t supposed to be friendly and transparent. But this one — one of the most important in Eagles history — absolutely was.

Here’s Roseman on how the deal came together over the last couple months:

Yeah, we went through all [the] scenarios and for us we know that we believe in this player, and so this was something we knew we were going to do at some point, and the earlier we did it the better chance we had of keeping the rest of the team together to the extent that we can. We want to keep as many good players here as possible. Carson understands that. We were open with him. Everyone understands that the market goes up [every year]. This is not a secret. So for us to do something now where we’re both in a situation where we both had something to gain and we both had some risk on the other side, it’s the perfect opportunity. But more importantly, it’s about the team and it’s always got to be about the team.

It happens so often that teams spend so much money on their franchise quarterback that they don’t have the cap space left to surround him with enough good talent.

Looking at the Eagles’ roster, that’s clearly not the case here (see story).

Roseman and vice president of football administration Jake Rosenberg have been carefully planning for this contract for a long time.

By getting Wentz to agree to this deal now, the Eagles were able to spread out the cap hit over six years, even though the new money doesn’t kick in until 2021. That gives them more opportunities to surround Wentz with quality talent.

The bottom line is that everybody involved in this negotiation had the best interest of the Eagles at heart.

That’s rare. 

We want to win. We want to be in a position to win another championship and hopefully more than that … and the best way to do that is to keep as many of our good players as possible and to keep the quarterback and that was really our plan, and we were very transparent about that, and we were very transparent about the fact that we knew we weren’t trying to … go in with an [unfair] offer. Our relationship with the agent is one of transparency and just like, ‘This is how we’re thinking about it.’ This is our quarterback. These are people we have good relationships with, we’re not playing the high-low game with them, and so when you do that, it was able to come together fairly quickly, for a complicated deal.

- Roseman

When people talk about the Eagles’ culture, this is what they’re talking about.

People working together for the common good instead of working against each other trying to squeeze the other side for every single penny that they can.

This is a good deal for both sides and we know that things can change either way, but we wanted to be in a position where we could try to build a team for the next few years. And sometimes the best deals are made when both sides kind of have something to lose and something to gain, and that’s where we feel this deal ended up.

- Roseman

It’s hard enough building a winning franchise. Now Roseman and his crew are doing everything they can to make sure the Eagles remain one.

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Before you ask ... no, Antonio Brown isn't worth it for the Eagles

Before you ask ... no, Antonio Brown isn't worth it for the Eagles

Updated: Friday, Sept. 20, 5:55 p.m.: Antonio Brown has been released by the Patriots. What we wrote below still stands.

No. Before you ask, no. No, no, no. No, no, no.

No.

The Raiders released Antonio Brown on Saturday after quite a saga this summer in which he screwed up his feet, threw a hissy fit about his helmet, missed practices, got fined, posted about his fine on social media, threatened to hit the GM, apologized, posted a phone call with his head coach and then asked for his release, which the Raiders granted.

So before you even ask, no. The Eagles should not be interested. Not at all.

The Eagles have a strong locker room culture they care about. And they think that  locker room culture can absorb just about anything. But it can’t absorb everything.

This would be like having a standard pair of handcuffs and expecting them to hold a monster. Ain’t gonna work.

And the Eagles care about that culture so much they wouldn’t risk it to bring in someone who could completely decimate everything like he just did in Oakland even before he hot-air-ballooned his way into training camp. Before they bring in anyone, the Eagles assess the risk. They shouldn’t need to assess this one too long. It’s not worth it. Not even for a Hall of Fame-caliber player.

Besides all that, the Eagles don’t need a receiver. They are four deep with Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Heck, the only way this offense is going to work this year is if all their skill players buy in and don’t let their egos get in the way. At this point, Brown is ego come to life.

Really, I’d question any team that brings in Brown right now. The upside could be great; he’s a tremendous player. But chemistry is important too. That’s how the Eagles won their Super Bowl in 2017, a bunch of guys buying in, working toward a common goal.

Antonio Brown is all about himself.

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Isaac Seumalo not happy about Week 2 performance, but still confident

Isaac Seumalo not happy about Week 2 performance, but still confident

At least Isaac Seumalo isn’t delusional. Nor is he in denial. 

The Eagles left guard, according to ProFootballFocus gave up eight pressures (six hurries, two sacks) in the loss to the Falcons on Sunday night and graded as the worst offensive lineman in the league in Week 2. It was an awful performance from a player for whom the Eagles had high hopes going into the season.  

He knows it. 

It wasn’t my best game,” Seumalo said Friday. “I take ownership of that. I didn’t play well and the Falcons played well. I wasn’t happy about it at all.

As he spoke to reporters on Friday, Seumalo said he had already moved past last week’s game, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t learn from it. The tape showed that he was oversetting and playing too high, things he said he hadn’t done all summer or in the season opener. 

Those things are correctable. 

The bigger issue to worry about is how Seumalo responds mentally. He’s physically gifted enough to play in the NFL, but confidence might have been an issue earlier in his career and Seumalo even admitted on Friday that he has a tendency to be an over-thinker. 

“As soon as we watch the film, man, I put that all behind me because you can't let it domino effect or any of that,” he said. “You just have to move on. I still have a ton of confidence in myself going into this Sunday. That's how I look at it, you know?”

Seumalo, now 25 and in Year 4, said he’s learned how to put games and plays behind him, whether they be good or bad. That’s a skill that has come to him over time. “Sometimes the mistakes linger and that kind of leads to more mistakes,” he noted. 

Despite Seumalo’s poor performance in Week 2, head coach Doug Pederson isn’t planning on benching him. Pederson said on two different occasions this week that he still trusts Seumalo. That confidence means something to Seumalo, who said he’s often his hardest critic. 

Just two years ago, Seumalo was benched after a horrendous game against Kansas City, also in Week 2. But since then, Seumalo has a larger body of work and plenty more experience. (And the Eagles don’t have a backup with the kind of experience Stefen Wisniewski had in 2017.) 

So Pederson isn’t making a switch. 

“It's not going to define Isaac,” Pederson said. “It's not going to define our season.”

The Eagles drafted Seumalo in the third round back in 2016; he was their second pick in that draft after Carson Wentz at No. 2. They tried to make him the starting left guard at the beginning of 2017, but he lasted just two games before he was replaced by Wisniewski. After four games last year, roles reversed and Seumalo replaced Wisniewski and started until he got hurt in December. Wiz filled in and played well, but Seumalo started both games in the playoffs and this offseason signed a three-year extension. 

Meanwhile, Wisniewski was cut before the season and is currently without a team. 

So Seumalo is the Eagles’ guy at left guard. At least for now. 

“I feel good about where I’m at,” Seumalo said. “I’m going to continue to feel that way. Go in on Sunday and just play with my hair on fire, play loose, have a good time.”

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