Speaking on Zoom calls that began less than a half hour apart, Howie Roseman and Carson Wentz on Thursday both cited the “honest conversations” after the 2020 season as the impetus for the end of Wentz’s time in Philadelphia.
What was said during those conversations, however, remains a mystery.
Neither Roseman nor Wentz on Thursday divulged any details of those talks between Roseman and Wentz’s agent, Ryan Tollner. All we know is the conclusion was that Wentz felt like a fresh start was best for him and the Eagles were willing to oblige as long as they got back what they deemed fair compensation. They got a couple draft picks.
“I think all those conversations are best if they’re kept between the parties,” Roseman said. “We have to be able to have those honest conversations. We had them and I think obviously now we’re all moving forward.”
Roseman has publicly made it clear that it was Wentz who desired the fresh start. The Eagles were more open to repairing the relationship between Wentz and the team, according to a league source familiar with their thinking, but it was determined pretty quickly after the season that Wentz wanted to move on.
According to that source, there wasn’t just one reason for Wentz’s desire to leave. It was a culmination of many things over years that led to those feelings.
Of course, that leaves more questions than answers. Wentz admitted on Thursday that he began questioning his future in Philly when he was benched for Jalen Hurts against the Packers in early December. But how did we get from there to a trade two months later?
Wentz on Thursday was asked about the perception that he wanted to avoid a competition with second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts and was then asked why he wanted out of Philadelphia so badly.
“For starters, there’s a lot of conversations that happened at the end of the year with my agent, with everybody that I’m not going to delve into the specifics on that,” he said. “As far as being a competitor, I’ve never once questioned my competitiveness. But at the end of the day, this was outside of my control.”
That last part of the quote is certainly eye-catching. Out of his control? What was out of his control?
Sure, the Eagles’ decision to draft Jalen Hurts was out of his control. Sure, the injuries to the offensive line in 2020 were out of his control. Sure, the inexperience at receiver was out of his control.
But Wentz still controlled his own play and he was awful in 2020. Wentz still controlled his feelings after he was benched and he already started thinking about the end. And, let’s be honest, he still controlled whether or not he had a future in Philly after the season.
When asked if he wanted to be traded, Wentz on Thursday declined to confirm nor deny.
“I’m not saying one way or the other,” he said. “There was a lot of conversations, a lot of things that kind of shook out. As it played out, this is kind of what went down and I’m excited about it. I’ll tell you that much.”
It was never reported that Wentz demanded a trade, but it seems like everyone agrees he wanted a fresh start.
For whatever reason, Wentz still didn’t say it was his choice to leave Philly. That’s not to diminish the Eagles’ role in the situation. Their handling of the franchise quarterback over the last five years helped lead to the situation they found themselves in earlier this offseason.
When something goes this bad, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Wentz, wearing a blue checkered sports coat, seemed happy on Thursday during his introductory press conference in Indianapolis but admitted it felt “bittersweet.” It wasn’t supposed to end like this in Philly.
Meanwhile, the Eagles were able to get a 3rd-round pick and a pick that will likely turn into a 1st next year for a player everyone knew they needed to trade. They also got the opportunity to reset their cap situation. Not ideal in the grand scheme of things but a way to make the best out of a crappy situation.
In a way, the Eagles and Wentz will always be tied and the way we look back at this divorce and trade will probably be influenced by the level of success Wentz has in future NFL seasons.
What went wrong? A lot. And it seems possible we’ll never know the full story.
“I’m appreciative of everything that happened in Philly, all the opportunities,” Wentz said. “I know where I’m at today, for five years, I gave everything I had, both on and off the field. And like I said earlier, when I lay my head on that pillow at night, I know I gave everything I had. It didn’t go the way that we all desired and wanted it to go but I can sleep well at night knowing I poured my heart and soul and everything I had into that city on and off the field. And we’re excited for a new start and a new opportunity.”
At this point, I think everyone is looking forward to moving on.
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