You’ve probably heard it a bunch in the few days since Carson Wentz signed his four-year extension: This deal could end up being a bargain for the Eagles.
As crazy as it sounds, it’s true.
After all, the salary cap will keep ballooning, other QBs will get paid more and the current CBA runs out after the 2020 season, which means we could enter a whole new world of NFL contracts.
With all that in mind, during Wentz’s press conference on Monday, the 26-year-old franchise QB was asked if in a few years he’d still be happy playing on a contract that, at that point, might be well below market value.
After saying all the right things — you know, he’s happy to be here, he doesn’t play what-ifs, they thought this through to find a fair deal for both sides — Wentz said something that caught my attention.
I don’t think I’ll have any regrets. I’m really excited to be here and hopefully do something special for a while.
It was a fair answer from Wentz, but I was struck by the duality of it.
Because if Wentz does ever regret signing a four-year, $128 million contract, it would be because he outplayed it. It would be because he put together three or four or five years of being one of the best quarterbacks in the league and would be earning less money than he’s worth.
So maybe everyone — the franchise, Eagles fans, Wentz himself — should hope Wentz does end up regretting this deal … even just a little bit.
OK, I’m saying that slightly tongue-in-cheek. Fans shouldn’t want Wentz to really regret signing this contract, but if this deal ends up being a bargain, it means Wentz has been more than worth the money. And if he’s more than worth the money, the Eagles are going to take care of their franchise quarterback before he ever sees the end of these next six years. As long as Wentz is playing at a high level, the Eagles are going to keep him happy.
For what it’s worth, I think this deal is pretty fair for now. Both sides hold some risk. Wentz's risk comes because he could have waited until after this season to sign. If he waited and had an MVP year, he would have broken the bank. And the Eagles’ risk is even more obvious. They’re spending a lot of money on a player who has ended each of the last two seasons on the shelf.
They really did find some middle ground here.
Wentz’s contract extension is worth $128 million over four seasons, but that’s added on to the two years left on his contract. So during those four extension years, his average salary per year would be $32 million, but his average over the next six is a very reasonable (remember, it’s all relative) annual salary of $25.7 million per season.
Before the Wentz deal, according to OverTheCap, here are the top NFL quarterbacks in terms of AAV, with Wentz’s deal added in:
Russell Wilson: $35M
Ben Roethlisberger: $34M
Aaron Rodgers: $33.5M
(1) Carson Wentz: $32M
Matt Ryan: $30M
Kirk Cousins: $28M
Jimmy Garoppolo: $27.5M
Matt Stafford: $27M
(2) Carson Wentz: $25.7M
Derek Carr: $25M
Drew Brees: $25M
When looking at just the four-year extension (1), Wentz is behind just Wilson, Big Ben and Rodgers. But when taking into account all six years (2), he’s actually behind Garoppolo and Stafford and just ahead of Carr. And more big contracts are coming. Next up might be Jared Goff, who shares agents with Wentz.
Already this deal doesn’t seem so bad, does it?
Now, just imagine in, say, four years if Wentz has put together consecutive productive (and most importantly) healthy seasons. At that point, he will be underpaid and maybe he will regret this deal just a tad. That would be a good thing. And the Eagles would be ready to pay him again anyway.
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