Eagles

Close relationship with brother Zach helped mold Carson Wentz

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Close relationship with brother Zach helped mold Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz always looked up to his older brother Zach. 

Literally. 

While Zach Wentz arrived to the first day of high school as a freshman at around 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2, Carson arrived three years later at a measly 5-8. 

“Zach grew into his body earlier,” said Ron Wingenbach, the head football coach of Century High School in Bismarck, North Dakota. “And we just hoped that [Carson] would mature into that particular size.”

Carson’s family genes, for whatever reason, took a little longer than his brother’s to kick in. But eventually they did, as he grew to be 6-foot-5 by the time he graduated from Century High School. 

Still, a young Wentz was pretty frustrated that his brother seemingly got all the luck in the height department. All he could do, he said, was pray to eventually grow four more inches.  

“I think he said it over and over,” Zach Wentz said. “He used to be a little kid and he would pray that he could hopefully be 6-feet. He was looking up to my dad and I and just hoping and hoping and hoping to have a slight chance to grow into his body. He’s worked his tail off for what he’s got, but he’s also been extremely blessed.”

The growth spurt happened late, but once it started, Carson Wentz sprouted like the magic beanstalk, growing two to three inches every year. He grew so fast his parents constantly had to buy him new clothes, and his body couldn’t keep up — his doctor blamed his shoulder injuries junior year on his massive growth spurt.

Junior year was also when Wentz grew taller than his older brother. That’s when, Wentz joked, he began to finally beat his brother in various competitions. 

Competition was a big thing for the Wentz boys growing up. They constantly competed, whether it be in sports, board games or video games. And Zach, as the elder, often came out victorious. Zach went to North Dakota State first, too — he went to play football and baseball, before deciding to focus on baseball.  

On Friday, Zach Wentz, now 26, sat in the first row of the auditorium in the NovaCare Complex — the closest possible seat to the podium — as his 23-year-old brother fielded questions for about 15 minutes. 

“He’s really been my role model for a long time,” Carson Wentz said. “Last summer, at his wedding, I was giving him a bunch of crap, but at the end of the day, he’s always been my best friend. He’s always been a role model for me. Always looked up to him. As a kid, I always wanted to compete against him. He was my standard. If I could even be close to beating him, that was important to me. I thought I was doing well. He really helped drive me and we’re just so close with both athletics, academics throughout high school and college, and family things. We’re just really close. I’m thankful he’s in my life.”

And just because Wentz is now in Philadelphia, it doesn’t mean his brother is leaving his life. In fact, it's the opposite. 

Zach Wentz and his wife Andrea, are moving to Philadelphia along with Carson to provide a support system as he transitions to life in the NFL. It was a suggestion from Wentz’s agents and financial advisors and it was one Wentz liked enough to bring up to his big brother. The Wentz family still isn’t exactly sure what Zach’s role will be to help his brother, but the two say they’ll figure that out soon enough. 

“We grew up in Bismarck, I like what I do there,” Zach Wentz said, “but anybody in their right mind would pack up and do this for a sibling, no doubt.”

For now, Zach is a school teacher, as well as a baseball and football coach in Bismarck. He plans on finishing up the school year before making the move to Philadelphia. 

On Friday, Zach reminisced about having catches with his younger brother outside their childhood home. First Zach would be the quarterback and Carson would be the receiver, then they’d flip roles. Zach said Carson has always been humble, but confident in his ability.

“He’s been a natural athlete since he was a little kid,” Zach Wentz said. “It just took him a little while to grow into his frame. And then it took off.”  

Now it’s taking both brothers to the City of Brotherly Love. 

Eagle Eye podcast: A huge extension for Brandon Brooks

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Eagle Eye podcast: A huge extension for Brandon Brooks

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to Brandon Brooks’ four-year extension worth over $56 million. 

Brooks will go down as one of the best free agent pickups in Eagles history. Jordan Matthews is back yet again. The receivers could definitely use some help. The secondary looks a little more solid. 

The Eagles find themselves in a good position after the bye.

• Brandon Brooks gets an extension
• Jordan Matthews x3 
• Yes, we’re talking about WRs again 
• The division is there for the taking 
• A look at the secondary down the stretch
• Everyone have a good bye week? 

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Eagles sign Brandon Brooks to 4-year contract extension

Eagles sign Brandon Brooks to 4-year contract extension

The Eagles on Monday locked up all-pro guard Brandon Brooks with a contract extension that runs through 2024 and makes him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

The 30-year-old Brooks, who has made a remarkable recovery from Achilles surgery, was already signed through 2020. The new deal runs from 2021 through 2024.

According to AthletesFirst, the agency that represents Brooks, the deal is worth $56.2 million over four years.

That $14.05 million annual average makes Brooks the highest-paid guard in the NFL, just ahead of Zach Martin of the Cowboys, whose six-year, $84 million deal signed last year is worth $14 million per year.

Brooks had been signed through 2020 with base salaries of $8 million this year and $7.5 million next year on his original five-year, $40 million deal with the Eagles.

Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said Brooks is having the best year of his career.

I see a locked in guy,” Stoutland said. “I see a guy that’s just zoned in on what he’s doing from each play. I’m very, very happy with his production, with his level of execution and all the technique that we’re teaching him, he applies it all. He’s a smart man.

Brooks suffered a torn Achilles on Jan. 13 during the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Saints at the Superdome.

But he returned to practice the week before the opener and hasn’t missed a step. After playing 54 of a possible 74 snaps in the opener against the Redskins — he rested late in the game once the Eagles had a double-digit lead — he’s played all 564 snaps in the last eight games at right guard.

What’s stood out about Brooks’ miracle recovery?

The way he just embraced that whole situation and fought through all the adversity and came back with such a positive attitude,” Stoutland said Monday. “I never once saw him down in the tank, worrying about him or ‘why me?’ or any of that. … The approach he had was always positive and, ‘My mission is to get back for that first game,’ and he was able to do that. He’s having the best season of his life right now. It’s a credit to him, it’s well-deserved. He’s a tremendous member of our team. Unbelievable attitude. I love the way he prepares and most especially the way he performs on Sunday.

Brooks, Malcolm Jenkins and Jason Kelce are the only players to start all 46 games the Eagles have played since opening day of 2017.

Brooks initially joined the Eagles in 2016 as a free agent from the Texans, and quickly emerged as one of the greatest free agent signings in franchise history.

He made his first two Pro Bowls in 2017 and 2018 in his sixth and seventh NFL seasons and is on track to make a third straight.

No guard in Eagles history has ever made three Pro Bowls. Brooks, Shawn Andrews and Evan Mathis each made three.

The Eagles now have 26 players under contract through 2021, 14 through 2022 and five through 2023. Brooks is the only player on the roster signed through 2024.

On the offensive line, Isaac Seumalo and Andre Dillard are signed through 2022 and Lane Johnson and Kelce through 2021.

Jason Peters and Halapoulivaati Vaitai are currently due to become unrestricted free agents after this season.

Among those under contract through at least 2021 are Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Malik Jackson, Avonte Maddox and T.J. Edwards.

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