Report: New Details About Wentz-Eagles Divorce, Philly QB Plans
Now that the dust has settled from the long anticipated divorce between the Philadelphia Eagles and their 2016 NFL Draft Second Overall Pick Carson Wentz, new details have now surfaced confirming what many suspected about the deterioration of their relationship. Also, interesting details are now emerging about the Eagles plans for the Quarterback position moving forward.
On Monday, Sports Illustrated NFL Insider Albert Breer wrote in his weekly MMQB Article some vivid details about how the Eagles got to the point where Carson Wentz would be traded to the Indianapolis Colts:
Soon after the season ended, (Howie) Roseman and (Carson) Wentz’s agent, Ryan Tollner, got on a call. Tollner and Wentz had debriefed, and Tollner passed along his own feelings on the situation, that he wasn’t sure Wentz would be at his best, for a multitude of reasons, in Philly anymore—and that the time might be right for the Eagles to get value for Wentz in a trade and Wentz to get a fresh start elsewhere. - Roseman responded that he wasn’t sure if he was open to it yet. But he gave Tollner the authority to feel out potential suitors. Tollner’s first call was the easiest one to make. Based on Wentz’s relationship with Colts head coach Frank Reich, forged by their two years together in Philly, the agent didn’t hesitate to reach out to Indy before anyone else.
With these new details, it adds some clarity to the long debated topic of Carson Wentz's silence for several weeks before the trade was completed. Looks like Wentz left everything in the hands of his agent to deal with and figure out his future.
One of the reasons for the end of the Wentz Era in Philadelphia was his fractured relationship with the organization, but as Breer details, the reasons for why are more nuanced than just blaming one person:
After (Frank) Reich left for Indy and (John) DeFilippo for Minnesota post-Super Bowl, the Eagles promoted Mike Groh to OC, and Groh assumed the 'Bad Cop' role. He and Wentz clashed and Groh was fired as a result, while Press Taylor, who Wentz was close with, ascended. As a result, perception in the building grew that the Eagles were coddling him, and that Wentz couldn’t handle hard coaching. - In the locker room, Wentz struggled to connect with some teammates. It wasn’t that Wentz was a bad guy....it was more that he just couldn’t relate with every corner of the locker room. And (Nick) Foles’s place as a 'Pied Piper' among the players—a guy who could build strong relationships with everyone—only highlighted the issue. - Wentz’s Type A personality was part of the equation too. If teammates weren’t working to his standard, that could be an issue. He wanted the why from coaches when they were telling him what to do. And he could be stubborn.
The perception of Carson Wentz by his teammates in the locker room has been a fluid topic for the last couple years and this report confirms some of what Free Agent Eagles Defensive Back Jalen Mills said about Carson Wentz a couple weeks ago, describing Wentz as a "fiery competitor" who wants to "be perfect at everything he does." Also, these details about the situation between Wentz and the coaching staff confirms what Eagles Insider Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan from InsidetheBirds.com had previously reported.
As for the Carson Wentz trade, Breer explains that the Eagles and Colts had to overcome a stalemate to get the deal done:
The trust between the two sides—the Eagles obviously know Reich well, and Colts GM Chris Ballard and Roseman have a strong relationship—kept that stalemate from ever becoming contentious. Still, more than two weeks had passed since the Stafford trade, and plenty of back-and-forth had happened. That led Ballard to tell the Eagles early last week that he wasn’t willing to wait forever. His offer had an expiration date. And thus, the trade got done.
For the Colts, the comp for the return was the 2013 Alex Smith trade. The Chiefs got him from San Francisco for two second-rounders that March, a couple months before then new Kansas City GM John Dorsey brought Ballard aboard as his top lieutenant. Smith, like Wentz, was 28 when he was traded and fresh off of being benched.....If you think Wentz will start all year next year, the Eagles will get a one and a three. And if you thought the Lions got an extra first-round pick for taking on Jared Goff’s contract in the Stafford trade, you could convince yourself that Roseman came close to getting the initial asking price. If Wentz’s unraveling continues, then the Eagles get a two and a three for a player whose value, by the definition of that result, was sinking.
This brings clarity to why the Eagles got the return on the deal for Wentz from the Colts and considering the variable described above, the compensation makes more sense than many of the initial reactions people had about the trade when the reports dropped last week.
Now that the Eagles are in a post-Wentz World, the next questions shift to what the Eagles plans are for the Quarterback position moving forward. The situation is fluid as we are a month out from the start of the new league year and more than two months away from the NFL Draft, but Breer lays out some interesting details about what the Eagles plans are:
The Eagles now move forward with (Jalen) Hurts and the sixth pick, and I’m told they will consider taking a quarterback there. Roseman joined the Eagles in 2000, and that year Philly also had the sixth pick. They’ve had a top-10 pick without having to trade up for it just once since then—they picked fourth the year Andy Reid got fired and wound up with Lane Johnson. Suffice it to say, they don’t plan on picking this high again, so they plan on grinding hard on every option with the pick, QBs included....(Eagles) could build around Jalen Hurts, or a new rookie quarterback, and if that worked out, start the clock over in having a quarterback on a rookie contract, which would help get Philly through its cap issues in what’ll be a cap-sensitive time.
If the Eagles are looking at Quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the expectation is that there are five College Prospects that could be selected in the first round: Clemson's Trevor Lawrence is expected to go First overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ohio State's Justin Fields and BYU's Zach Wilson are practically guaranteed to go in the top ten of the this year's draft, North Dakota State's Trey Lance is a raw prospect that will be drafted for his potential but not to play immediately, and Alabama's Mac Jones, a Heisman Trophy candidate, has been rising up draft boards following a strong season and impressive showing at the Senior Bowl.