PHILADELPHIA — Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson appeared up on the heavens as he smiled and known as it “divine intervention.”
A North Dakota blizzard in March 2016 prevented 14 NFL groups from attending quarterback Carson Wentz‘s professional day. The less eyes on their man, the higher, Pederson thought, and simply one other signal the celebs had been aligning to get Wentz to Philadelphia.
The Eagles’ personnel believed with each fiber of their beings that they snagged themselves an elite franchise quarterback after they traded up twice to pick out Wentz with the No. 2 total choose in 2016. Wentz rapidly validated these instincts by following up a promising rookie season with a tough cost towards league MVP in 2017.
Wentz hit some main profession bumps, beginning with a torn ACL/LCL in December 2017. He suffered a stress fracture in his again the next season and got here below fireplace on the finish of the 12 months when a report surfaced portraying him as a egocentric teammate.
However by way of the adversity, the Eagles group maintained religion in him. Even after drafting quarterback Jalen Hurts within the second spherical final April, the assumption was Wentz would ship the subsequent Tremendous Bowl to Philadelphia, and that sometime, God prepared, they’d all be in attendance as Wentz gave his Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame speech.
That looks as if a dream world now, because the soured relationship between Wentz and the Eagles ended Thursday when Philadelphia despatched Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third-round choose and a conditional 2022 second-round choose that may flip into a primary, based on ESPN NFL analysts Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
Peculiar circumstance, questionable administration and harmful decision-making collided in 2020, leading to dysfunction, bruised egos and, in the end, the dissolution of a union between quarterback and franchise that began with a lot promise however flamed out dramatically.
The place it went flawed
The drafting of Hurts will go down in historical past as the start of the top for Wentz in Philly.
That definitely wasn’t the Eagles’ intent. The entrance workplace did not assume a rookie — even a dynamic one akin to Hurts — would have an effect on the standing of a Professional Bowl participant in Wentz. Eagles proprietor Jeffrey Lurie and common supervisor Howie Roseman thought they had been making a smart funding at crucial place in soccer.
However the communication with Wentz concerning the determination wasn’t as much as snuff, some imagine, and a bumpy 2020 season intensified the friction.
The coronavirus-shortened offseason meant Wentz, 28, had little time to jell together with his new, younger vast receivers. Accidents to the Eagles’ playmakers adopted, and the offense by no means acquired in sync. Wentz was a main contributor to that. He was completely out of whack for a lot of weeks, from his mechanics on down.
Via his struggles, there was a way Wentz wasn’t held accountable to the identical degree of his teammates — a sentiment that wasn’t unique to the 2020 season, as evidenced by the recent statement by former Eagles security Malcolm Jenkins, who stated the group didn’t do Wentz “any favors by making an attempt to guard his ego or making an attempt to essentially shield him as a participant versus — similar to each different participant — holding it performance-based and actually being actual about what he wanted to enhance on.”
When Wentz did obtain pushback from Pederson, it was not well-received. Pederson stripped Wentz of a lot of his management over the offense as accidents and losses piled up, based on a supply, resulting in Wentz’s lack of religion within the coach and his system. A few of Wentz’s skepticism concerning the scheme was justified. The offense sorely missed identification and creativity. However his lack of buy-in affected the underside line, which didn’t sit effectively with everybody within the Eagles’ locker room, a supply stated.
In the meantime, Hurts was enjoying more and more effectively on the scout group and connecting together with his teammates organically — one thing Wentz at instances struggled to do since coming to the professionals.
The group brass assured Wentz he had nothing to fret about when Hurts was drafted, however a quarterback controversy broke out, largely due to Wentz’s poor play. Wentz was eventually benched through the Eagles’ Week 13 loss at Green Bay, and his belief within the Eagles and Pederson was damaged beyond repair. The firing of Pederson and hiring of Nick Sirianni final month didn’t persuade the fifth-year quarterback that staying in Philadelphia was his greatest path ahead.
The place the Eagles go from right here
There have been combined opinions contained in the constructing on Hurts, 22, popping out of Oklahoma, however he did have robust advocates, together with crucial of all in Lurie, sources stated.
Stephen A. Smith reacts to the Colts buying and selling for Carson Wentz.
Hurts offered a spark to the Eagles’ offense when he took over because the starter for the ultimate quarter of the season. He cooled some down the stretch and completed with a 52% completion price and 6 touchdowns to 4 interceptions whereas speeding for 354 yards and three scores. Sirianni stated he’s “actually excited to work with” Hurts.
“We studied him final 12 months, he had a terrific faculty tape. He performed significant snaps this 12 months that he performed effectively in,” Sirianni stated.
Hurts did sufficient as a rookie to garner critical consideration for the beginning job. The query is whether or not the Eagles will herald a veteran backup to help and supply insurance coverage for Hurts, or add actual competitors.
Philadelphia holds the No. 6 choose in April’s NFL draft, and should determine whether or not taking a shot on a high prospect akin to Zach Wilson (BYU), Trey Lance (North Dakota State) or Justin Fields (Ohio State) is the sensible play, or if that can invite one other sticky quarterback controversy to Philly.
The Eagles made errors of their dealing with of the Wentz state of affairs, and their long-term plan at QB is now up in smoke.
They need to take a tough take a look at themselves to keep away from ending up on this place once more.
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