The Five Steps That Lead to the Breakup
The Philadelphia Eagles are on the brink of trading Carson Wentz due to a succession of events that have cemented the Franchise in offseason blockbuster trade talks. It seems as if the 2016 2nd Overall draft pick is on the way out of Philadelphia whether the fanbase likes it or not. The Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts are the frontrunners to land Wentz, and the two organizations ‘coincidentally’ have multiple coaching staff members that have coached Wentz in Philadelphia. There are five monumental steps that have lead to the breakup between the Eagles and Carson Wentz.
1. The Absence of Frank Reich
Carson Wentz played at an NFL MVP caliber in 2017, and he fully convinced the Front Office and fanbase that he was the Franchise Quarterback for years to come. Wentz lead the team to an 11-2 record and put the Eagles in a perfect spot to capture a first-round bye headed into the postseason. He was on pace to be the first Eagles Quarterback to throw for 4,000+ yards in history. He also threw 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. The Eagles had a top-three 3rd Down and Red Zone efficient offense. They averaged 28.6 points per game, which ranked third in the NFL. The rushing attack coupled with a simplified passing game allowed Wentz to excel and post the best season of his career.
Frank Reich was the Wentz whisperer.
Reich created a picture-perfect game-plan week to week and he utilized every asset that the Eagles offense had. The offensive skill position players were old and not nearly as talented as many groups around the league. However, Reich made the best of the situation he had been presented and he used his offensive mind to put this group in the best position to succeed.
When Frank Reich moved on to Indianapolis, the Eagles offense seemed to lose its identity, and this kickstarted the eventual rift between Wentz and the Eagles.
2. Carson Wentz’s Injuries
The next step in the process was Carson Wentz’s repeated injuries. Although this began before Reich was out of Philadelphia, the injuries did not seem relevant until the 2018 season. Carson Wentz is not injury-prone, but his season ending injuries could not have come at a worse time in his career.
First, it was the 2017 ACL injury that sidelined him and halted his MVP campaign. Nick Foles served as back up to Wentz and did a phenomenal job. He went on to lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in franchise history, and recency bias took the Eagles fanbase (and even locker room) by storm.
The Eagles entered the 2018 season with a makeshift Quarterback controversy. This absolutley rubbed Wentz the wrong way, and he felt he earned every right to be touted as the Quarterback of the future.
Then the bad injury luck reared its ugly head once again in 2018. Wentz came down with a back vertebral fracture that sidelined him for the remainder of another season. The Foles magic returned and the Eagles went on the win another playoff game and were a few plays away from an NFC Championship berth. This is when the situation became alarming to all parties involved. The injury prone-label was attached to Wentz, and he started to feel the pressure.
Wentz came into 2019 training camp with a completely new vegan diet in effort to reduce the amount of injury he had endured.
3. Howie Roseman’s Roster Management
Howie Roseman deserves the most blame in this breakup. Roseman was blinded by a Super Bowl victory and attempted to “get the band back together” in total disregard of the future of the Franchise. The Eagles had the seventh oldest snap-weighted average roster in the NFL in 2017. A General Manager’s job is to create success through the draft and free agency, which Roseman did. However, once success (Super Bowl) is achieved, the GM has to begin to transition to maintaining the success, and Howie failed to do so.
Since 2017 the talent acquisition had spiraled into a downwards slope, and the Eagles were not drafting well, nor were they acquiring free agent talent that positively and immediately impacted the roster. Roseman repeatedly overpaid older players without the correlation between age and injury in mind. He also missed on key positions in the draft and has not drafted nor signed a Pro Bowler since Carson Wentz.
4. Drafting Jalen Hurts
Then came arguably the worst draft pick in his tenure, although Jalen Hurts has shown decent promise. The 2020 Draft was one of the biggest chances the Eagles had at a revamp while still being in Super Bowl contention. The holes that needed to be filled on the roster did not include Quarterback, however, Roseman decided that he wanted to create a “Quarterback Factory”. The Eagles let Malcolm Jenkins walk, they had a glaring need at the Wide Receiver position and needed to bolster an injury-ridden Offensive Line. Instead, Roseman drafted a Quarterback, that would have possibly been available later, in the Second Round. This was just a few weeks after Howie Roseman addressed the media and explained that Carson Wentz is undoubtedly the Quarterback for the future.
Did I mention that Roseman decided to extend Wentz’s contract and make him one of the highest paid players in the league?
The whole situation seemed so contradictory, and not only did it raise doubts within the organization, it also made Wentz question his future with the Eagles. The same Carson Wentz that lead a team of practice squad players to a playoff berth once again found himself in a controversy that was very much out of his control.
5. The 2020 Season
Then came the final fight before the divorce. The Eagles’ 2020 season was an absolute disaster in many more aspects than the QB play. Yes, Wentz had a terrible year, but it was a product of all of the reasons listed above. The animosity, resentment, and distrust that had been created in years prior had finally come to a head. There was a disconnect between former Head Coach Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz that was never present before. The Offensive Line was an atrocity, Zach Ertz didn’t seem like himself, and the foundation that had once led the Franchise to a Super Bowl seemed utterly destroyed.
Here we are, just three years removed from the brightest point of the Franchise’s history, and we are headed toward what seems some of the darkest days in recent memory.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Be sure to follow me (@Luke_StansNFL) and 4th and Jawn (@4thandJawn) on Twitter for other Eagles news as the 2021 NFL Draft quickly approaches.