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Carson Wentz disaster highlights smart move by Les Snead

Even if it was to cover-up a terrible move

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Every day I’ve been checking Bleeding Green Nation, SB Nation’s Eagles site, and every day it’s been another headline about Carson Wentz. I suppose that’s not at all bad for the BGN folks, but it seems like that entire Wentz situation would create a phenomenal disdain for your own organization — even for Eagles fans.

When Philadelphia drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round last year, general manager Howie Roseman explained it as a decision to strengthen the “most important position in sports,” comparing it to having Nick Foles as the backup in 2017-2018.

“So we kind of looked at the future of our football team and said we keep getting in this situation and we keep kind of putting in resources, and to get a guy in here that can be in the system and learn and grow, that to us, it’s worth its weight in gold.

“That position, that room, we want good people in it. That room, we want to be a strong room, and we know what kind of person this guy is. We know what kind of support he’ll throw behind our starter, and again, that’s our priorities. Our priorities are that, and most importantly that quarterback position.”

Hurts was referred to as the ultimate backup or a “Taysom Hill of the future” or a project to develop and trade, but even if Roseman drafted Hurts to become the starter in 2021 because he was tiring of Wentz then his post-draft smokescreens overlooked one key issue with his plan.

Drafting a quarterback in the second round when you have a franchise starter in place isn’t as risky of a move when your quarterback is Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre. Drafting a quarterback in the second round when your franchise quarterback is a “franchise” in contract value only means that you basically drafted a controversy over a wide receiver.

Perhaps hoping that Wentz could mirror his regular production of about 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions before flipping him for two first round picks, Roseman didn’t predict that instead he’d lead the NFL in interceptions despite only playing in 12 games. That the Eagles would have the worst combination of offensive line and wide receivers in the league and that perhaps the worst type of quarterback for that situation is Wentz and the best would be a mobile player who was unpredictable like Hurts.

Eventually it came to the point where the entire world became aware that Roseman no longer wanted Carson Wentz, including Wentz, and dreams of any first round picks have completely dissipated. No matter how many messages the Eagles front office back-channels to Adam Schefter as “sources” it appears that no market could be created for him despite glaring needs at quarterback for at least 13 NFL teams by my count.

The Bears and Colts appear interested, but how could any reports be trusted by now?

With a $10 million roster bonus looming on March 19, the Eagles are on an inevitable path towards showing their hand: that they’re not going to have a future with Wentz and they’ll take what they can get. It’s an admission that Les Snead had to make with Jared Goff a few weeks ago, but to his credit he snuck in Matthew Stafford while doing so.

The Rams might have had to include a first round pick to move Goff — an even costlier fee than the Texans moving Brock Osweiler — but they avoided an embarrassing public divorce and they come off looking better as a team in 2021. That seems impossible for Philadelphia and they had plenty of room to go up.

It’s amazing how much Goff and Wentz have retained their neck-and-neck value.

  • The top-two picks in the 2016 draft
  • Bad rookie seasons
  • Great second seasons
  • Wentz helps Eagles during Super Bowl season, doesn’t play in playoffs
  • Goff helps Rams during Super Bowl season, doesn’t play in playoffs
  • Massive four-year extensions in 2019 offseason
  • Struggles become apparent to more people in 2019 season
  • Wentz loses/doesn’t lose job to young backup in late 2020
  • Goff loses/doesn’t lose job to young backup in late 2020
  • Goff is traded in 2021
  • Wentz is probably traded or released in 2021

At least the Goff news was an afterthought, something we would have never thought possible. Having Goff’s career clone as a control subject in a different environment has shown us how bad things can get if you sit on your decision to trade a player for too long.