Why Eagles fans want the once loved, now hated Carson Wentz to succeed
The quarterback’s exit from the team he helped to a Super Bowl was messy. But if he stays healthy with the Colts, Philly will get a bonus in the draft
Philadelphia Eagles fans had an especially wonderful day Sunday. Not only did Jalen Hurts, the Eagles’ new franchise quarterback, throw three touchdown passes in a lopsided victory over Atlanta, but Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ former franchise quarterback fewer than two years ago, played 100% of his new team’s offensive snaps – and lost.
His new team is the Indianapolis Colts, who traded a third-round draft pick in 2021 and a conditional second-round pick in 2022 for Wentz, who the Eagles’ selected with the second overall pick in the 2016 draft, and was signed to a four-year, $128m contract extension in June 2019. The second-round pick becomes a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75% of the Colts’ snaps.
Wentz took the Eagles to the playoffs in 2019, where he got hurt, again, and the Eagles lost. The bottom fell out so quickly and spectacularly for Wentz – who was sacked 50 times and replaced as a starter by Hurts late in an awful 4-11-1 2020 season – that no one would have blamed the Eagles for taking an unconditional second-round pick in 2021 and running away.
Then it got interesting. Wentz got hurt early in the Colts’ training camp, then missed time when he was put on the team’s Covid-19 list because he is unvaccinated and had close contact with someone who tested positive. Further, Wentz was unapologetic about not being vaccinated, saying at a news conference that it “was a personal decision for me and my family.”
That did not go over so well in his old town. The 75% snap threshold is critical, because the Eagles can at least scrounge a first-round pick out of what Mike Missanelli, a long-time Philadelphia sports-talk-show host, says is “the biggest organizational disaster in Philadelphia sports history.”
The Eagles screwed up, Missanelli says, by spending a second-round pick last year on Hurts, the former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback who is nimble and creative – an alternative to Wentz, an injury-prone QB with a strong arm. Wentz all but pouted after he played poorly and was replaced by Hurts, then was traded away for practically nothing.