After a rollercoaster weekend, the Eagles had one more ace up their sleeve, adding some stability to the quarterback position. Carson Wentz was set to enter his contract year in 2019, that was until the Eagles exercised his fifth-year option, keeping him in Philadelphia until at least 2021.
The pride of North Dakota State has had a very exciting start to his NFL career, but it’s been a tale of two halves. On one hand, there’s the man who would’ve been named the 2017 MVP if not for an ACL tear in week 14. There’s the man who even when recovering from the said ACL tear in the toughest of circumstances, with a new offensive coordinator and a stifling offense, still put up numbers that rivaled Tom Brady’s MVP winning campaign in 2017. A man who despite clearly not being 100%, set new career-high in completion percentage with 69%. A man who is the true leader of this team and has done nothing but leave fans breathless on a weekly basis when at his best.
On the other hand, there’s a quarterback who has completed just one full season since entering the NFL. Returning in week 3 after his ACL tear, it was apparent that Wentz wasn’t going to be the same player…for that season at least. But there was a stark contrast in his play that in my opinion may have contributed to the back injury that ended another promising year.
Letting Wentz play out his contract year would be a huge risk because at the end of it all, he’s either going to have sky-rocketed in terms of valuation, or (and I hate to say this) witness his stock decline if there were to be another setback. But would that be a risk the Eagles can afford to take?
Ultimately, it wasn’t. If Wentz balls out next year, which is highly likely given the fact he would have fully recovered from his ACL tear, spent an entire offseason with his new offensive coordinator and have some shiny new toys to play with, then the Eagles have one more ‘cheapened’ year to use as a negotiation base to agree to terms on a much longer term deal. If he does fall injured again, then they have enough leverage to work out what the best move would be, without mortgaging limited cap space.
This was the smartest move the Eagles could’ve made. If the Eagles view Carson Wentz as the guy to lead their franchise into battle for the next ten years, then this gives them the perfect blend of stability and optionality.
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