It’s been a chaotic few days for Carson Wentz. Prior to the week 17 loss to Washington, a report emerged stating that the Eagles QB would be willing to facilitate a trade. After watching his team ‘tank’ for the sixth overall pick, he sat on the sideline long into the night with Jason Kelce and Zach Ertz. It looked as though the trio were soaking up what could be their last time on a field together as teammates. Wentz refused to talk to reporters less than a day later, before a new report emerged citing that he hopes he and the Eagles can fix things. The question remaining is a simple one – How?
A lot of this can be filed under ‘How to run an NFL Football Team for Dummies’, but since the Eagles don’t appear to have that in their collection, here are five steps to saving a fractured relationship with the man whom they once drafted second overall.
Publicly commit to him as the starter
This should’ve happened yesterday. It didn’t. Howie Roseman stated that he couldn’t imagine Carson Wentz not being in the organization…
In terms of Carson, I don’t think it’s a secret that we moved up for him because of what we thought about him as a person, as a player. We gave him that extension because of the same things. And so, when you have players like that, they are like fingers on your hand. You can’t even imagine that they are not part of you; that they are not here. That’s how we feel about Carson.
…but then refused to comment on trade rumors.
That is not anything we are talking about right now. We are talking about a guy that’s immensely talented, has a great work ethic and doing whatever we can to put him in the best possible situation to be successful.
Roseman and Pederson did a great job of saying something while simultaneously nothing at all. You can’t blame them. Openly declaring Wentz up for auction would incite a huge decline in potential pricing as well as fracturing the relationship for good. But doing the opposite would have only helped all-round.
Sure, stating that the relationship is salvageable is brilliant, but if the pairing had waltzed up to the podium and declared Carson Wentz as their franchise QB for 2021, not only would that have done wonders in terms of his confidence, having his coach and GM publicly place their chips of confidence on the table, but it would also keep teams interested to dig as opposed to waiting for the Eagles to desperately offload.
This was a missed opportunity. We probably won’t hear from the duo again for a few weeks, at least not in a presser setting. If they double-down and say ‘I don’t care what’s happened and what’s being said Wentz is our guy’ as opposed to saying ‘yeah, we did all this before see, we do love him!’, it is the first step on a very long road to redemption for both parties.
Give Carson Wentz contract leverage
It’s not as easy as simply moving money around, but if Carson Wentz would hypothetically be open to a restructure in order to make his contract tradable, why not capitalize on that?
The contract doesn’t have to be re-worked in a way that forces Wentz to write a check, or restructured in a way where his base salary is reduced to pennies in exchange for prorated bonuses or dummy years like we’re so used to seeing.
Rework the deal so that after next year, there’s room for a goodbye. Give Wentz and Pederson last rodeo to try and make this work before a potential ‘out’. Show the quarterback that you’re aware he’s unhappy, and are going to do what you can to put things right, by giving him the departure he wants should things fail to improve by the end of 2021 and restructuring the contract to reflect that. Put the ball in Carson’s court.
If the team are that high on Hurts anyway, this shouldn’t be seen as a risky play. If Wentz struggles next year, they’ve already shown with Alshon Jeffery that they don’t mind bag-holding heavier contracts and have a capable backup in Jalen Hurts.
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Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire