Philadelphia Eagles: Winston situation highlights Eagles luck at QB

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggle with yet another Jameis Winston issue, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback room is the envy of the league.

There are certain positions in sports that carry a higher level of both professional responsibility and public visibility. Positions that are so crucial to a team’s success that without a good to great player at that position, it can be nearly impossible to win a championship.

Two such positions that come to mind are that of the quarterback and hockey goaltender. Not only is it supremely difficult to win without an above average goaltender or quarterback, but these are often the positions that receive the most media coverage and scrutiny when the team does not succeed.

While professional hockey franchises often don’t have to spend a high draft pick, in addition to needing to develop goaltenders via lengthy junior or minor league assignments, the position of quarterback is one so highly coveted that NFL teams are practically chomping at the bit each year to have the chance at drafting the next great Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady.

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Basically, the moral of this football story is that having a franchise quarterback is a luxury that not every team can enjoy simultaneously. There are even fewer teams in the league that can boast that they possess an “elite” signal caller, something that typically vaults their team to the front of the contender conversation.

The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that is perhaps the most fortunate in the league in that they possess not one, but two elite quarterbacks. Yes, you read that right. The Eagles possess two elite players at quarterback. This is a stance that I have been firm on, in that both Nick Foles and Carson Wentz share this distinction.

Say what you will about Nick Foles‘ overall career, but what he did in the playoffs and in the Superbowl was nothing short of spectacular. Maybe he just fits well in Doug Pederson’s system, and maybe nowhere else, but in my view, Foles has earned the benefit of the doubt with his championship performance. He’s a quarterback that could start for at least 20 other teams in the league.

What the Eagles currently have at the quarterback position is an embarrassment of riches, and it underscores how incredibly important the position is in professional football. There are only so many of the Aaron Rodgers‘, Tom Brady‘s, and Carson Wentz‘ to go around. There are teams that for decades have struggled to find a signal caller that can lead them to the promised land.

The Eagles did it with a journeyman backup turned Superbowl savant, and they still haven’t seen the best of their prodigy Wentz.

Look no further than the case of Jameis Winston to understand how lucky the Philadelphia Eagles are to have what they have. The Tampa Bay Buccanneers have long been a team without a leader, rudderless and lost at sea. They were on the verge of firing their head coach after a disappointing year that was supposed to be one where they showed progress. Things are not going so well in Tampa Bay right now, especially with their supposed franchise quarterback.

Tampa Bay drafted Jameis Winston out of Florida State in 2015 with the hopes that he would become their savior. After all, he was a guy that could combine speed, arm strength, and quick decision making in the pocket, who just so happened to play his college ball right down the street in Tallahassee.

What could go wrong?

Though the Bucs are still waiting for Winston to become the leader that they hoped he’d be both on the field and off, but unfortunately, a recent public incident has once again shed a negative light and put into question Winston’s place in within the franchise.

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According to Marc Sessler of, Winston will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after an alleged incident with an Uber driver. The driver alleges that Winston had inappropriate and unsolicited sexual contact without her consent.

The Buccanneers must now start the season without their best quarterback and will need to figure out moving forward how they will work with the NFL to rehabilitate him. It’s certainly possible that they are having internal discussions about whether Winston is even the person they want to lead their team long term.

After all, this pattern of questionable behavior by Winston goes back to 2012 (via Jeff Gammons, Foxsports) when he was still at Florida State. In fact, there have been multiple incidents involving off-field issues during his tenure as a Seminole.

Now to be clear, this is not an article meant to bash Jameis Winston or call into question his character or morals. There’s been plenty of that done already. The NFL needs to work closely with the Tampa Bay front office to see to it that Winston becomes a better human being, first and foremost.

In all honesty, I hope that Winston does learn from his mistakes and becomes an all-around better person. It will go a long way in preserving his career.

But the point of discussing Winston’s most recent incident is to illustrate how fortunate the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans are. The Eagles obviously did their homework with Carson Wentz, bringing in a player that is not only athletically gifted but also a genuinely good human being.

Wentz does a lot for the community and has been universally accepted by the city of Philadelphia for his attitude, devotion to faith, and drive to be the best player and person he can be. The fans absolutely adore this kid. At this point, he’s not someone you are ever likely to see in the public spotlight for negative reasons.

The exact same goes for Nick Foles, whose career was basically on life support two years ago when he contemplated retirement. He was brought in to be a reliable backup, having familiarity with Philadelphia from his playing days under Chip Kelly. His career now reads like a Hollywood movie script.

And not once since winning the Superbowl has Foles demanded he become the team’s starter. He doesn’t have an ego like that. Does he harbor a desire to start in another market? Perhaps, but he’s also the kind of guy that could enjoy staying here and being a mentor to Wentz. That says a lot about his integrity and mindset.

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With all that said, Foles may still get his chance to go out and prove that he belongs should Wentz not be ready to start the season. To think that Foles needs to prove anything to Philadelphia faithful seems preposterous.

The bottom line is that the Eagles may have the best quarterback situation in the entire league and not just from an on-field perspective. They have the ability to put two guys behind center that are not only genuine, classy guys, but two athletes at the peak or at least approaching the peak of their respective careers.

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Something tells me that there are probably around 30 or so teams that would love to be where the Eagles are right now.