The Philadelphia Eagles QB controversy has grown.
For what feels like the third or fourth week in a row, we all woke up to some sort of “breaking report” regarding the Philadelphia Eagles. This time, it was in regards to Carson Wentz. More specifically, it was in regards to Wentz being severely frustrated with how things have played out in Philly this season.
Coming from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, this is what was said in regards to Wentz, his thoughts on being benched, and the possibility of being traded in the offseason:
"“Carson Wentz is not interested in being a backup quarterback and would want to move on from the Eagles if the current situation — with Jalen Hurts starting under center — continues in Philadelphia, sources connected to the team told ESPN.Although the Eagles’ quarterback situation remains fluid with three games left this season, Wentz is not pleased with the way events have unfolded in the organization, according to sources.”"
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Obviously, there’s a lot to unpack here.
For starters, it’s not surprising to hear that Wentz isn’t happy with his benching (who would be??), and it’s even less surprising to hear that he’s been frustrated with the direction of the organization over the last year or so. Despite being handed a contract that signaled him being the Eagles’ franchise quarterback, the team has done very little to make that a reality.
They passed on guys like Stefon Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins, Robby Anderson, and Justin Jefferson in the offseason; they drafted a polarizing QB in the second round; they failed to adequately deal with the “anonymous sources” in 2018 and 2019 (aka Alshon Jeffery); they put Wentz behind the worst performing O-Line in the league through the first 12 weeks of the season.
Say what you want about Wentz and his play this season, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles have done a crap job building a sustainable winner around him. It takes a special type of organizational failure – from the top down – to piss off your former #2 overall pick to the point of considering a trade less than five years into his career.
Now, on-field production aside for the moment, I’ve seen a pretty disheartening reaction from a certain portion of the fanbase/media: calling out Wentz’ character.
I’ve seen fans and reporters alike name him “soft”, “selfish”, and a “bad teammate.” I’ve seen people call for him to get “crushed” by the city of Philadelphia for this (citing the premise that he should be happy to backup Hurts for the foreseeable future simply because he’s being paid a lot of money to do so).
Philly media has always thrived on controversy and toxicity, but this is a pretty low point to steep to. Wentz (believe it or not) is still a human being. A human being who has been consistently criticized, tormented, and attacked by the media/fanbase since the moment he dawned the midnight green. He has battled through multiple injury rehabs, donates a good chunk of his salary to charity via his AO1 foundation, and has never had any sort of off-the-field issue, ever.
Just last week guys like Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce went to war for Wentz via the media, repeatedly citing his strong character and good will.
At some point, we as members of the Philadelphia Eagles universe, have to acknowledge the role that we play in scenarios like this. For months, supporters of the team have called for Wentz to be benched in favor of Hurts. Insults have been endlessly hurled at #11 since Week 1. I’ve even seen people point to the birth of his child as a reason for his declining play, which is just completely unacceptable.
The people who thrived off attacking Wentz have gotten their wish, as it looks like Hurts will remain the starting QB for the rest of the 2020 season (and likely beyond). Wentz being frustrated with all of this – and positioning himself for a departure in the offseason – is a pretty normal reaction. In fact, I would encourage him to demand a trade in the summer. He’s been one of the most hated-on players in the NFL since being drafted, and the people who were supposed to have his back (the Eagles) have now made him public enemy #1 as well.
Say whatever you want about his play this year – debating football makes the NFL more fun, but attacking a man’s entire character based around a game is super, super low. Outside of throwing some interceptions, Carson Wentz hasn’t done anything to “wrong” the city of Philadelphia – football is literally just a game.
Keep that in mind the next time you read an article bashing Wentz as a person.