Carson Wentz isn’t deserving of Eagles’ fans ire

Like every Philadelphia Eagles fan, I’m incredibly disappointed about the way that the tenure of Carson Wentz played out in this town. There was so much promise left unfulfilled. But Wentz, once highly regarded, has seen his reputation take massive hits recently as a result of his horrific play during the 2020 season and his supposed behavior off the field, with the aftermath of his trade to the Indianapolis Colts serving as the final excuse for people to air their grievances about him.

And while it’s perfectly acceptable to be upset about all of this, I just don’t think it’s valid to label Carson Wentz as “Public Enemy No. 1”. This doesn’t mean that you have to root for him to reach new levels of success in Indianapolis, but I believe the right approach here is indifference rather than vitriol. I find two valid reasons jumping immediately to mind.

Even though Philadelphia Eagles fans have the right to be angry, they shouldn’t hate Carson Wentz.

First, and this is obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the situation, the Philadelphia Eagles organization did very little to prevent this from happening. Howie Roseman’s well-documented draft failures served to hamper Wentz’s chances for success, as they would have done to any quarterback. Let’s not forget that Wentz almost single-handedly dragged the team to the playoffs in 2019 to cap off what I contend was the greatest season by any Eagles QB.

As a reward, the team tried to get him an offensive weapon in the first round, although they picked the wrong one, and then drafted another signal caller in the second round.

Choosing Jalen Hurts may have very well been the last straw for Wentz, giving him the same feeling of having to look over his shoulder that he had when Nick Foles was on the roster. Blame must fall on the Eagles for being ignorant of their supposed franchise quarterback’s fragile mental state and how he would perceive such a selection.

The Eagles clearly didn’t have a handle on Wentz’s psyche, even after four years in the organization. Again, Wentz has shown himself to be incredibly thin-skinned, but the Eagles put themselves in a position of needing to manage him when they made a $128 million investment. They failed miserably.

Secondly, I think we are all still dealing with the Super Bowl high that we experienced three years ago. The title was so cathartic that, as upset as we all might be about how the subsequent years have played out, it’s human nature to look back at a short time ago when the Eagles were on top of the football world. And Wentz played an important part in it, setting the team up for their playoff run before Nick Foles swooped in to finish the job.

If you take away that title, you’d likely have a fanbase so venomous right now that Wentz would be getting exponentially rougher treatment than he has been. But the reality is that flags fly forever, and we have all softened just a bit since the Super Bowl win. Don’t deny it. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. Wentz should be relieved that we have that title to chew on.

The goodwill from that championship is clearly nearing an expiration, if it’s not there already, but it’s a real phenomenon that affects a fanbase for a number of years. Don’t worry; we’ll all get back to where we were.

Finally, and I’ll call this “Reason 2.5”, can we even really get all that worked up about anything in sports right now? The sporting landscape has been abnormal for nearly a full year, and this past NFL season gave us things like Wednesday Afternoon Football and the Denver Broncos having to use a practice squad wide receiver as their quarterback. Oh, and there were no fans at most games.

Was this season even legitimate? Even if you say yes, you have to admit it was weird. Any evaluations based on it would have to come with an asterisk. Yet the Eagles blew everything up because of poor results in a season where teams didn’t get full preparation time and were forced into unfamiliar routines. And which concluded with a Super Bowl where the NFL decided to trot out a borderline terrifying virtual Vince Lombardi.

Carson Wentz doesn’t deserve absolution or well-wishes from his former fanbase as he embarks on the next chapter of his career. But to fully embrace the concept of him as a sports supervillain would be to overlook other factors and be an unnecessary drain of our fan energy. The Eagles got pennies on the dollar for Wentz, but it was a move that had to be made, because things were unsalvageable in Philadelphia.

It isn’t easy to get past this whole episode, but it’s in our best interests to focus completely on the Eagles going forward instead of devoting any kind of time obsessing over a failed relationship.