Wentz heads to the bench, but for how long?
When the Philidelphia Eagles took the field against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, patience was running thin with QB Carson Wentz and the team’s overall continued struggles.
The former North Dakota State Bison star has shown glimpses of his 2017 self, but with a depleted offensive line and receiving core, wins have been hard to come by and chemistry has been difficult to build. No quarterback in the league has been sacked more than Wentz or thrown more interceptions (15).
After going down 23-3 in the third quarter, Head Coach Doug Pederson made the decision to replace Wentz with second-round selection from Oklahoma University, Jalen Hurts.
“We needed a spark,” Pederson said in his post-game press conference. The dual-threat backup quarterback completed just 5/12 of his passes, with a touchdown pass and interception to cap off the night. Hurts also rushed five times for 26 yards.
Pederson officially named the starter on Tuesday. While this may up the Eagles in the short-term, the long-term plan from the quarterback position for Philadelphia remains murky.
The Eagles signed Wentz to a lucrative extension back in June of 2019, guaranteeing him $109.9M in guarantees through the 2024 season. In the event the Eagles elect to move on from Wentz in the offseason, his release would cost the team $59.2M in salary cap space.
That being quite the predicament, the once MVP caliber quarterback will more than likely retain his position as the face of the franchise. However, being losers of four straight games, the coaching staff will be faced with a tough choice going into this Sunday in what should be another challenging matchup against a Super Bowl hopeful New Orlean Saints (10-2).
With just four games remaining in the regular season, the Eagles will attempt to seize the division lead from the now tied for first place New York Giants and Washington Football Team, both with records of 5-7.
Pederson did offer some encouraging words about Wentz in his press conference on Monday, reinforcing, “He and I are definitely in a situation that we have to work ourselves out of. My job is to help him improve and get better.”
The Eagles will have an uphill climb the rest of the way, but with the NFC East being as subpar as it is, their playoff hopes are still alive. While the Eagles’ brutal schedule and the suddenly hot Washington Football Team and New York Giants make it unlikely, a run to the playoffs led by Jalen Hurts could lead to a fascinating offseason for Philadelphia.