July 01, 2021
If you've driven south on I-95 past Lincoln Financial Field over the last several months, it's almost impossible not to notice that a certain someone's image still adorns the stadium's eastern side along South Darien Street.
That image is of course of former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, and it has left many across the Philly region — myself included — confused and mind-boggled over why his banner still hangs from the Linc after he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in February.
Well, it appears that the former first-round pick's banner will not be up for much longer in South Philly.
The Wentz display outside of Lincoln Financial Field is finally coming down and will be replaced with new artwork later this month before training camp gets underway, according to the Inquirer. The team has not revealed yet who or what could be featured on the new display that is currently in production.
Speculation that Wentz's banner was finally coming down ramped up this week on social media after an Eagles season-ticket holder posted a photo of what appeared to be a crane beginning to remove the display. However, the team has denied that the removal process is actually underway.
Wentz's banner went up outside the Linc two years ago after the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft was handed a four-year, $128 million contract extension to all but solidify him as the franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Between the contract and the display, the coronation of Wentz as the face of the organization made sense. As long as he could stay healthy, Wentz had the potential to be an MVP-level quarterback and a consistent All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection for years to come. The team was even willing to let Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles go to ensure Wentz would spend most of, if not his entire, NFL career in Philadelphia.
Of course, this all occurred before the Eagles surprisingly selected quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, an event that all but seemed to spark Wentz's growing dissatisfaction with the organization.
Wentz went on to have an awful 2020 season, a year in which he was statistically the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. It led to him being benched for the aforementioned Hurts with four games remaining and, ultimately, his relationship to further sour with the entire franchise.
Taking down Wentz's display from outside the Linc is just the latest symbol of his fall from grace with the fans and the city after putting the Eagles on the path to winning Super Bowl LII just four seasons ago. Despite no longer being employed by the franchise, former head coach Doug Pederson and Foles' "Philly Special" statue remains intact to this day.
Removing Wentz's banner had to be done before fans returned to the Linc for preseason and regular season games later this year. Who knows what people would have decided to do to his display outside the stadium?
So, one of Wentz's last-remaining imprints on the franchise will be no more soon. But he's not totally disconnected from the Eagles yet, as the team is currently swallowing that NFL-record $33 million cap hit from trading him away this offseason.
Now we are left to wonder who or what will replace Wentz outside of the Linc. If the team goes with another player, it's probably a good idea to play it safe and select someone who will be on the team for a long time or whose legacy with the franchise and city is safe and secure barring something unforeseen happening.