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March 17, 2021

Eagles finally give their side of the story on Carson Wentz trade

Roseman made it sound like the QB asked to be traded and said the starting job won't just be handed to Jalen Hurts

Ever since the Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Colts earlier this offseason, all we've heard about the team's plans moving forward have come second-hand, via reports and rumors that have at times made more sense than other but were always tainted by the fact that they were anonymous sources, potentially ones who simply wanted to put their spin on something. 

Well, now that the Wentz trade is officially official with the start of the NFL's new league year, the Eagles are finally able to publicly comment on the deal, how things with Wentz went so sideways so quickly, and what comes next. And while there's certainly still a level of spin to all these quotes, we can at least put some names on the quotes.

Shortly after the deal became official, the Eagles website published an article by Dave Spadaro about the Wentz trade, and it featured lengthy quotes from owner Jeffrey Lurie, GM Howie Roseman and new coach Nick Sirianni, as well as some other information that contradicts some recent reports about the Eagles' offseason plans. Let's dive in... 


What they said: "The Eagles organization is truly grateful for everything Carson has meant to this team and the City of Philadelphia. His approach to the game of football and his passion to win brought so much pride and excitement to the team and our fans. He achieved great things as an Eagle, setting numerous franchise records and helping to guide the team to multiple division titles. Of course, we will always remember and value the crucial role he played in our Super Bowl Championship season in 2017," Lurie said.

"It was an honor getting to know Carson as a person and seeing first-hand how much he cares about using his platform to create meaningful change for the less fortunate. Carson is a tremendous, deeply compassionate human being who consistently represented the Eagles and our fans with class. We will all appreciate the substantial impact he made on our team and the community. We wish happiness and success to Carson and his family as they begin their next chapter in Indianapolis."

What it means: This is about as straightforward and boilerplate as a thank you from an owner to a player goes. Nothing to see here. Let's move on.


What they said: "It's no secret about how we felt about Carson Wentz as a Philadelphia Eagle, whether it was the process of trading up for him in the (2016) draft or extending him (his contract) after the 2018 season, and we had this season where there were some things that happened and, obviously, Jalen (Hurts) ended up starting the last four games," Roseman said. "We had some conversations with him and his representatives about what was the best thing to go forward and when we were doing the coaching search, communicating with him and his agent – really good, productive conversations, really good people – and they talked about maybe it was time for him to have a fresh start, that he was looking forward to a fresh start.

"For us, we've got to do what's in the best interest of our team. And so, if it didn't work for us, if it wasn't a situation where we thought we were also benefiting and he was put in a good spot, that was the only situation that would work for the Philadelphia Eagles. As we went through it and went through the offers that we got, particularly the offer from the Colts, the opportunity to not only get the picks but also get some financial flexibility back for our football team we decided going forward that that was the right decision going forward for us."

What it means: Now this is where things started to get interesting. By saying, "they talked about maybe it was time for him to have a fresh start," Roseman is pretty much admitting that Wentz wanted out, something that's been a much-debated topic in Philadelphia but always seemed to be a matter of semantics. Roseman goes on to say that if they didn't get the right deal, the team wouldn't have traded Wentz, but that after going through the offers (plural) it made sense. 

When the deal was first reported, it seemed like there was only really one official offer for Wentz (from the Colts) as there were reports that the Bears never actually made an offer and it appeared like the competition for Wentz was more a manufactured hype coming from the Eagles camp. If there were other teams interested, I'd love to know who they were.  


What they said: "There's a lot of things to be excited about with (Jalen's) tape and so we're so excited to work with him and get going with him and talking ball with him," said Sirianni, who along with Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen has extensive notes on Hurts from his 2020 NFL Draft experience, and Quarterbacks Coach Brian Johnson has known Hurts since the quarterback was a youngster and recruited him out of high school. "Right now, we're in a period where we're talking and just getting to know each other. I look forward to the day when we can talk and really dive into football.

"What we saw is a player who can really extend plays and create on his own ... we saw his ability to create when things weren't there. That's an unbelievable asset to have as a football team. You can see his toughness on tape and how he carried himself. ... He is a leader who loves football. There is no substitute for that."

What it means: This is the first we've heard from Sirianni without the cloud of Wentz hanging over his head. When he was introduced, Wentz had not yet been traded, so the new coach had to be careful of what he said, just in case both quarterbacks were back in Philly next season. Now, he can begin to hype up Hurts. But there is one key word missing in here. At no point does Sirianni refer to Hurts as his starting quarterback. And perhaps that's for good reason... 


What they said: Roseman said the Eagles "won't put a cap on what we're going to do at that position" and that the team will consider every option as they address depth and competition at the game's most vital position. Roseman also did not rule out using the No. 6 overall draft pick on April 29 at quarterback, saying the Eagles will perform due diligence at every spot on the roster. Roseman said the goal is to build the roster back to a championship level by retaining some key veterans – center Jason Kelce and defensive end Brandon Graham, for example – and infusing the roster with young players (the Eagles have 19 draft picks in 2021 and 2022, as it stands now).

It may not happen overnight as the Eagles wade into free agency without a lot of space to spend within the $182.5 million salary cap limit, but they understand the plan. They are high on the 2020 draft class and they are looking forward to having great success in this year's draft as the personnel department brings on board the kind of players who fit what Sirianni and his coaching staff want.

"It's clear what we're looking for and what we're not," Roseman said.

What it means: This is probably the biggest news in the entire story, and finally puts some perspective on dueling reports that we'd been hearing this offseason.

First, immediately following the Wentz trade, there was a report that the Eagles were looking to bring in quarterback competition for Jalen Hurts, whether that mean signing a veteran in free agency or drafting someone with the sixth overall pick. After only starting four games last season, the team clearly felt like the didn't have enough info on Hurts, and with the ability to potentially add a top QB prospect in the first round if they wanted, it seemed only natural that the Eagles would explore every option.

Then, much more recently, there was a contradictory report suggesting that the Eagles were, in fact, ready to turn things over to Hurts, with Lurie reportedly being the catalyst behind it and instructing his staff to build around the Heisman finalist rather than creating the QB competition they appeared headed for. 

Now, we not only have Roseman saying he hasn't ruled out taking a QB with the sixth pick — which, duh, why would he tip his hand now? — but we also have him saying that the team "won't put a cap on what we're going to do at that position" the same day a report comes out linking them to disgruntled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson? That's certainly interesting.

Either way, it now appears Hurts will be facing some competition this summer at training camp — at least until a new report comes out between now and the late-April draft — but we'll have to wait and see whether that's in the form of a first-round pick, a veteran Pro Bowler or something in between.

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