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April 15, 2021

Eagles fans rush to defend Wentz after reporter claims that trading up to draft the QB 'didn't work out too well'

A debate as old as time — or at least the 2016 NFL Draft — resurfaced once again Thursday on social media

Eagles NFL
Carson Wentz Eagles Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles took Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Carson Wentz may no longer be the Eagles' franchise quarterback, but Philly fans are ready and willing to defend him and the organization when they feel both are being unfairly criticized.

NFL reporter Dov Kleiman posted Wednesday a Twitter thread of flashbacks to the 2016 NFL Draft. Among the tweets was the following with the caption "This didn't work out too well…" 

The tweet included photos of Wentz shaking hands with Commissioner Roger Goodell after being drafted by the Eagles and what the team sent to the Cleveland Browns in order to trade up and select the former North Dakota State quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick that year.

But Kleiman's tweet didn't really catch fire until Thursday with many Eagles fans and some media members who did not agree with his assessment.

[WARNING: Some of the tweets below include explicit language.]

To Kleiman's credit, he didn't back down from the widespread criticism, as he defended his position with users who were not happy with his take.

Kleiman's point is understandable. The Eagles did give up a lot to draft Wentz, only for the former All-Pro to want out of Philadelphia five years later and after signing a massive contract extension in 2019That's not a great look when examining things with a long-term view.

Not to mention, Wentz suffered a concussion and had to leave early from the only playoff game he ever suited up in for the Eagles, a Wild Card round loss at home against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, Nick Foles left Philly with four playoff wins in two years and has his own statue outside of Lincoln Financial Field.

But ask Eagles fans anywhere across the Philly region and most will tell you that they have no regrets. If given the choice, most Eagles fans would trade up and take Wentz again.

Maybe the fanbase and the franchise will not reap the full long-term benefits of the trade, but the short-term benefits are crystal clear: it helped bring the city its first Super Bowl title after impatiently waiting for 52 years. Earning the Lombardi Trophy was enough to deem the trade a success.

Foles deserved to be the Super Bowl MVP and had a tremendous playoff run that year. Every adjustment made and button pushed by the coaching staff that season worked to perfection. Outside of getting destroyed by Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense in the Super Bowl, the defense was outstanding. 

But the Eagles would not have gotten to where they did in 2017 without Wentz. If the season stopped after Week 14, Wentz would have been the league MVP. He wasn't just the best quarterback in the NFL that season; he was arguably the league's best player through 13 games.

It was Wentz's elite play in the regular season that laid the groundwork for Foles to be successful in the playoffs. And for as beloved as Foles still is and forever will be in Philadelphia, it's hard to imagine he would have been as good and effective as Wentz over the entire regular season.

Even though Wentz has moved on and is now under center for the Indianapolis Colts, it does not appear that debates over Wentz's legacy in Philadelphia will be stopping anytime soon.


MORE: New report shows even more dysfunction inside Eagles front office


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