PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles have some critical questions about the future of quarterback Carson Wentz.
Are they holding it or trading it?
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If they keep him, will they keep Jalen Hurts, who made a good impression in his first start against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, or will they have to move him to avoid more controversy at quarterback level?
And should Eagles coach Doug Pederson be in charge of getting Wentz back on track, or does Wentz need a new voice to shake up this funk?
The decisions they will make in the off-season are nothing more than a change of franchise.
To get an idea of what the next step is, we spoke to ESPN NFL front office insider Mike Tannenbaum, former general manager of the New York Jets and executive vice president of football for the Miami Dolphins.
Although this season has gone bad for Wentz – he has career lows in percentage completions (57.4) and yards per touchdown (6.0) and high in interceptions (15) and bags (50) – he has proven that he can play at a very high level in the NFL, which would help Tannenbaum develop a plan of action.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum believes the Eagles should be patient with coach Doug Pederson, who was once in charge of the staff that got the best out of Carson Wentz. Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswirth
All I think about, I anchor it in that thought, because what we’re trying to come back to is not hope – it’s not projection. He did, he says. We know the player has a great character. We know he’s talented, two and a half years ago he was probably the best player in the sport. It seems to me that the player has lost his confidence.
What I really think is that we should get through the season. When the season is over, we need to reduce the noise and then we really need to sit down and make a plan with Carson to put him in a better position to succeed with us in the long run. It would be like the first, second and third priorities.
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The replacement of Wentz in 2021 would be a financial achievement. If the Eagles cut it off, they would come close to $60 million, while the trade would be worth over $30 million.
Given the financial situation of the Eagles, which is expected to exceed the ceiling set in 21 by $64 million, it does not seem wise to give up valuable ceiling space to take up some of the space with your franchise quarterback.
You’re not going to act from a strong position and you’ll never get back the value you deserve, so I would exhaust all reasonable options before even considering it, Tannenbaum said.
The team that would pursue him aggressively would, in my opinion, be the Colts, since he was well connected to Frank Reich. Clearly, they need a long-term quarterback. But I didn’t want to. I’m going to do everything in my power to make him succeed, to make him comfortable and to try to keep him on the right track.
What about the injuries?
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, an injury or dramatic drop in the game is expected for the rest of the season, so the Eagles will have to take a lengthy look at the rookie to help them with their thinking.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Game
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Although Wentz hasn’t looked like the same quarterback since Hurts was selected in the second round of the draft in April, center Jason Kelce said recently that he doesn’t think Hurts’ presence has led to any internal struggles and disputes with Carson Wentz.
Tannenbaum agrees, and he says he thinks Hurts shouldn’t be sold if Wentz stays on the list.
Each quarterback has a replacement, and this organization is responsible for knowing each position in depth. That’s one of the many reasons they have a name. The fact that they had Nick Foles made them champion, he said. That’s the part of the story that doesn’t make sense to me. Every quarterback will have a backup. I don’t know why Carson Wentz doesn’t play well, but I find it hard to believe that the second round pick that had to be transferred to continue playing in college is the reason why he doesn’t play well. It’s something I find difficult to reconcile.
What about Pederson?
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While this season’s disappointment has raised questions about Pederson’s job security, Tannenbaum says Pederson has become credible after helping Philadelphia win the first Super Bowl title in 2017 – with a QB in reserve, no less – and leading the Eagles to the play-offs in each of the past three seasons.
There aren’t a lot of buses on this planet right now that can say they’ve coached a team for the Super Bowl, and that’s a coaching theme, he said.
Do you like Wentz, Herts and Pederson? This would be an unsatisfactory outcome for those who want to make radical organizational changes after a season of madness. But patience, Tannenbaum says, is the right medicine.
Mike Holmgren gave a big speech at the Packers’ exchange for Brett Favre [in 1992]. So Favre was a failure in Atlanta, and a lot of people criticized Ron Wolfe [the former general manager] for giving up a first-round pick for a guy who couldn’t start in Atlanta, and Holmgren went to Steve Mariucci, Jon Gruden, Andy Reid and a bunch of other big buses and said: Hey, you know what? We’re all in the same boat. And this organization will do everything in its power to make Brett Favre a success. He can take us where we want to go.
I think it’s very similar to the way the Eagles should approach the problem with Carson Wentz, so to speak: Try guessing! The solutions we need are right here in this building. Everyone – the coach, the quarterback – is fine, so let’s work together and figure out what we need to do to make this guy great again.
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