ASHBURN, Va. — Carson Wentz loved the highs in Philadelphia: He was a frontrunner for MVP honors because the Eagles quarterback in 2017 and revived that discuss along with his play in 2019.
And Wentz endured the lows: He suffered a devastating knee harm, was benched by the Eagles three years after that and traded just a few months later.
It was, Wentz mentioned, a “whirlwind.”
What as soon as appeared just like the makings of a protracted, profitable marriage dissolved abruptly.
Earlier than he does, it’s price remembering simply what that “whirlwind” appeared like in Philadelphia.
2016: The draft
Philadelphia traded with Miami, after which Cleveland, to maneuver from the thirteenth decide to second. Ultimately, the Eagles gave up two gamers — nook Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso — and 6 draft picks.
However they did it for a easy purpose: “One participant can change your staff,” common supervisor Howie Roseman instructed reporters after the draft.
They swooned over Wentz. Roseman relayed a narrative from a visit to Fargo, North Dakota — Wentz performed collegiately at North Dakota State — about overhearing a dialog at dinner. Roseman had briefly stepped out of a restaurant and, when he returned, he caught the top of an change.
“I noticed the supervisor and the hostess speaking to one another and saying, ‘Carson is simply the best man. He is at all times so humble, and he is at all times so appreciative of all of us right here.’ And so they did not know what we have been doing or why we’re there,” Roseman mentioned.
Then-Eagles coach Doug Pederson boasted about Wentz, telling reporters on the time that he had a Brett Favre-like mentality on the sector.
“I like quarterbacks which might be keen to take an opportunity, take a calculated danger down the sector,” Pederson mentioned. “Brett was that manner, and I see the identical factor in Carson.”
The love affair had begun. On draft night time, Wentz stood on the stage carrying an Eagles cap and proclaimed, “I’m pumped to be an Eagle.”
2017: MVP to harm
For the primary 12 video games of the season — and into the thirteenth — Wentz carried out the way in which Philadelphia envisioned. He entered a Week 12 sport on the Los Angeles Rams third in whole QBR and first in landing passes with 29.
He was a magician, notably in opposition to Washington. Within the season opener on the street, Wentz capped the primary drive of the season with a 52-yard landing cross on third-and-12. Underneath duress, he began to flee to his left then dodged two defenders and heaved an ideal throw as he was about to get hit.
In Week 7, going through Washington at residence, Wentz did it once more. This time, on third-and-8 within the fourth quarter with a one-touchdown lead, Wentz seemed to be sacked in opposition to a Washington blitz. Besides that Wentz broke free, ran for 17 yards and the Eagles completed the drive with a landing to clinch a win.
“He was lights out,” mentioned Washington nook Kendall Fuller, who performed in that sport. “He was [always] making performs like that.”
Six video games later, close to the top of the third quarter of an eventual 43-35 win over the Rams — and after throwing 4 extra landing passes — Wentz tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee.
His magical season ended and one other journey started.
Because the Eagles marched towards Tremendous Bowl triumph — and backup quarterback Nick Foles was within the technique of incomes a statue outdoors Lincoln Monetary Subject — Wentz started the lengthy street to restoration. However he did so having completed third within the MVP voting that season; he led the NFL in whole QBR at 74.4 and his 33 landing passes have been topped solely by Seattle’s Russell Wilson with 34.
2019: The extension
Wentz returned from his knee harm for Week 3 of the 2018 season and performed 11 video games earlier than a stress fracture in his again ended his season. He threw for 3,074 yards, 21 landing passes and 7 interceptions and solidified his standing with the group.
The mounting harm historical past didn’t cease the Eagles from giving him a four-year, $128-million extension earlier than the 2019 season. They appreciated what they noticed from him in spring exercises and have been satisfied the accidents weren’t a difficulty.
“We imagine on this participant,” Roseman mentioned on the time.
Upon signing, Wentz mentioned he didn’t assume the tradition of the town — and the eagerness of the fan base — might “match me any higher.”
Later, he posted a message to Eagles followers on Twitter: “From the second I acquired drafted right here I knew this place was particular. To be cemented right here for this for much longer means the world to me. … It’s going to be a enjoyable trip.”
That season, the Eagles have been hit by accidents and had a 5-7 file. Wentz then guided them to 4 consecutive wins and an NFC East title. In these wins, Wentz threw for a mixed 1,199 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
All instructed, Wentz grew to become the primary quarterback in franchise historical past to throw for greater than 4,000 yards and completed with 27 landing passes and 7 interceptions.
The funding paid off. At the least for one season.
Regardless of Wentz’s season, the Eagles determined to draft Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts within the second spherical. Roseman mentioned the decide was not an announcement as to how they felt about Wentz’s means.
“There’s no risk to Carson right here,” Roseman instructed reporters.
He had instructed Wentz previous to the draft they could take a quarterback. Roseman later identified that they had wanted the backup quarterback to play within the six playoff video games Philadelphia had participated in since Wentz’s arrival — he had additionally been knocked from the 2019 postseason loss to Seattle with a concussion.
“It’s a tough choice, nevertheless it was the fitting factor to do,” Roseman mentioned of drafting a quarterback that prime.
He additionally instructed reporters on the time: “No person goes to be taking a look at a rookie quarterback as someone who’s going to be taking on for a Professional Bowl quarterback, a man who has been on the cusp of successful an MVP.”
Wentz struggled, nevertheless. In 12 video games, he threw 16 landing passes and a career-worst 15 interceptions. He was sacked 50 instances.
With the Eagles at 3-8-1, coach Doug Pederson benched Wentz for Hurts.
“I didn’t count on to be on this scenario again in April,” Pederson mentioned.
He additionally remained assured Wentz might return to the extent he confirmed a 12 months earlier. However reviews quickly surfaced that Wentz most well-liked to be traded if he wasn’t the starter in 2021.
2021: The commerce
As extra reviews expressed pressure with Wentz and the group, it grew to become clear a divorce was coming. However for a number of weeks the Eagles denied they’d commerce Wentz.
In spite of everything, they’d incur a lifeless cap hit of $33.8 million — the most important in NFL historical past. After they fired Pederson, it appeared Wentz would possibly return.
Eagles proprietor Jeffrey Lurie instructed reporters in early January that Wentz “is tireless. He has his coronary heart in the fitting place and he’s actually devoted offseason, on-season — he’s simply what you need.”
5 weeks later, the Eagles traded Wentz to the Colts in change for a third-round decide in 2021 and a conditional decide in 2022 that grew to become a first-rounder.
The Wentz period had led to Philadelphia.
“I undoubtedly cherished my time that I had up there,” Wentz mentioned this week. “It was undoubtedly a wild trip in lots of, some ways.”