We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster. Carson Wentz, the 128 million dollar man.
That’s what Eagles fans have been telling themselves every day since Week 14 in 2017. During that game, Wentz tore his ACL ending his season and watched Nick Foles takes the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win. Go Birds. Since that day in Los Angeles though, the term ‘injury prone’ has followed Wentz like a Cowboys fan that won’t stop telling you “it’s their year.”
In 2018 Wentz missed further time due to a back injury that ended his season once again. And again, Wentz watched Foles take the reigns. While the Eagles didn’t win another Super Bowl, they had a deep playoff push. Shortly after the 2018 season ended, reports began to circulate that some players (who were nameless..) in the locker room were not as supportive of Carson. These players questioned his leadership, calling him selfish and stating that he wasn’t a great team player. These are tough things for a 23-year-old quarterback from North Dakota.
The team rallied though. At no point was there a question within the coaching staff or from any players of who the starting Quarterback and true leader of the team was. Even Nick Foles came out in support of Wentz stating that he was the Franchise Quarterback, that it was his team. Players like Chris Long, Lane Johnson, and Zach Ertz came out supporting the leadership qualities of Wentz, speaking of how humble he is. This team has had nothing but support for their young Franchise Quarterback through the highs and lows.
But the safety net of Nick Foles is now gone, with Nate Sudfeld sitting as the backup now. CLARIFICATION: That is not a knock on Sudfeld, I personally like him and think he’s a pretty decent backup with a pretty solid long ball. But that’s not the point. You no longer have the once Super Bowl MVP with the biggest.. ahem.. gentleman’s sausage.. in the league. So Wentz will need to stay healthy to gain the trust of the questioning fans saying he can’t stay healthy. So the answer for the Eagles? Money?
The New Extention
On June 6th, the Eagles signed Carson Wentz to a four-year $128 million extension. This adds on to the two years remaining on his rookie contract (next years 5th-year option was picked up) keeping him under contract through 2024. I know $32 million per year sounds like a lot. And I won’t tell you it’s not. But the overall contract isn’t as bad as it sounds, and here is why:
When you average his total current contract with the extension, his annual salary is $25.7 million. This is significantly lower than many other Quarterbacks in the league. (Wilson $35M, Roethlisberger $34M, Rodgers $33.5M, Ryan $30M). Albeit,$107.9 million is guaranteed, $66 million the moment he puts ink to paper. The Eagles still have quite a bit of cap space over those years especially with the yearly increase in the total cap.
The contract helps the Eagles in other ways outside the team though. Two other Quarterbacks from the 2016 draft are preparing to sign contract extensions, and both are competition for the Eagles in trying to make it back to the Super Bowl. Dak Prescott of the Cowboys and Jared Goff of the Rams.
The Cowboys have stated they are in talks with Dak Prescott in regards to signing him to an extension but the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement. The last reports were that Dak’s team had sent a counteroffer to the Cowboys but they were still significantly off in regards to guaranteed money.
The Rams, on the other hand, have openly stated they are not in talks with Jared Goff and his agent yet. While they have expressed interest in re-signing him, it is not something they are looking to do in the immediate future. Goff has been fairly healthy through his career and managed to take the Rams to the Super Bowl last year, but only putting up 3 points against the Patriots. Another question for the Rams going forward is cap space. Goff will command a contract near, if not greater than that of Carson Wentz’s, but the Rams are paying Todd Gurley $60 million on a four-year contract. Recently the Rams announced he will no longer be an ‘every-down bell cow’ whatever that means… But to pay $15 million per year for a running back who isn’t out there every down is a high cost.
While Wentz’s contract is a high price, Howie has shown time and time again that he is a magician when it comes to cap space. The Cowboys and Rams, however, will have to fork over the cash when they come to sign their franchise Quarterbacks. Let’s see them work Howie’s magic, otherwise, we might see two teams with limited weapons around their QB’s white Wentz and the Eagles take a clear lead.