Wentz’s time in Philly included MVP play, benchings – Washington Commanders Weblog

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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 together with his play in 2019.

And Wentz endured the lows: He suffered a devastating knee damage, was benched by the Eagles three years after that and traded a number of months later.

It was, Wentz stated, a “whirlwind.”

What as soon as regarded just like the makings of a protracted, profitable marriage dissolved abruptly.

Wentz, now with the Washington Commanders, will face the Eagles on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox) for the primary time since his commerce to the Indianapolis Colts earlier than the 2021 season.

Earlier than he does, it’s value remembering simply what that “whirlwind” regarded like in Philadelphia.

2016: The draft

Philadelphia traded with Miami, after which Cleveland, to maneuver from the thirteenth choose to second. In the long run, the Eagles gave up two gamers — nook Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso — and 6 draft picks.

However they did it for a easy cause: “One participant can change your staff,” basic supervisor Howie Roseman advised 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 tip of an trade.

“I noticed the supervisor and the hostess speaking to one another and saying, ‘Carson is simply the best man. He is all the time so humble, and he is all the time 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 stated.

Then-Eagles coach Doug Pederson boasted about Wentz, telling reporters on the time that he had a Brett Favre-like mentality on the sphere.

“I really like quarterbacks which can be prepared to take an opportunity, take a calculated threat down the sphere,” Pederson stated. “Brett was that method, and I see the identical factor in Carson.”

The love affair had begun. On draft night time, Wentz stood on the stage sporting an Eagles cap and proclaimed, “I’m pumped to be an Eagle.”

2017: MVP to damage

For the primary 12 video games of the season — and into the thirteenth — Wentz carried out the best way Philadelphia envisioned. He entered a Week 12 recreation 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 highway, Wentz capped the primary drive of the season with a 52-yard landing go 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, dealing with 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,” stated Washington nook Kendall Fuller, who performed in that recreation. “He was [always] making performs like that.”

Six video games later, close to the tip 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 means of incomes a statue exterior Lincoln Monetary Discipline — Wentz started the lengthy highway 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 damage 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 damage historical past didn’t cease the Eagles from giving him a four-year, $128-million extension earlier than the 2019 season. They preferred what they noticed from him in spring exercises and have been satisfied the accidents weren’t a problem.

“We consider on this participant,” Roseman stated on the time.

Upon signing, Wentz stated he didn’t assume the tradition of town — and the eagerness of the fan base — may “match me any higher.”

Later, he posted a message to Eagles followers on Twitter: “From the second I obtained 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 report. 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 advised, Wentz turned 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 very least for one season.

Regardless of Wentz’s season, the Eagles determined to draft Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts within the second spherical. Roseman stated the choose was not an announcement as to how they felt about Wentz’s skill.

“There’s no risk to Carson right here,” Roseman advised reporters.

He had advised Wentz previous to the draft they may take a quarterback. Roseman later identified they’d 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 best factor to do,” Roseman stated of drafting a quarterback that prime.

He additionally advised reporters on the time: “No person goes to be 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 profitable an MVP.”

Wentz struggled, nonetheless. 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 anticipate to be on this scenario again in April,” Pederson stated.

He additionally remained assured Wentz may return to the extent he confirmed a 12 months earlier. However reviews quickly surfaced that Wentz most popular to be traded if he wasn’t the starter in 2021.

2021: The commerce

As extra reviews expressed stress with Wentz and the group, it turned clear a divorce was coming. However for a number of weeks the Eagles denied they might commerce Wentz.

In spite of everything, they’d incur a useless cap hit of $33.8 million — the biggest in NFL historical past. Once they fired Pederson, it appeared Wentz may return.

Eagles proprietor Jeffrey Lurie advised reporters in early January that Wentz “is tireless. He has his coronary heart in the best 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 trade for a third-round choose in 2021 and a conditional choose in 2022 that turned a first-rounder.

The Wentz period had led to Philadelphia.

“I undoubtedly cherished my time that I had up there,” Wentz stated this week. “It was undoubtedly a wild trip in lots of, some ways.”

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