Another day, another slight for Carson Wentz. NFL Network revealed the first 10 players in their annual rankings of the Top 100 players in the league and the Eagles quarterback fell pretty low, some 93 spots lower than a year ago.
Wentz landed at No. 96 on the list, predictably with the caveat that the oft-injured signal-caller has to prove his worth by staying healthy for a full season. It’s worth noting that the NFL Network list is voted on by the players themselves.
Here is what the breakdown said:
Wentz is the first player to appear in back-to-back Top 100s, but he also fell the most spots (93) of any player. A dip in production was expected, as Wentz was coming off a torn ACL the previous December. He missed the first two games of the season while recovering and then missed the final three regular season games and two playoff games after suffering a back injury. Still, Wentz finished with 21 touchdowns and 3,074 passing yards in 11 games and was rewarded with the most guaranteed money in NFL history. Nick Foles is off to Jacksonville, so questions about Foles vs. Wentz are gone in Philly. Now, the pressure is on Wentz to stay healthy and perform.
Keep in mind Wentz was ranked No. 3 overall last year after he was on pace for NFL MVP, right before that gruesome ACL year ended his personal Super Bowl run. His 93-spot drop is the largest among players on the 2019 edition.
“I’ve said this in the past and when you sign up to play this game, you‘re welcoming that pressure,” Wentz said after signing his $128 million contract extension. “That’s just part of it no matter what’s happened in the past, no matter what’s expected of you in the future, there’s always that pressure.”
Wentz’s extension will pay him more than $107 million in guaranteed money, the most ever in NFL history. Doesn’t “stupid money” bring more pressure? Not really, not in Wentz’s mind.
“For me, that’s not going to change how I prepare, how I focus, how I go out there and compete in every game,” Wentz said. “You kind of have to block it out a little bit and just keep doing what you know how to do and that’s getting better every single day. The pressure is always going to be there, so I’ll never let it bog me down.”
The Eagles selected Wentz with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft after making a blockbuster deal with the Cleveland Browns to move up and get their guy. The quarterback has thrown for 10,152 yards and 70 touchdowns since arriving in Philadelphia while posting a 63.7% completion percentage in 40 career games.