Brett Favre gave the Eagles a pep talk prior to the franchise’s amazing victory in Super Bowl LII. So it stands to reason that the Hall-of-Famer might know the team, specifically Nick Foles and Carson Wentz, better than most.
Then again, Favre is also just another retired arm-chair quarterback with an opinion. On Tuesday, Favre entered into the raging Wentz debate during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” where he declared that the Eagles should have kept Foles over Wentz after the 2018 season.
The franchise let the Super Bowl MVP walk in free agency — remember, it would have cost $20 million to keep Foles — and handed Wentz a $128 million extension. Favre argued that Foles’ production was tangible and real (see: the Lomardi Trophy), compared to “banking on the upside” with Wentz.
“I actually thought they should have kept Nick Foles rather than Carson Wentz, just based off of the production and where they got to,” Favre said. “You know, they won a Super Bowl with Nick Foles and that was a little bit surprising. But, obviously, they are banking on his upside, how many more years do you let it linger before you stick with him or cut bait.”
Maybe calling Favre just another retired arm-chair quarterback is an understatement. The three-time NFL MVP ranks fourth all-time in passing yards (71,838) and touchdowns (408) while qualifying for 11 Pro Bowls and making the most quarterback starts (298). He also might have some inside knowledge of Doug Pederson’s thinking in Philly. The Eagles head coach was his long-time backup in Green Bay.
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Pederson Sees Some of Favre in Wentz
Ironically, Wentz has been drawing astonishing new comparisons to Favre in recent weeks. The two share a similar “gunslinger mentality” and sometimes try to do too much with those off-schedule throws. The reward can outweigh the risk but it’s a delicate balance.
“Well, that was always the thing with Brett, the reward was definitely greater,” Pederson said. “But you knew there was going to be some risk involved. Carson obviously has the ability to do that. He’s got the arm strength, the mobility to extend plays with his legs.”
Pederson also talked about the similarities in their mental makeup and physical toughness.
“I would think the one thing that we’re seeing with Carson now, the same thing I saw with Brett, is that physical toughness,” Pederson said. “Being able to stand in the pocket, take some hits, bounce up, and do it again. To me, that’s kind of some of the similarities there.”
Wentz Grew Up Idolizing Favre’s ‘Grittiness’
Wentz has been hearing about how he might be the next Brett Favre going all the way back to his college days at North Dakota State. Pederson mentioned it on draft day after the Eagles gave up a king’s ransom — five total draft picks, including two first-rounders — for the rights to the No. 2 overall pick in 2016. That’s how bad they wanted Wentz.
It’s too soon to fully judge if the trade was a success. However, Wentz was aware of the immense expectations at the time. He even commented on the Favre comparisons.
“It’s pretty unbelievable. Growing up, Favre has always been my favorite guy to watch,” Wentz said, via the Eagles’ website. “Just his mentality, the way he played the game, the way he approached the game, he had fun with it, his grittiness, hard-working attitude. I just loved everything about watching him play and being compared — obviously I’ve got a long way to go, but it’s pretty cool hearing that.”
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