From one quarterback to another, Aaron Rodgers wanted to share some encouraging words with Carson Wentz after the Philadelphia Eagles starter was benched during their 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.
Rodgers was spotted talking to Wentz on the field in Week 14’s postgame in the closing moments of the CBS Sports broadcast, leaving the internet to wonder what the veteran quarterback had told the struggling 27-year-old on a night in which Wentz lost his starting job.
Rodgers, of course, wasn’t willing to share specific details about their conversation when asked about the postgame chat during his Tuesday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, but he did explain “there was a message” he wanted to share with Wentz that would “hopefully encourage him a little bit.”
“I feel like there’s some things that just really need to stay (between us),” Rodgers said. “I’ve been meaning to talk to him for a while and I’m glad I got the opportunity to say some things to him because I’ve always respected his game and been a fan of his game. I think he has a really unique skill set. Obviously, this hasn’t been a great year there in Philly. I think there’s a lot of factors around him that contribute to that. I felt like it was a good, quick conversation and definitely wish him the best the rest of the year because I’ve been a fan of him since he got into the league, and he’s had some tough circumstances over his few years in the league. I hope things work out for him, whether it’s there or somewhere else.”
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Rodgers Also Chatted Up Jalen Hurts
While his conversation with Wentz stirred some social media conversation, Rodgers also took the opportunity to chat up Jalen Hurts, the second-round rookie who replaced Wentz in the third quarter and threw his first career NFL touchdown pass against the Packers.
While there is a “formality” Rodgers explained goes into the postgame interactions between opposing quarterbacks, he also said he has been watching and admiring Hurts’ game through his college years at both Alabama (2016-18) and Oklahoma (2019).
“I really enjoyed the way he carried himself, especially with everything that happened to him with Tua (Tagovailoa) kind of taking over at halftime of a championship game and him going to another school and having a fantastic season,” Rodgers said. “I just really appreciated the way he carried himself. He did most of the talking during that conversation. Very respectful, I appreciated the respect that he showed me and his comments. That was a nice conversation. And then I did more of that talking with Carson just cause I felt like there was a message I wanted to share with him and hopefully encourage him a little bit.”
Eagles to Roll With Hurts Over Wentz
If there was any doubt about the Eagles’ move to Hurts being permanent, head coach Doug Pederson cleared the air Tuesday when Hurts was declared their starting quarterback for Week 14’s home game against Taysom Hill and the New Orleans Saints. The future, though, could be difficult to navigate for Philly with Wentz committed to the team through 2024 for big money.
If Hurts proves himself in the final four games and makes sense as the starter for 2021, the Eagles won’t have many affordable options to move on from Wentz. Cutting him would result in $59.2 million in dead cap for the upcoming season, so trading him and getting another team to take on some of his contract would be best, but will they be able to pull it off? And how long will they exactly wait until deciding Hurts is (or is not) the man for the future?
There’s also the possibility of Hurts struggling and making another shot with Wentz looking appealing. That’s not to say they would swap back to him as a starter in a lost 2020 season, but uncertainty with their new second-round pick would at least give them justification for hanging onto their big-bucks quarterback for another season aside from the cost component.