Former Eagles QB Carson Wentz Under Scrutiny: ‘Absolutely Disgraceful’

Jason Peters, Carson Wentz

Getty Former Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz.

One-time franchise quarterback Carson Wentz found himself under intense scrutiny for something unrelated to the football field. Wentz — the No. 2 overall pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 — was getting blasted on social media for killing a black bear in Alaska.

Not only did the 30-year-old slaughter the animal, he proudly smiled behind the bear with his bow and arrow laying on the carcass on June 24. Wentz, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, appeared to be checking the item off his bucket list. He and his brother Zach often post photos and videos of hunts on their Instagram feed. They usually kill deer, elk, ducks, and turkeys, but this is the first time a bear was struck down.

The reactions were swift and ruthless on Twitter where Wentz’s behavior was called “deeply disturbing” and “absolutely disgraceful.” Ashley Nicole Moss, co-host of I AM ATHLETE podcast, went so far as to label the free-agent quarterback a “sociopath.”

It’s important to note that there is nothing illegal about killing black bears in Alaska as long as you have the appropriate licenses. Which Wentz had in order. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game lays out strict guidelines, noting only that hunters may not “take any bear cubs or sows with cubs.” Here are specific rules on it:

Bear populations and bear management strategies vary across our huge and ecologically diverse state. Black bears reproduce at a higher rate than brown bears so black bear seasons tend to be more liberal. For example, in most Interior units, each hunter may take more than one black bear each regulatory year with no closed hunting season.

Depending on where you hunt, brown/grizzly bear bag limits are either one bear every four regulatory years, one bear every regulatory year, or two bears every regulatory year, and the season dates vary. Black bears vary from one to multiple.

Legal or not, people were irate over the morality of the situation. Killing an innocent animal in the wild seemed wrong. Long-time Philly reporter Brian Hickey wrote: “I’ll never forgive myself for having once rooted for you.”

Musician Lara Melda said: “Your sickening enthusiasm for spotting and stalking animals, be it in Alaska or anywhere else, is deeply disturbing and reveals a huge lack of empathy. Every single animal, regardless of its species, deserves unwavering respect and admiration.”

Doubling Down on Black Bear Killing

Wentz doubled down on the killing by releasing the full video from the black bear hunt on June 26. He made sure to include the words “ethical hunt” and “meat on the table” as he carefully spotted and stalked the animal. Here is the footage in full.

It was a rare show of personality from a guy who has largely stayed private, preferring to avoid 1-on-1 interviews and refusing to get into any back-and-forth on social media. Wentz has never been one to get in trouble off the field, although his leadership style and resistance to hard coaching have been questioned on it.

Best Free-Agent Quarterback Available

The last meaningful piece of information about Wentz was a report (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter) saying he was “throwing and studying film” with embattled former head coach Jon Gruden. Wentz remains unsigned in free agency after getting released by the Washington Commanders in February.

He would likely have to accept a job as a backup quarterback, something he is willing to do if the right opportunity comes along. Wentz had been loosely linked to the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and Carolina Panthers.