Eagles Discuss QB Competition, Carson Wentz Trade Rumors

Jalen Hurts, Carson Wentz

Getty Eagles QB Carson Wentz was benched for rookie Jalen Hurts against the Green Bay Packers.

The quarterback controversy in Philadelphia was started the minute the franchise drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round. The crisis hit a deafening crescendo yesterday following rumored trade requests and a controversial loss.

Now the Eagles will presumably head into the 2021 campaign with Hurts battling for the starting job in training camp against Carson Wentz. That is, assuming the franchise doesn’t send Wentz packing prior to what should be a spirited summer competition. Wentz “politely” declined to speak to Philly reporters on Monday but Hurts made time for a Zoom call. He offered his thoughts on the impending offseason.

“I’m a competitor,” Hurts said. “I control what I can control and I’ll put my best foot forward in any situation I’m in, and be the best quarterback I can.”

Not exactly earth-shattering insight from the rookie quarterback but Hurts is very calculated in choosing his words. The 22-year-old would never stir the pot and the mere admission that he wants to compete at least tells us that he believes he can win it. Hurts threw for 1,061 yards and rushed for 354 in his four-game tryout while making NFL history in the process.

“Honestly, the last four weeks were different for me,” Hurts said. “Mentally, the grind, and I’ve embraced it and I’ve loved it. Obviously, I love winning more than anything. I’ve been so invested in doing that and I think everybody around here has been so invested in winning ball games that I’ve kind of got to the point where nothing else matters.”

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Hurts Trying to Find Offensive Identity

One casual term that Hurts kept using to describe next year was “finding our identity.” It’s common coach speak for a quarterback, or for any professional athlete to blame a team’s struggles on. Here’s the incredibly interesting rub: it would be silly for a player to talk about identity if he didn’t think he was part of the franchise’s long-term plans.

Yet Hurts brought it up on several occasions on Monday while mentioning what the talent around him might look like and how the Eagles could continue to mold the offense to match his skillset. He also promised to “grind” and “attack” the offseason with his teammates.

“I go back to talking about that identity, creating our identity and staying true to it,” Hurts said. “It takes time, everybody around you is fired up, and ready to work, and that’s all I have on my mind. I might drive myself crazy this offseason thinking about it.”

Maybe we’re reading too much into innocent comments from a mature-beyond-his-years rookie. Then again, Hurts was very specific about his goals for next year. And it didn’t sound like a backup quarterback talking.

“How can I grow into the player that I know I can be? What does that look like? Who’s around me? Who’s going to help me get there? Just finding that, I think that’s where my head is,” Hurts said. “I’m all about growth and I’m all about learning. That’s where my head has been these last four weeks. I’m very appreciate of this opportunity and I want take advantage of it.”

Eagles GM Provides Clarity on Quarterback Situation

Eagles GM Howie Roseman wouldn’t confirm or deny those lingering reports that Carson Wentz wants to be traded. The front-office executive compared the one-time franchise quarterback to a part of your body that you one day wake up missing. Roseman also reminded everyone about all the draft capital — five high-round picks in 2016 — invested in Wentz.

“I don’t think it’s a secret that we moved up for him because of what we thought about him as a person, as a player,” Roseman told reporters on Monday. “We gave him that extension because of the same things. And so, when you have players like that, they are like fingers on your hand. You can’t even imagine that they are not part of you; that they are not here. That’s how we feel about Carson.”

Roseman doubled down that giving up on Wentz isn’t something they are focused on right now. Meanwhile, the rumor rill remains ripe with trade scenarios sending him to Indianapolis.

“That is not anything we are talking about right now,” Roseman said. “We are talking about a guy that’s immensely talented, has a great work ethic and doing whatever we can to put him in the best possible situation to be successful.”


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