Carson Wentz was beloved over his first four seasons in Philadelphia. The one-time franchise quarterback was salvaged from the full wrath of Eagles fans thanks to a global pandemic during a dismal 2020 campaign that saw him benched for Jalen Hurts.
That should make his return to Lincoln Financial Field this season extremely interesting. Wentz will lead the Washington Commanders into Philly at some point in 2022. Dates and times have yet to be revealed. Rest assured, that game will be one of the most sought-after tickets in the city’s storied history.
And the No. 2 overall pick from the 2016 NFL draft knows what’s coming – plenty of boos if Ben Simmons’ dress rehearsal gave any indication – and the North Dakota native seems ready to “embrace” all of it.
“I’ll admit it will be weird that first time going to the Linc,” Wentz told reporters at his introductory press conference. “I’m sure I’ll hear a little bit of everything. Definitely am aware of that and I embrace it. I embrace it. It’s exciting and I’ll try to keep all those things at bay. Hey, it’s just football. Just go play ball and all the outside noise will take care of itself.”
Wentz heard a lot of cheers at the beginning of his Eagles’ career, then things went south in a hurry. Rumors of a selfish player started to emerge following Nick Foles’ magical Super Bowl run, followed by anonymous sources questioning his leadership skills. It ended with Wentz heading to the Indianapolis Colts in a trade. The Eagles forged ahead with Hurts, their second-round pick in the 2020 draft. No hard feelings, though.
“I know definitely it’s humbling, without a doubt,” Wentz said. “To go from where I was in Philly to being benched and traded. I try to just stay optimistic and positive.”
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Wentz Was Jealous During Eagles’ Super Bowl Run
Wentz is heading to his third team in two years after one polarizing year in Indianapolis. His stats looked great on paper but reports of a disconnect with ownership and a lack of accountability permeated the Midwestern air. They decided to part ways and sent him packing to Washington.
Prior to the trade, a report surfaced claiming Wentz had “voiced his displeasure” over the team’s success during their 2017 Super Bowl run. He seemed unwilling to take a back seat to Foles, leading to a physical confrontation with some other injured teammates. Yikes. The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane described the scene:
Sometime before the championship game, Wentz voiced his displeasure with the Eagles’ success to a group of other injured players, sources with direct knowledge of the incident said. One of the players immediately confronted him and the two eventually had to be separated.
Wentz in Philadelphia: ‘It Wasn’t Fun’
The first Wentz trade – the one that netted the Eagles a 2021 third-rounder and 2022 first-rounder – was supposed to provide the fresh start the declining quarterback needed. It didn’t. But before things took a turn in Indianapolis, Wentz took a minute to reflect on his final season in Philly. Predictably, it wasn’t a good experience.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it wasn’t fun,” Wentz told ESPN’s Mike Wells in 2021. “It’s not fun when things were going well for years and all those things. … As a man, you have to look yourself in the mirror and learn from it and become a better man, better player. It wasn’t fun, it was difficult, but I did everything I could to be supportive of Jalen [Hurts] and my teammates.”