Have talks of intense friction between Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz been greatly exaggerated this week? According to ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles head coach and quarterback have a relationship that is “beyond repair” and something has to give.
The give would most likely end with the franchise trading the 28-year-old quarterback in the offseason and starting a massive rebuild in Philly with Jalen Hurts. On Monday, Eagles GM Howie Roseman denied the team was shopping Wentz while Pederson went into damage control mode on his personal relationship with the former second overall pick. Everything is “fine,” per Pederson, and they will continue to build on it.
“Listen, I’m not going to speak for Carson, obviously but I can speak for myself and say that, yeah, the relationship is good. It’s fine,” Pederson told reporters. “It’s something that we’re going to continue to build upon, and listen, I know Carson’s disappointed. It’s not the season that he had anticipated. It’s not the season I had anticipated as the head coach. There were a lot of moving parts. It’s not about one guy here. It takes all of us and that’s something that we’ve stressed a lot here.”
Fine? Speaking for myself? Not exactly ringing endorsements for a totally healthy relationship, although the head coach has to be sick of being asked the same question a million different ways. Pederson should count his lucky stars his job was saved as he tries to figure out a way to fix the worst regression in NFL history.
“I’ve been hired as the head coach. I’ve been challenged as the head coach; personally challenged myself to get things right,” Pederson said. “To get him [Wentz] right and to make sure that as we move forward that we’re doing everything in the best interests of the team.”
Roseman, to his credit, shared blame in the Wentz fiasco and acknowledged that his own personnel decisions didn’t help out the situation.
“I think Carson, anyone who knows Carson, knows how strong of a person he is and knows how much he believes in his own abilities,” Roseman said. “In terms of why we didn’t have a good season, it’s not just on one player, and I think that when you look at it, the team as a whole didn’t perform up to expectations. The moves that we made didn’t perform up to expectations, and to put it on Carson isn’t fair.”
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Eagles Take First Steps in Moving On From 2 Players
Alshon Jeffery has had one foot out the door since October 2019 following unconfirmed complaints levied at Wentz. Meanwhile, Malik Jackson’s departure has been written on the wall ever since the Eagles started their slide into salary-cap hell. Now it appears both players will be off the books.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Eagles have agreed on contract adjustments for Jeffery and Jackson and the expectation is the team will move on from both guys. Jeffery will receive a “significant” pay cut from his $12.75 million salary. Let the rebuild begin.
Roseman talked about his long-term decision-making and not getting too emotionally tied to players. The Eagles were hoping to hang on from the magic of that 2017 Super Bowl year for a couple more years but the magic wand regrettably burst into flames.
“As much as there’s a little voice inside of your head that said, you know, now is probably the right time to change it, I think that’s my responsibility that I didn’t really listen to that as much as possible,” Roseman said. “And now we’re in the situation we are in now where change is necessary and change is inevitable to this roster and the things that we need to do to get back being the kind of team that we know we can be.”
Closing Down the QB Factory in Philadelphia
Roseman’s confusing explanation for drafting Hurts in the second round last April was that the Eagles wanted to be a “quarterback factory.” It was a line that has been quoted and re-quoted all year to poke fun at the months-long controversy that eventually played itself out.
Wentz, of course, was benched but the bigger problem was how bad he looked in the 12 games he played. Now the national media has the North Dakota State product in Indianapolis and the Eagles looking at new quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Not so fast. The quarterback factory might be closed.
“Of some of the things that I’ve done this season, I certainly regret that comment about quarterback factory,” Roseman said. “Really it was just in terms of how — the importance of the position around the league, the importance of the position to this organization and really a reflection of our experiences with backup quarterbacks when we did that.”
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