Carson Wentz has been a consummate professional who embraced his recent demotion to backup quarterback. According to Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson, Wentz has been doing “really well” leading the scout team at practice and helping the younger guys during 7-on-7 drills.
Was all that just lip service? Wentz is reportedly unhappy with his current role and might request a trade out of Philadelphia. Wentz is not pleased with the way events have unfolded in the organization, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and could push the trade issue if he isn’t reinstated as the starter.
Rookie signal-caller Jalen Hurts upset the Saints last week in his NFL debut, but Pederson has repeatedly said the quarterback situation in Philly is fluid. It’s a week-to-week decision based on performance for the rest of the season. That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill with trade conspiracies rivaling an Oliver Stone movie.
Per Schefter: Player and team sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen last weekend that Hurts will remain the starter this season. Philadelphia’s decision to bench Wentz for Hurts has garnered the attention of other teams around the NFL, with some expected to inquire about Wentz’s availability in a trade, according to sources.
For example, this interesting one regarding the New Orleans Saints along with numerous reports that the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers are interested in Wentz. Then, ESPN reported that the Eagles have no intention of dealing Wentz. The $128 million quarterback remains a part of their long-term plans. It’s all very complicated and unclear right now.
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Pederson Raves About Wentz’s Professionalism
Wentz has always toed the company line and never started any drama during his five years in Philly. It doesn’t appear to be in his DNA so these bizarre reports seem a bit out of character, especially after the way Pederson described Wentz’s demeanor since taking over as backup. Remember, the one-time franchise quarterback could have whined to the point of being inactive but he didn’t do that.
“I would expect him to be a professional and obviously support his teammates and support Jalen through this, and then continue to work on his craft and continue to improve,” Pederson told reporters on Dec. 9. “That’s what leaders do. Sometimes it’s not always the easiest thing. In my position, you make tough choices and tough decisions.”
Then Pederson shared an anecdote about the way Wentz has been attacking practice. He was more than happy to humble himself around his teammates.
“He’s done a really nice job there,” Pederson said. “He’s really taken that and really working with some of the younger guys.”
Hurts Calling on Previous Experiences
Meanwhile, this is nothing new for Hurts who dealt with a very public quarterback controversy at the University of Alabama. He was benched at halftime of the 2017 national championship game, then returned as the backup to Tua Tagovailoa before transferring to Oklahoma the following year.
Hurts was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2019, so everything worked out in the end. He has been drawing on those past experiences, along with his incredible faith in God, to get him through this new ordeal.
“I think all the different experiences that I experienced prior to being a Philadelphia Eagle, those are things I can always call back on,” Hurts said.
And Wentz has been right there, helping and guiding him like the veteran he is.
“Carson and I have a strong faith and we’re great believers in God, we put all our trust in him,” Hurts said. “Carson’s been great. He’s been very supportive. He has a lot of knowledge and I’m always open to listening to those things.”
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