After a spring and summer of Howie Roseman creating a surplus of cap space and not using it for quite some time, a Carson Wentz extension sure felt on the horizon. After signing an impressive 4-year 128 million dollar extension, both Wentz and the birds seem to benefit from the summer move.
While the money is high for an “injury-prone” guy, the guaranteed money is at a comfortable 66 million. You also feel the rush to lock up Wentz long term because of the nature of the position. Every time an elite QB is at the end of a contract, the QB market gets bigger and bigger thanks to the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. Paying Wentz now will lock him in at a nice AAV salary while other QBs will become more expensive without even being better than Wentz.
However, the point of this blog isn’t to get everyone hot and heavy with some sexy front office talk but instead, to talk about the label Carson Wentz has taken on. Is it fair to call him injury prone?
Coming out of North Dakota State, the only noticeable time Wentz missed was due to a broken wrist in his throwing hand. There’s a chance I’m downplaying the time he missed because he’s now on the birds, but a broken wrist seems like a relatively common injury.
Tim McManus of ESPN also wrote about Wentz having a stress fracture in his back during high school before his redshirt season as NDSU. We’ll continue the back conversation in a little.
Right before the end of training camp and the preseason of the 2016 season, the Minnesota Vikings gave up a 2017 first-rounder (LMAOOOO) and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2018 (LOL) for at the time starter – Sam Bradford. This threw Wentz into the mix much earlier than expected. Wentz also suffered a hairline fracture in the first preseason game of that year. Again, another minor injury.
Wentz played a full healthy his season in his rookie year and showed many glimpses of the franchise QB Roseman and the front office thought of when they traded up to no. 2 in the draft to snag him. Wentz exploded during his sophomore year, as the team headed towards the end of the season eyeing up the no. 1 seed in the NFC, which put him in consideration for MVP.
During the week 13 matchup, Wentz suffered a Grade 3 tear to his ACL and LCL and missed the remainder of the 2017 regular season and postseason. Nick Foles would take over and begin to write arguably the greatest NFL story the league has ever seen; all bias aside. Wentz would also miss the first two games of the 2018 season.
Never forget. Wentz threw a TD pass to Alshon Jeffrey on a torn ACL. (I apologize for the weird edits the person who made this video added in.)
Fast forward to last season, the Eagles came into 2018 with through-the-roof expectations. Something to be assumed when you win a super bowl very early in the championship window. After winning the super bowl with backup Nick Foles, the Eagles bought some HEAVY Wentz insurance by bringing back Nick on a one-year deal with high escalators based on games started and snap count.
While many may argue that Wentz was rushed back too early, our beloved ginger savior did return in late September on a rainy, damp and depressing game against the Indianapolis Colts. Based on my eye test, Wentz seemed gun-shy and afraid to play the way he did just one year earlier. However, he was doing a good job at limiting turnovers (Dude still has a serious fumbling problem.)
Wentz took some thunderous hits early in the season as the offensive line took some time to find their groove. In just his third game, the Birds faced off against the Vikings in a rematch after the massacre that occurred in the NFC Championship game. Anyone with a brain knew the Vikings would come back to Philly and leave town with a W. The game just meant too much for them.
It’s in this game where I believe Wentz suffered the stress fracture in his back that would later shut him down for the season. Which, says a lot since he would go on to start each game until week 13.
This is where a lot of the injury-prone jabs and insults started to brew from.. and rightfully so. Any football guy knows that availability is the best ability and for the second straight season, the Eagles lost their MVP caliber QB in the late stretch of the season. I think the one part that is overlooked is how damn good the Eagles backup QB was.
In 2018, the Eagles 1000% had the best backup QB in all of football. Combine that with a young QB still on his rookie deal, there was no reason for him to “man up” and play through the back pain he was suffering from. Especially when it comes to your back.
The birds were an underperforming 6-7 record when Wentz was shut down. However, Pederson and the offensive weapons knew they could win with Big Dick Nick at the helm. I think that’s what lead to Wentz making his way to the IR in back-to-back seasons, a precautionary move – that’s it.
During many of my twitter arguments, I ask people “If Carson Wentz plays a full season last year, is he still an injury prone QB?” While some lay, and still claim yes, I do think that plays a significant part in the time that he has missed in his short career.
All I know is that the last time Carson Wentz came into a season healthy and has the chance to be a full go in training camp, good things happen to the Birds. Philly bias aside, the birds are a slam dunk value to win it all this year at +1400.
As always shoot me a follow on the old twitter machine @Billy_Leemon.