A big Wentz ‘what if' in Roob's 10 observations


Carson's past, Carson's future and why $34 million in dead cap money might not be the worst thing ever.

It's the 253rd and most likely the final 10 random Eagles observations of the Carson Wentz era!

1. I’ll always wonder how Carson Wentz would have responded if Doug Pederson had him start against the Saints the week after he got benched. Maybe we would have seen the same Carson Wentz we saw the first 11 1/2 games of the season. But I’ll always wonder if getting benched would have changed anything. The circumstances were different, but I go back to Donovan McNabb getting benched at halftime of the Ravens game in 2008 and bouncing back with four TDs the next week, leading the Eagles to six wins in their next seven games and coming one 4th-down stop against Tim Hightower from reaching the Super Bowl. Maybe Wentz just doesn’t have the mental toughness to fight back in that situation. Maybe he was a lost cause at that point. The fact that he’d rather get traded than stay here and fight for his job points that way. Maybe nothing would have changed. But I’ll always wonder what if. Maybe getting benched was the wake-up call he needed. We’ll never know.

2. Honestly? I wouldn’t trade a 1st-round pick for Wentz. After the way he played last year? Without knowing what Carson I’m getting in 2021? Without knowing why he played the way he did? Without knowing if he’ll ever be the guy he was from 2017 through 2019? Without knowing what long-term toll all the injuries have taken? I’d rather take that 1st-round pick and draft a guy who’s six years younger and doesn’t have the baggage. I could be dead wrong on this. Maybe Wentz goes to a new team and starts playing MVP football again. But I saw enough last year to really wonder whether he'll ever be elite again.

3. From 2017 through 2019, Wentz started 40 games and had a passer rating below 74 only twice - at New Orleans in 2018 and at Atlanta in 2019. His passer rating for 2020 was 72.8. So he played the entire 2020 season at a level worse than he played in 38 of his 40 previous starts. 

4. The Eagles traded A.J. Feeley to the Dolphins in 2004 for a 2nd-round pick. He won 3 games for the Dolphins. They  traded Donovan McNabb to Washington in 2010 for a 2nd-round pick and a 4th-round pick. He won 5 games for Washington. They traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings in 2016 for a 1st-round pick. He won 9 games for the Vikings. So they traded Feeley, McNabb and Bradford for a 1st-round pick, two 2nd-round picks and a 4th-round pick, and they won a total of 17 games with their new teams.

5. The last Eagles WR with 85 receiving yards in back-to-back games was Jordan Matthews in 2015.

6. The fact that Doug Pederson had his mind made up almost immediately after getting fired that he didn’t want to coach in 2021 makes me wonder how much he really wanted to coach in 2020. There were times during the season it seemed either his heart wasn’t totally in it or he seemed a little burned out. I still think the one thing he truly loves about the job is calling plays. I wonder if he’ll ever be a head coach again.

7. With the Eagles still without a running backs coach, someone tweeted to Brian Westbrook on Wednesday and asked if he’d heard from the Eagles:

I’m not sure if B-West was serious or not, but he’d actually be a great hire. Westbrook was a cerebral player who understood every aspect of NFL offense. He’s smart, patient, positive and devoted to this franchise. He’s always been a motivator and a leader in the locker room and there’s no doubt in my mind he’d be a terrific teacher. Lose Duce Staley and replace him with his former backfield partner. Works for me.

8. Quarterback Factory is going to draft a quarterback at No. 6, aren’t they?

9. OK this sounds crazy, but in a way all that dead money the Eagles are going to have to carry under the salary cap might be a blessing in disguise. Because it’s going to force Howie Roseman to finally stop relying so heavily on aging, mediocre, overpriced veterans and actually put together a young roster, with more players on cheaper rookie deals. Now, the challenge is for Roseman to get the right young players, and I have no faith in Roseman's ability to make that happen. But I do know there’s nothing worse than being a bad old team. If you're going to go 5-11, you may as well do it with a young team that at least has a chance at a future.

10. Who was the last Eagles quarterback to play his whole career here? Believe it or not, the last quarterback to start at least 10 games for the Eagles and never play for another team was Emmett Mortell, who started 20 games from 1937 through 1939 and never played again.

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