Six years after Carson Wentz’s career began with great fanfare in Philadelphia, it’s become an annual spin of Major Bowes’ wheel of fortune.
Round and round Wentz goes, and where he’ll stop, nobody knows.
His current stop has him in Washington, where he’s filling the starting role at quarterback for the Commanders, an NFC East rival of the Eagles. That means two dates per year with Wentz’s former employer — starting this Sunday.
It also means this week is time for Wentz to reflect on his time in Philadelphia, where he arrived as the chosen messiah, the future of the Eagles, and eventually departed as a letdown and a castoff.
“I mean, this league, my career has been a whirlwind. I’ll tell you that much,” Wentz said Wednesday. “A lot of really good memories from my time there. I’m not going to lie. A lot of great friends. A lot of great relationships that I made, you know.
“Definitely will have some mixed emotions in terms of those things, but nothing crazy jumps out other than my time there was a whirlwind. It was wild. The NFL is a whirlwind but I’m grateful to still be playing and I’m excited for this one.”
Wentz’s five years spent in Philadelphia began as the No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 draft, and included a breakout 2017 season that appeared to have him on track to win NFL MVP honors before a season-ending knee injury ruined those chances. Wentz was really good, enough to land at No. 3 on the Top 100 list for 2018, but Philadelphia’s run to a Super Bowl triumph without him complicated matters.
Eventually, the Eagles’ indecisiveness at quarterback — where the team’s fans constantly debated the candidacies of Wentz and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles — affected the former, who regressed drastically in his final season before being benched for Jalen Hurts. Wentz requested a trade, and the Eagles were happy to send Wentz to Indianapolis in 2021.
Wentz isn’t harboring any hard feelings, at least not publicly.
“It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun,” Wentz said. “Obviously we had a lot of success there. Winning the Super Bowl up there was pretty special. Being a part of that was pretty cool. It’s quite the city, quite the fan base, quite the experience. I’ll definitely cherish my time there but obviously being on the other end now, it’ll look a little different. It was a fun couple years there while I was up there. I definitely cherished my time there.”
A fun couple of years, as in the first two years, when Wentz was the savior and was playing as such. Hurts is now Philadelphia’s savior, and looked damn good on Monday night’s national stage.
Hurts didn’t offer much on his relationship with Wentz in the year they spent as Eagles teammates. It can’t be easy to summarize what had to be an awkward, if not strained relationship.
“It’s definitely a mutual respect between the two of us,” Hurts said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “When he went to Indy and now here, there’s definitely a mutual respect and I wish him nothing but the best.”
Hurts did commend Wentz on his “great arm” and capability of making “crazy plays,” which Hurts said he witnessed as a rookie. But the quarterback is “focused on the now,” downplaying the Wentz/Eagles narrative as best he can.
The now is Hurts’ time. Through two weeks, that time looks to be rather enjoyable for Eagles fans, much like 2017 was with and without Wentz.
As the former Eagles star predicted in May, this matchup will make for a good storyline. We’ll see which quarterback ends up smiling by the end of their first meeting in 2022.
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