More will be said and written in the coming days and weeks regarding the future of the quarterback position in Philadelphia. For now, those, the Eagles surely know they have a decision to make.
However they resolve it, it’s a decision that will shape the franchise for the next decade, maybe longer.
They need to decide on a quarterback. Although coach Doug Pederson has said on multiple occasions that Carson Wentz is and will be the guy, the evidence requires, at a minimum, more careful deliberation.
Wentz is the better quarterback, when healthy. But the Eagles are a better team when Foles plays, and Foles has now played 11 games in December and beyond over the last two seasons, leading the team to a Super Bowl win and giving the Saints a real scare in Sunday’s divisional round game.
We’ve yet to see what Wentz can do in December and beyond because of a playing style that has left him injured in each of the last two years. His skills notwithstanding, an inability to be able to play in the most important weeks of the season must be a factor in the long-term decision, especially since he’s shown no inclination to alter his style — and since he has a back problem that could resurface in the future.
The Eagles could try to kick the can, by paying Foles starter money for 2019 while Wentz enters the fourth year of a wage-scaled rookie deal, waiting one more season for an answer to become obvious. But what would they do, if Foles is making franchise-tag money? Have an open competition? Or simply make Foles the highest paid backup quarterback the league has ever seen?
From the standpoint of both sending an unequivocal message to the locker room and charting a clear course for the short- and long-term future, the Eagles should choose one or the other. Apart from asking the question of which guy they’d rather see on the opposing sideline, they need to have a candid and honest discussion about which guy makes them better.
Given that the Eagles were blown off the Superdome playing surface eight weeks ago with Wentz at quarterback and pushed the Saints to the limit with Foles under center, it’s a real debate that Pederson, executive V.P. of football operations Howie Roseman, and owner Jeffrey Lurie must have, asking tough questions about what’s truly in the best interests of the team.
Some will call it a good problem to have. But the only good problem is no problem, because the likely outcome for the Eagles is that one will stay, and one will go. Whoever they choose, they’ll have to worry in 2019 and beyond that they picked the wrong guy.