The Eagles were so eager to draft Carson Wentz in 2016 that they gave up the No. 8 overall choice, a third-rounder and fourth-rounder that year and first- and second-rounders in 2017. Philadelphia got the No. 2 choice from the Browns, which they used on the North Dakota State quarterback, and a 2017 fourth-rounder.
Wentz has gone 35-29-1 with no playoff victories since arriving in the NFL, though the Eagles, of course, won Super Bowl LII after Nick Foles replaced the injured Wentz.
With the struggling Wentz facing the Browns on Sunday, Eagles coach Doug Pederson claims he would do the trade all over again.
“Oh heck yeah, I’d do it all over again,” Pederson said on a conference call with Browns reporters Wednesday, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “He’s the guy we wanted back then. He’s still the guy we want today. And I love everything about Carson Wentz, and he’s a great leader for our team and our city and I’d do it all over again.”
What is Pederson supposed to say? Like it or not, Wentz is the Eagles’ franchise quarterback until he’s not.
Wentz swears he’s not listening to outside noise. But with Wentz’s 73.1 passer rating ahead of only Drew Lock and Sam Darnold this season among qualifying quarterbacks, questions abound about why and how Wentz has become one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.
In 2017, Wentz was in the MVP conversation until his season-ending knee injury. Since then, he is 17-18-1, with 60 touchdowns, 26 interceptions and a 90.7 passer rating.
“He’s doing really well,” Pederson said. “He’s obviously battled through some of that. He’s such an aggressive style of player that sometimes it can get him in trouble from time to time with some of the aggressiveness. But he learns to manage it and he handles it, and we’ve had some injury up front with the offensive line.
“We’ve obviously had some players at the skill positions and receiver position that aren’t playing and it hasn’t been all perfect. You can force the issue at time. Last week, he played a lot better. We didn’t turn the ball over. We just didn’t capitalize on third down and in the red zone. I think he’s really handled it. He’s working through it not only with himself but with the offense that’s what’s encouraging and we’ve still got seven games left, and we’ll see.”
Who knows if Pederson can get Wentz’s confidence out of the crapper, but he’s trying his best.