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Howie Roseman’s quarterback factory gets important endorsement from Carson Wentz


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Howie Roseman’s quarterback factory gets important endorsement from Carson Wentz | David Murphy

Updated: May 5, 2020 - 9:00 AM
Howie Roseman’s quarterback factory gets important endorsement from Carson Wentz | David Murphy
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

I was going to begin by referring to bosses as a necessary evil. But, then, I have one. So I won’t. Instead, let’s focus on the first part. In a world governed by individual self-interest, someone needs to have the final say. This makes bosses an indispensable part of the ecosystem, like ferns, or bacteria.

The only reason you are reading this column is because of a boss. On Monday morning, the Eagles announced that Carson Wentz would hold a question-and-answer session with local media that afternoon. Shortly thereafter, my boss called me and asked if I would write about it. And here we are. Hooray for bosses.

I bring up bosses because they are one of the more relatable things about Wentz. Like the vast majority of us, he has one, and, like the vast majority of us, he understands that it is generally a good idea to avoid taking unnecessary shots at them. That’s true whether the forum is a news conference about football or the first couple of paragraphs of a column about that news conference. Besides, Wentz is a genuinely decent human being. So nothing should surprise you about anything that he said on Monday afternoon as the topic turned to his bosses’ recent decision to spend their second most valuable draft pick on a player who happens to play the same position.

Another athlete might have used his bully pulpit to declare that he will be the Eagles’ starter under center for however long his arm is capable of moving in an overhand throwing motion. Instead, Wentz used it to declare that the AO1 foundation will be raising money for the coronavirus relief effort, and, hey, if you could spread the word, that’d be great. I think we can all agree that’s an admirable thing to do, whether or not you’re on board with the whole Jesus-as-the-son-of-God deal.

Long story short, Wentz’s reaction to this past month wasn’t any different from the one that Howie Roseman clearly expected when he dialed up his franchise quarterback before the start of the second round and informed him that the Eagles thought they might be in a position to draft Hurts. Not only did he say all of the right things, he sounded like he truly believes them.

That’s understandable when you consider that less than a year has passed since the Eagles signed Wentz to a four-year contract extension that will pay him at least $128 million.

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"I think the team showed their investment in me last year," Wentz said. "I have nothing but confidence and faith in them and they have nothing but confidence and faith in me. ... If I were to start questioning Howie and management now, I’d really be questioning myself, because, like I said, when I signed the deal that I did, it was really my way of showing that I trust and believe in what we’re doing in Philly. And they trust and believe in me.”

As both sides should. There are a number of different ways to interpret the Eagles’ decision to spend the No. 53 overall pick in the draft on Jalen Hurts, but the only one that has ever made sense is that they legitimately believe they can develop the Heisman Trophy runner-up into a quarterback who will give them a better chance at winning an NFL game than any veteran backup potentially could. If Hurts gets that chance and plays well enough for people to think that he deserves a starting job of his own, the worst-case scenario is that the Eagles win some games that they were otherwise likely to lose, and then must decide whether Hurts is more valuable to them as a member of their roster or as a trade chip. At least, that’s how the interpretation goes.

From Wentz’s perspective, there are only two potential reasons to quibble with the pick. The first would be if the Eagles drafted Hurts with the thought that he would develop into a better quarterback than Wentz within the next four years. As Wentz noted, if he suspected that was the case, it would call into question his own judgment, because only a fool could look at the quarterback that Wentz has been in his first four seasons and think it probable that such a player would still be on the board deep in the second round. The injuries that have ended each of his last three seasons are clearly a concern, but the Eagles are well aware that Wentz is a borderline top-five player at the most important position in the game, and they are well aware of how difficult it is to add such a player even high in the first round.

Wentz also could have objected to the opportunity cost of drafting Hurts, but he’s a sensible guy, and he knows that problems like the ones the Eagles’ offense has encountered the last couple of seasons are not easily solved in the second round. If Jalen Reagor and Andre Dillard turn out to be worth the first-round picks the Eagles spent on them, and Miles Sanders and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside turn out to be worth their second-round picks, then Wentz will have all the supporting cast he needs. And if they don’t, well, the Hurts pick might not have cost the Eagles much of an opportunity at all.

"I can assure you Howie and I are in a good place and on good terms," Wentz said, while declining to discuss specifics of his conversation with the GM. "I trust him and the decision that he’s making and the plan that he put into the place this offseason with adding [Darius] Slay and [Javon] Hargrave and the pieces we’ve added on that [defensive] side and then, through the draft adding some offensive talent as well and adding [wide receiver] Marquise [Goodwin, in a trade] as well. I feel extremely confident in what he’s done and I’ll kind of leave it at that.”


The wisdom of the Hurts pick will come down to whether the Eagles are correct in their assessment of two key unknowns. The first is the likelihood that Hurts turns out to be a quality NFL quarterback. The second is that his doing so will not compromise Wentz. Given what we know about Wentz, it is reasonable to give Roseman the benefit of the doubt with regard to the latter question.

As for the first one, well, he’s the boss.

by David Murphy
Posted: May 5, 2020 - 9:00 AM


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Great, "Quarterback Factory” is going to be bandied about much like "Gold Standard” was. 



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