While Carson Wentz‘s rapid rise from Division I-FCS prospect to 2017 MVP frontrunner preceded setbacks, the Eagles showed their belief in their starting quarterback by allowing Nick Foles to defect to the Jaguars.
An open-and-shut fifth-year option decision on Wentz is due by May 3. That would allow the Eagles to have him under contract through 2020. But Howie Roseman may not want to put an extension off much longer, confirming Monday he would like to extend the quarterback (Twitter link via Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com).
Wentz has missed eight games over the past two seasons, his season-ending knee injury ending a 2017 MVP push and back trouble sidelining him last season. Both campaigns then featured Foles elevating the Eagles’ offense, winning Super Bowl LII MVP honors in one season and lifting Philly to a road playoff victory in another.
The Eagles rearranged their payroll considerably to move under the cap this month and used some of the space to bring DeSean Jackson back and add Malik Jackson. They still have more than $25MM in cap space.
The timing for a Wentz extension is interesting, given his injuries the past two seasons and $8.5MM cap number in 2019. But the Eagles have continually showed faith in their 26-year-old quarterback, whose back malady is not expected to linger long-term. (Though, back injuries certainly represent a cause for concern through a long-term lens.) He is expected to be ready for Philadelphia’s offseason program.
After a few years of relative stagnancy, the quarterback market has transformed over the past year. With the Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers extensions moving the AAV bar north of $30MM, the Packers signing their two-time MVP to a $33MM-per-year accord, a Wentz deal would be in line to step into that ballpark. The Eagles waiting until 2020 would stand to up Wentz’s price further, assuming he stays healthy, considering the Chiefs will then be in position to give Patrick Mahomes a possible market-shattering extension.
Wentz, by a considerable margin, established a new completion percentage standard last season (69.6 percent). His touchdown pass percentage dropped from 7.5 to 5.2 compared to his dominant 2017 showing, with the 11-game starter finishing with 21 TD tosses compared to 33 in 13 2017 games. The Eagles went 5-6 under Wentz last season, before Foles offered more late-season magic to steer the team to the playoffs.
Roseman, though, has long stood by his 2016 draft choice, and extension talks figure to transpire this offseason.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.