PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Carson Wentz era with the Philadelphia Eagles came to an unceremonious end earlier this offseason when the team traded the man they hoped would be their franchise QB to the Indianapolis Colts for draft picks. Prior to the trade, there was plenty of discussion about who deserved the blame for how Wentz went from franchise quarterback to traded in the span of four years. For NBC Sports NFL reporter Peter King, the blame lies with the quarterback himself.
“I probably blame Carson Wentz more for the Carson Wentz thing than I blame the Eagles,” King said on the Eagle Eye podcast with Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro. “I do blame Carson Wentz more….Carson Wentz saw that his team had taken a quarterback with the 53rd pick in the draft, and I think I’m probably the only person in the media who loved the pick, because in my opinion, if you can’t be sure that Carson Wentz is going to play the full year, you don’t want to have to rely on Nate Sudfeld to play six or eight games for you to get you into the playoffs. You want a good backup quarterback who can play and win games for you.”
King pointed to the Hurts pick as something that Wentz ‘obviously responded very negatively’ to and compares the situation between Wentz and Hurts to when Tom Brady was at Michigan and wanted to transfer. After discussing with the coach at the time, Lloyd Carr, King notes that Brady stayed at Michigan and fought to win the job contrasting that with how Wentz reacted when Jalen Hurts took over.
“Brady thought about it and he thought, ‘OK, as angry as I am about where I am on the depth chart, I think he’s right. I will win this job.’ Where was that in Carson Wentz? It bugs me a little bit,” King said. “I like Carson Wentz. I don’t think he responded to this very well.”
When asked about whether the team shared some blame because they selected Hurts so early in the draft or whether they were justified in doing so, King said that he was “mind-boggled” by Wentz’s reaction.
“I’m honestly mind-boggled by the reaction of Carson Wentz,” “This is the big-boy league. You’ve got to understand that the best part of ability is availability, and if you’re not there or might not be there, that team has to buy insurance for if you’re not there. I believe – and one of the reasons why I thought Jalen Hurts was a good pick – that the backup quarterback is one of the most important people on your team. Because you better be sure that if your starting quarterback gets hurt, your season isn’t over.”
There is a case to be made that the team certainly didn’t help Wentz either. After the Super Bowl season, the organization continued to rely on an aging core that suffered injuries in each of the last three seasons and missed on many of their draft selections, making for a tough situation for any quarterback. Still, for King, the bigger problem was the reaction from Wentz to competition being brought in in the form of Jalen Hurts. Now, Wentz is in Indianapolis and the Eagles hold the 12th overall pick in this month’s draft with the presumption that Hurts will be the starter this fall.