Any quarterback should feel threatened when his team drafts another quarterback in the first or second round. Even if there’s some unusual plan for the new quarterback, the draft capital teams use on quarterbacks usually matches up directly with how soon they play.
The Philadelphia Eagles have always fully supported Carson Wentz. They said Wentz was their starter even when Nick Foles was taking the franchise to its first Super Bowl win. After Foles led a late-season rally and playoff win in 2018, the Eagles responded by letting him go in free agency and signing Wentz to a four-year, $128 million deal.
That’s why the Eagles’ second-round pick this year was confusing. They took Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round. It’s not like the Eagles didn’t have other needs to fill. Wentz is just 27 years old, coming off a good season.
Wentz doesn’t sound too worried.
Carson Wentz welcomes Jalen Hurts
Wentz took the high road when he spoke to the media on Monday, saying he had already spoken with Hurts and was happy to have him as a teammate.
“With Jalen, I’m excited to add him to the team,” Wentz said. “I know how important the quarterback position is, and how important the dynamic is for me and the other guys in that room. I’ve been blessed over the years to have some incredible not just quarterbacks, but incredible humans and friends in that quarterback room. We really endure a lot together and go through together. I’m excited.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things about Jalen and the kid he is and the player he is.”
Listen live as quarterback Carson Wentz speaks to the media. https://t.co/sEnKMalpNW— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 4, 2020
Wentz said adding Hurts can “create a good, healthy, competitive challenging environment.” The Eagles called Wentz before the draft to tell him they might pick a quarterback, and he said he didn’t view it as a threat.
“It didn’t really concern me,” Wentz said. “My reaction was, kind of understood. I had a feeling there was a chance we’d want to draft somebody given the way our roster is laid out and wanting to get younger. There was no concern for me. I think the team showed their investment in me last year and I’ve nothing but confidence and faith in them and they have nothing but confidence and faith in me. So I think it’s all about strengthening that position and this group that we have.
“If i were to start questioning Howie [Roseman, the Eagles’ GM] and the management now, I’d be questioning myself. When I signed the deal I did, it was my way of showing I trust and believe in what we’re doing in Philly and they trust and believe in me. I have nothing but confidence.”
Wentz wouldn’t mind sharing snaps
The Eagles’ addition of Hurts probably doesn’t indicate they’re displeased with Wentz. He had 4,039 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, generally playing well and helping Philadelphia win an NFC East title. But he has suffered some serious injuries, so investing in a backup makes sense. And Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson said the Eagles are looking at Hurts as a creative option, perhaps even lining up Hurts and Wentz in the backfield together at times.
Wentz wasn’t going to explain what secrets the Eagles might have on offense, but he was positive about the possibility of Hurts playing in certain packages, even if it takes him off the field.
“We’ll see,” Wentz said. “We’ll see how that all plays out. We haven’t gotten too deep into the playbook and how things are going to look. But for me, whatever’s going to help us win. I came to Philly ever since being drafted and all I wanted to do was win and stand up there and hold up that Lombardi Trophy. Whatever that takes and whatever that’s going to look like, I’m on board.”
The Eagles could have used the Hurts pick on a full-time player who would have helped Wentz. One of the big problems with the Green Bay Packers taking quarterback Jordan Love in the first round, for example, is that Aaron Rodgers needed help at other positions, specifically receiver. Wentz was OK with it, noting the Eagles drafted receiver Jalen Reagor in the first round, took two more receivers in later rounds and traded for Marquise Goodwin.
“I trust their decision,” Wentz said. “I trust Howie and the rest of the staff to make the best decision for the team.”
Taking a quarterback in the second round when you have a 27-year-old franchise quarterback on a $128 million deal was curious. It confused many people. But Wentz says he has no problem with it.
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