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Carson Wentz is not the first franchise quarterback to hear complaints from his teammates

This isn’t an isolated incident, gang.

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The fallout over Joe Santoliquito’s Carson Wentz story in The Philly Voice continues to rage. After quoting anonymous sources calling the Eagles’ franchise quarterback “selfish,” “uncompromising,” and as “playing favorites,” the story has been widely criticized as teammates have come to Wentz’ defense since the story was first published.

How much of this story is true? It’s hard to say without knowing who the sources are, but there are certainly some aspects to the story in which there are likely shades of truth. But the veracity of the story has been litigated and re-litigated in the past few days over and over and it’s likely nothing new can be added here to the reams of reaction already piled up in the corner like a stack of old ‘45s.

What’s important to note is, these kinds of stories are not entirely unusual. Carson Wentz is not the first quarterback to have one his teammates say some unkind things about him. In fact, three different Super Bowl-winning QBs have had stories written about them in which at least a handful of teammates are criticizing either their performance or their personalities.

Aaron Rodgers

In November of 2016, in an interview with Bleacher Report, former teammate Jermichael Finley said Rodgers was simply not a good leader.

“In my opinion, he’s a different guy,” Finley said. “I didn’t really know how he showed his leadership. He wasn’t a vocal guy. He really wasn’t a hands-on guy. To tell you the truth, it was all about his game and his stats in my opinion. ... He was a guy that kept it all in. He kept grudges close to his chest. If you did something, he never really let it go. He always kept it close to his heart.

”I just don’t think he was a natural-born leader. He wasn’t put on Earth to lead.”

Unlike the subjects in The Philly Voice piece, Finley went on the record to voice his displeasure with the former Super Bowl champ.

“But Aaron Rodgers is so scared of what guys are going to say that he doesn’t say nothing at all,” Finley said. “He doesn’t get vocal. He goes into his little shell. He’s not a guy who hangs out with the fellas. He’s real self-centered.”

One source who did remain anonymous had some even harsher words for Rodgers.

“...He’s a f--king head case. He knows he’s doing the wrong thing, and he’s so arrogant and prideful that he thinks he can separate his personal life from his professional life, even though all of us know that’s impossible. You can’t do that. You can do that in little spurts, like when Brett Favre went out and played amazingly when he loses his Dad. But when you’re talking about real situations that aren’t all of a sudden circumstantial and you f--k over good people, people you’re supposed to love, it’s a s--tty thing to do and you’re going to get humbled.

”You can’t live like that, man. The people who live like that end up getting f--ked over. That’s kind of what’s happening here, but he’s so prideful and will never admit he’s wrong. Ever.”


But Rodgers isn’t the only one.

Russell Wilson

Earlier this year, former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had a number of critical things to say about his now-former teammate, Wilson. Speaking to ESPN, Sherman didn’t mince words.

Another ESPN story, this from 2017, showed a locker room in which a number of teammates were still steamed at Wilson’s game-losing interception at the goal line in Super Bowl 49.

The division remained, but then again, Wilson has been a divisive figure almost from the moment he earned the starting job, long before he became the most famous and highest-paid Seahawk. It seems to go beyond the normal jealousy aimed at most star quarterbacks. Teammates privately seem to want him exposed, but ask them why, or on what grounds, and their reasons vary. A man who vowed to live in transparency -- Wilson famously announced that he was refraining from premarital sex with his then-girlfriend, Ciara -- required guests to sign nondisclosure agreements before entering his box at Mariners games. After the Super Bowl against Denver, team management “fell in love with Russell,” in the words of a former high-level staffer; defensive players would see him in executives’ offices and wonder, “Why not me?” Pettiness grew. In 2014, Bleacher Report reported that some black teammates “think Wilson isn’t black enough.” Every Christmas, Wilson gives each player two first-class tickets on Alaska Airlines, one of his endorsements. “It didn’t cost him anything,” one Seahawk told an assistant coach last year. “Big deal.”

Tom Brady

Shortly before he would take on the Eagles in Super Bowl 52, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were the subject of a highly unflattering piece by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham that claimed there was a rift between Brady, coach Bill Belichick and some of Brady’s teammates, including former back-up QB Jimmy Garrapolo.

There was a story of Brady yelling at his offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels after an incompletion during a game in December of 2017 against the Buffalo Bills.

Brady was angrier and more irritable than usual, as has often been the case this season in the eyes of some Patriots players and staff. As he unsnapped his chinstrap, Brady passed offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on the sideline.

”He was wide open,” McDaniels said to Brady, referring to Cooks.

Brady kept walking, and glaring at McDaniels, so the coach repeated: “We had him open.”

Brady snapped, pivoting to McDaniels and yelling at him, “I got it!” Everyone within earshot, including head coach Bill Belichick, turned to watch as Brady screamed. He removed his helmet, and as a Patriots staffer held him back -- and with McDaniels’ father and legendary high school coach in Ohio, Thom, in the stands behind the bench -- capped off the exchange by yelling, “F--- you!”

Rifts grew about Brady’s personal trainer guru Alex Guerrero, who Belichick didn’t want around the team, and conflict grew between the two egomaniacs.

Those who know Belichick and Brady well are amazed that they’ve co-existed this long, two ruthless and proud self-made men, both secure though still unfinished in their legacies, both loved and hated, both having received stiff penalties for cheating, both motivated by ego, humility and -- as much as anything -- doubt.

And as Brady told the team he wanted to play well into his 40s, he pressured New England into trading Garrapolo to the 49ers for a song, essentially going over Belichick’s head to Robert Kraft to see that it was done.

Kraft hugged Brady when he saw him that week, in full view of teammates. A few days later during practice, some players and staffers noticed that Brady seemed especially excited, hollering and cajoling. Brady was once again the team’s present and future. His new backup, Brian Hoyer, was a longtime friend and not a threat. The owner was in Brady’s corner. “He won,” a Patriots staffer says.

These are three “A”-personality types who have had a tremendous amount of success in the NFL, and have also apparently ruffled some feathers along the way, too.

Are there people in the Eagles’ locker room that don’t like Carson Wentz? Maybe, although no one has gone on the record with criticism of the Birds’ franchise signal-caller. But virtually no one is loved universally by everyone they know, and Wentz is probably no exception.

It would also not be at all surprising if there were some in the locker room who felt more comfortable with Nick Foles as the team’s starting quarterback. After all, Foles won the team a Super Bowl and went 4-1 in the playoffs the last two seasons in legendary fashion. There are also probably some people who prefer Foles’ personality and maturity to Wentz’. But Wentz is four years younger than Foles and is the more talented player by far. There is still so much room for Wentz to grow.

And it would also be human nature for Wentz to feel some jealousy over being the franchise player and not being able to take the field for any of the team’s five postseason games the last two seasons. There is no doubt Wentz is driven to deliver his own Lombardi Trophy, and it’s fair to think that drive and desire could come across in ways that some teammates may not like.

No matter where you come down on the Philly Voice story, this much is clear: Carson Wentz is not the first quarterback to have had negative things said about him by people. And chances are, he won’t be the last.

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