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The Carson Wentz contract is actually a bargain

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The Eagles’ franchise QB is getting a big payday, but it’s going to look even better later.

Philadelphia Eagles v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Carson Wentz is going to be a Philadelphia Eagle through the entirety of his prime, and he’s going to be paid a lot of money in the process.

When the team announced a four-year extension worth $128 million, with $107.9 million of it guaranteed and $66 million guaranteed at signing, the news was largely met with cautious praise. Certainly, if Wentz is 100% healthy and is once again the QB that we saw in 2017, this deal will have been a no-brainer. But injuries the past two years are a cause for concern, and some wanted the Eagles to wait a year to see if he’s able to make it through the 2019 season healthy before jumping in with a big money extension.

However, Howie Roseman and the rest of the front office did the right thing in pursuing a contract with Wentz now and, if Wentz plays like a franchise quarterback this year, the deal will actually be a bargain.

Yes, if you look strictly at the new money, Wentz will be making $32 million a season, which would be the fourth-most at the position, behind Russell Wilson’s $35 million, Ben Roethlisberger’s $34 million and Aaron Rodgers’ $33 million a season. However, if you factor in the two years under which Wentz is already under contract (for 2019 and 2020) then it’s actually a six-year deal worth $154.7 million that would pay him an average annual salary of $25.8 million.

That would make Wentz the 7th-highest paid QB per AAV, behind Matt Ryan’s $30 million, Kirk Cousins’ $28 million, and Jimmy Garoppolo’s $27.5 million.

That’s right, Carson Wentz is making less per year than Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo.

The other reason to get the deal done now is that it allowed the Eagles to set the bar before the Cowboys give Dak Prescott his extension and before the Rams sign Jared Goff. Both players are expected to get north of $30 million a season, and had they gone first, the Eagles would have almost certainly had to go over their numbers.

Goff has had two solid years in a row and made the Super Bowl last year (which admittedly is something Wentz has never done) and Prescott has won two division titles and beat Wentz and the Eagles twice last year. While neither of those things means Prescott or Goff is better than Wentz (virtually every evaluator with properly-functioning eyes will tell you Wentz is the superior player), it’s highly likely Wentz will make less than at least one of these guys because they did the Eagles did their deal first.

Even in a season where his play-making ability abandoned him because he continued to recover from knee surgery and a back fracture that limited him pretty significantly, Wentz still put up a passer rating of 102.2 last season, averaged more yards per game than any other in his career (279.5), had a completion percentage of 69.6% and threw 21 TDs against 7 INTs. He wouldn’t have made the Pro Bowl, but in a “down” season, with no running game to speak of, these numbers are pretty good.

So, I’m all-in on the Wentz extension. He’s one of the five most talented quarterbacks in the league and has already proven he can play at an elite level when healthy. Obviously, staying healthy is the big worry here, but if he can avoid missing huge swaths of time, this extension will prove to be an absolute bargain moving forward.