If you’re wondering what the Philadelphia Eagles firing Doug Pederson means for Carson Wentz’s future, well, here you go:
Doug Pederson firing significantly increases chances of Carson Wentz staying in Philadelphia, a source told ESPN. Became clear keeping both would be difficult. Eagles could always gauge market or adjust with new coach but relationship appears salvageable.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 11, 2021
NFL insider Ian Rapoport reiterated this sentiment on Monday afternoon:
“My understanding is that had Doug Pederson returned as the Eagles’ coach, Wentz would not have wanted to be there. With Pederson out, it drastically increases the chances that this Carson Wentz situation with the Eagles is salvageable and that he could be back for 2021.”
My understanding — echoed by Chris Mortensen — is that it’s not quite like the Eagles decided between Pederson and Wentz. But I also don’t think that dynamic was totally irrelevant. It may not have been THE factor in moving on from Pederson but it certainly could’ve been A factor.
Let’s recap a relevant timeline here.
- Saturday, January 2 — Pederson is reportedly expected to return in 2021
- Sunday, January 3 — Wentz is reportedly expected to request a trade, his relationship with Pederson is “fractured beyond repair”
- Monday, January 4 — Wentz doesn’t attend normal exit interview with Pederson and declines to talk to media
- Tuesday, January 5 — Wentz is “hopeful [his relationship with the Eagles] won’t end in a divorce” (I wrote at the time that Wentz’s hope about returning would seemingly be based on stipulations)
- Sunday, January 10 — Pederson’s status as Eagles head coach is reportedly “not firm”
- Monday, January 11 — Pederson fired
Hard not to look at that sequence and think Wentz’s preference could’ve been relevant in the Eagles’ decision-making process.
Still, it remains to be seen exactly what the future holds for Wentz. Here’s what Jeffrey Lurie had to say about him on Monday afternoon:
Q. And the second part of that is will Wentz be back on the roster in 2021?
JEFFREY LURIE: First of all, I don’t think any owner should decide that. … Carson, to us, to me, and to I think virtually everybody in our organization, is a quarterback that his first four years was in many ways elite and comparable to some of the great quarterbacks’ first four years in the league. Fifth year, obviously not satisfactory, for whatever reasons. There are probably multiple reasons for that. The way I look at it is we have an asset and we have a talent. He’s a great guy and he wants nothing but to win big and win Lombardi Trophies for Philadelphia. This guy is tireless. He has his heart in the right place and he’s really dedicated off-season, on-season – he’s just what you want. It behooves us as a team with a new coach, a new coaching staff, to be able to really get him back to that elite progression where he was capable of, and at the same time, understand that there have been many quarterbacks in their fourth and fifth year … if you trace this, you can come up with many, many quarterbacks that have a single year where it’s just, whoa, the touchdown-to-interception ratio is not what you want. And we’re talking some great ones, like Peyton [Manning] and Ben [Roethlisberger] and guys like that. So I take sort of a more, probably a longer view of this was not the best season for our offense, it was a poor season, and we also had a poor season from Carson in terms of what he’s been able to show in the past. Very fixable and I fully expect him to realize his potential.
The thinking here is that the Eagles will hope that a new head coach can “fix” Wentz. But one should wary that such a goal is so easily achievable when there are concerns about Wentz being coachable. It’s not just entirely up to the new coach; Wentz needs to put the onus on himself as well.
Goes without saying that it’ll be very interesting to see what the Eagles’ next head coach has planned for the quarterback position. Might they be sold on Wentz as the undisputed starter? Will there be a training competition with Hurts in the mix? What if the Eagles hire Lincoln Riley, who coached Hurts to being a Heisman runner-up in 2019? Do the Eagles take a quarterback at No. 6 or look to trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft?
There are many questions to be answered. For now, it appears that Wentz will more likely be back with the Eagles than not in 2021.
Who will be the Eagles’ Week 1 starting QB in 2021?
This poll is closed