PHILADELPHIA — The term that Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie returned when talking about quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts on Monday was a victory.
That’s one of the descriptions he used for Wentz when asked if the No. 2 overall pick in 2016 would still be on the 2021 team – Lurie said it wasn’t his decision – and that’s how he presented the QB situation when explaining why Philadelphia would be a desirable place for a head coach.
We have two very interesting plants. They’re both young. They’re both hungry. They are great people, very different and great, Lurie said in a video conference to discuss the firing of Super Bowl winner coach Doug Pederson. Coach will have options. The coach will have the ability to correct what he feels he is missing from our offense, and he will have a potential star in Carson and a potential star in Jalen. It also gives us an advantage, so if we decide one day, the next day is a very good advantage.
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In other words, Lurie seems to be implying that once they are sold to whoever is QB1, another one can be sold for, well, more assets. Some phrases assume both will remain on the list as the evaluation process progresses, raising the possibility that Wentz and Hurts will share the quarterback’s room again in 2021.
These comments give an idea of how Luria works. Since the quarterback is the most important position in football, his philosophy is to invest because it can pay off big, whether it’s a Super Bowl title thanks to Nick Foles or a first round pick by the Minnesota Vikings for Sam Bradford’s 2016 services.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the decision to switch to Pederson had nothing to do with Wentz, who planned to ask for an off-season deal because his relationship with Pederson had broken down beyond recognition. But with Pederson gone, the Eagles would benefit organizationally if the next coach believes in Wentz and reaches out to him, because by keeping Wentz, Luria would keep the desired options on the job and not absorb what would be a record exchange with Wentz after granting him a four-year, $128 million extension in the summer of 2019.
That makes sense. But the choice of path with the return of the two BQs does not fully take into account the human aspect of this equation. That’s what got the Eagles in trouble in the first place.
When the Eagles drafted Sick in the second round of the April selection, that decision was based on a fundamental philosophy and was made with the belief that Wentz and Hurts, who are considered good teammates, could coexist. But when two alpha males shoot in the same place, there is friction. They’re going to fight each other. And when one stumbles like Wentz, one takes another step forward to win hearts and minds in the name of technical victory. Then loyalties are divided, the relationship with the original incumbent becomes strained, and conflict with the quarterback arises.
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Dan Orlovsky says the pressure is on Carson Wentz after the Eagles fired Doug Pederson.
Given this dynamic and the course of last season, it will be impossible for Wentz not to look over his shoulder when he and Sick are on the same team next season, even if he has the total commitment of a coach and plays without looking back. In the Philadelphia media market, it doesn’t take long for the whispers to turn into a roar once the meltdown has occurred.
Is Wentz really going to commit again?
The Wentz-Foles twinning worked in 2017 because the roles were defined: Wentz was a franchisee, which disrupted his support system. After Foles won the Super Bowl, the lines got blurry and the lineup got wonky. The same reason Bradford demanded a deal when he wrote Wentz in 2016: There is room for only one player as a quarterback.
Therein lies the flaw in Luria’s thinking: While the idea of having multiple assets at the quarterback position is appealing, two magnets pointing in the same direction repel each other. Storage units work best when there is an attractive.
While it’s nice to have options, a new coach better move quickly with what he thinks is best.