Instant analysis: Eagles sign Carson Wentz to 4-year extension

Eliot Shorr-Parks
June 06, 2019 - 7:42 pm

The debate is over, and soon, the ink will be dry on a contract for quarterback Carson Wentz that will make him one of the highest paid players in the NFL and officially the Eagles franchise quarterback. 

Wentz and the Eagles have agreed to a four-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2024, the team announced on Thursday night. The contract comes during the first offseason the team was allowed to sign him to a new deal. The Eagles have made it clear throughout the offseason that they wanted to sign Wentz, the player they drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Here are some initial takeaways on the Eagles’ decision to sign Wentz to a mega-extension:

The Risk: There is no sugarcoating it — this is a risk by the Eagles. Wentz has been in the NFL for three years and suffered three injuries, with each more serious than the last. There was no rush to get this deal done, as the Eagles held Wentz’s rights through the 2020 season for roughly the combined price ($30 million) they will pay him annually in this new deal. Instead of waiting another season — or two — to see if he could stay healthy and on the field, the Eagles decided to pay Wentz now, a move that could end up backfiring if recent history repeats itself. Yes, there is risk anytime you had a big contract to a player and injuries are part of the game. With Wentz, however, the risks are very clear, and the Eagles have decided the potential rewards outweighs them. 

The Reward: Just like the risks are clear, the rewards are as well. Even in 2018, a down season for the entire team, Wentz finished with the highest quarterback rating of his career, 102.2. When healthy, Wentz has the arm to make all the throws, the mobility to avoid pressure, the knowledge of the game to help him win prior to the snap and the work ethic to keep improving. The makings of the complete package is there, and if he puts it all together consistently, the Eagles will have a top-five quarterback for the next five-plus years. Considering that the pricetag for franchise quarterbacks will only go up, especially once Kansas City Chiefs’ star Patrick Mahomes signs his deal, it is possible that in two years the deal Wentz just signed will look like a steal for the Eagles. A franchise quarterback on a (semi) team-friendly deal is one of the greatest commodities in sports. That is the potential reward for the Eagles in signing Wentz early, and if it workouts, it will be a franchise-altering move. 

QBs from the past: There has been plenty of debate surrounding Wentz over the last two seasons. No matter which side you fall on, however, it is worth taking a quick look back at some of the quarterbacks that have started for this team since Donovan McNabb, the team’s last true franchise quarterback, left. Kevin Kolb, Sam Bradford, Vince Young, Mark Sanchez, Michael Vick — none of them proved to be the answer. Whether it works out remains to be seen, but the Eagles drafting Wentz, and now signing him to a mega-extension, puts this team the closest they have come to having a true franchise quarterback in 10 years. 

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