The Eagles have many problems on their hands, but none are bigger than the quarterback problem. Philadelphia’s very expensive star Carson Wentz spent his first four years in the NFL winning over the hearts of one of the toughest cities in the country by covering up and elevating the Eagles to one of the top teams in the league.
Like the year, 2020 has been brutal for Wentz, who has had his worst season of his career in the first year of four year/$128 million contract. He leads the league in interceptions with 15, has limited his mobility and appears to have lost his confidence.
It may seem odd that the starting quarterback who has had tremendous success in his first four seasons to feel unconfident in a city, but with Wentz’s injuries, less than one half of postseason football under his belt, a statue dedicated to his backup and the decision to draft Jalen Hurts in the second round pick have all reportedly bothered Wentz.
On Tuesday afternoon, head coach Doug Pederson announced that second round pick Hurts, who replaced Wentz mid-game last week, would be the new starter this week.
Yes, Wentz has played poorly, but there is much more to the situation than who plays quarterback. Wentz will take up nearly 17 percent of the Eagles cap space in 2021, roughly $35 million. That’s a lot of money to pay a back-up quarterback, but cutting him won’t be an option, because the dead cap hit would be $59 million. Basically, the Eagles quarterback will be Wentz.
As noted by Fox Sports analyst Emmanuel Acho, starting Hurts doesn’t make sense or “cents”. Even if the Eagles like Hurts, they won’t have much of a choice financially.
So what do the Eagles do? With Hurts playing against the Saints behind a banged up offensive line, Philadelphia will have to hope Wentz is motivated by losing his job and comes back with a fire.
The biggest problem might actually be Hurts having success. Financially it would be difficult to justify not starting Wentz, but if Hurts clearly gives you the best chance to win, its even harder to justify not starting him.
With a tough opponent coming up, Hurts could answer a lot of the Eagles questions depending on how he plays in his first start, for better or worse.