Eagles Stay Ahead of the Curve with Carson Wentz Deal
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Anyone surprised that the Eagles went first when it came to quarterbacks in the 2016 draft class hasn't been paying attention.
That's the M.O. of Philadelphia dating back to the days of Joe Banner, something the former longtime NFL executive espoused again last night in the wake of Carson Wentz's blockbuster extension.
It's hard to explain to those who aren't immersed in the minutiae of NFL contracts that a four-year extension with an average annual value of $32 million a season, $66M of fully guaranteed money the minute Wentz hands over his routing number and puts pen to paper, and $107.9M in total guarantees, the most ever handed out to an NFL player, is a bargain.
Everything is about context, however, and Wentz is now under lock and key for the Eagles through 2024 at an AAV of just under $26M per season, less than quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo.
The $107.9M record will only exist until Jared Goff signs his extension or a player like Patrick Mahomes shatters the figure when it's his turn. Contracts in the NFL are always about timing and circumstance. It was Wentz's time and the circumstances [a torn ACL and LCL in 2017 and a stress fractures in his back last season] actually leaned in the Eagles favor.
For weeks on the Sports Bash's "Football at Four" segment we explained that the Eagles had already made their decision and the extension would come sooner rather than later if Wentz agreed to a "team-friendly deal," which is this case ranged from $28M to $32M per season.
By utilizing the final two years of Wentz's rookie deal Howie Roseman and Jake Rosenberg were able to get six years at an overall price tag which will look downright quaint when it's time to talk turkey again.
Both Roseman and team owner Jeffrey Lurie weren't shy about the willingness to get a deal done so the ball was really in Wentz's court. Have a spectacular 2019 season and these numbers would have reached gargantuan levels, setting the bar even higher, or take a little less in exchange for the security now.
As for the injury concerns, while real, the hand-wringing and pearl-clutching is for the fans and the call-in shows. Those in the league understand that all big-money deals are calculated gambles so it's about the confidence in your ability to evaluate talent and the understanding that those injuries can't be legislated no matter what you do.
The scared adopt dogs, the bold stay ahead of the curve and Roseman just rounded the corner with nothing in his rear-view mirror.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen