Extra Points: Eagles, Golf, Shamrock Shake Part of St. Patrick’s Day
The Eagles spent the first day of free agency officially saying goodbye to a few players, including a certain quarterback whose playlist includes "Indiana Wants Me."
Evidently, Pennsylvania didn't.
Carson Wentz's trade to Indianapolis became final on Wednesday at 4 p.m., the start of the new league year. He closed the door on Philadelphia a few weeks ago by putting his five bedroom, 7,400-square feet house located outside Woodstown and Pilesgrove in Salem County up for sale for $1.7 million.
Wonder if he ever got a chance to see the Cowtown Rodeo?
Wentz has yet to speak publicly since getting benched in favor of Jalen Hurts at halftime against Green Bay on Dec. 6. And Eagles fans may never know what exactly happened that prompted him to essentially force his way out of town. He is scheduled to speak at an Indianapolis virtual press conference on Thursday, but the Colts have indicated they will not permit any questions from Philadelphia media.
The Eagles made their feelings known by posting a "Thank You Carson Wentz" picture on their Twitter feed Wednesday, though I'm wondering what Wentz did to merit it?
All of the team's playoff success during the five seasons Wentz was an Eagle was earned by Nick Foles. Foles led the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship in 2017 and helped them win a first-round playoff game at Chicago the following season. Wentz finally got a chance to start a playoff game in 2019 against Seattle, but was knocked out of the game in the first quarter with a concussion.
This season was a disaster for him and the team. He tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions and completed just 57.4 percent of his passes before getting benched for Hurts. The Eagles still maintained hope that he could be salvaged, but he clearly had no interest in competing for the starting job in training camp next season.
"It's no secret about how we felt about Carson Wentz as a Philadelphia Eagle, whether it was the process of trading up for him in the (2016) draft or extending (his contract) after the 2018 season, and we had this season where there were some things that happened and, obviously, Jalen ended up starting the last four games," Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman told the team's web site Wednesday. "We had some conversations with him and his representatives about what was the best thing to go forward and when we were doing the coaching search, communicating with him and his agent and they talked about maybe it was time for him to have a fresh start, that he was looking forward to a fresh start."
The Eagles also officially bid adieu to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive tackle Malik Jackson Wednesday, thereby making some progress in their quest to get younger.
Jeffery played a major role in the Eagles' Super Bowl run in 2017, setting team records with 217 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the postseason, and fought through a shoulder injury to catch a TD pass from Foles in the Eagles' 41-33 victory over New England in Super Bowl LII.
But he went downhill faster than me descending the West Cape May Bridge on my bicycle. A foot injury suffered in 2019 limited him to just seven games this season, where he caught six measly passes for 115 yards and a TD. He also became a divisive influence in the locker room.
Jackson was just a flatout bust. He suffered a season-ending foot injury in the 2019 opener against Washington and was little more than a part-time player this season.
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin left without ever putting on an Eagles uniform. They acquired him in a trade with the 49ers during the 2020 draft, but family concerns prompted Goodwin to become one of 67 players to opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to Covid-19. Earlier this week, Goodwin's contract was reverted to the 49ers and the Eagles will receive a seventh-round pick in this year's draft.
Wednesday was eventful for me, as well.
As a Cape May beach bum, I'm normally thrilled to spend a day in the sand, but that's not the case when it comes to golf. I've been playing for over 20 years, but getting out of traps has always been one of my weaknesses. That ended Wednesday, thanks to some lessons from lifelong friend and PGA teaching professional Roger Hoover at Harbor Pines Golf Club.
Going to Harbor Pines also meant getting another look at the brick on the sidewalk that commemorates my only hole-in-one. I aced the 11th hole on Sept. 20, 2003 during a round with the late Mark Simensen.
Mark, never one to show much emotion, responded by saying, "Nice shot" while I danced around the green like I was at the Stardust in Wildwood in 1978.
During the ride home Wednesday, I stopped at McDonald's as a homage to my late mother. Patsy Hart, who passed away in 2009, was an Irish Catholic from New York City. She was a regular at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York as a young woman and was thrilled beyond belief when her grandchildren Ashley and Kyle marched in it as members of the Richard M. Teitelman Junior High School band in 1998 and 2000, respectively.
In her later years, she celebrated the holiday with a Shamrock Shake, which she routinely described as "delicious and refreshing."
I drank one on my way past St. Mary's Cemetery in West Cape May, where Patsy is buried next to my dad.
Stormin' Norman Weinberg, who passed away in 2007, didn't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but he did play football for Notre Dame.
And you can't get any more Irish than that.
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