Wentz, Eagles Excited About a Future Together
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It took a couple of months but both sides were motivated to get something done.
The result to that was Carson Wentz signing a franchise-record extension with the Eagles that guaranteed the face of the franchise $66 million when he put pen to paper and $107.9 in total guarantees, an NFL record which will likely have the lifespan of the average housefly judging by how quickly the bar usually gets raised in this league.
"I think both sides wanted to get it done," Wentz said Monday at the NovaCare Complex. "I knew I wanted this to be home for a long time. Ever since being drafted, [Philadelphia has] felt like home and so, as soon as we found something that was a win-win and a fair opportunity, I jumped at it because, like I said, I love this place. I want to be here for a while."
Most have described the contract as "team-friendly" for the Eagles despite the massive numbers, which could reach $144 million through incentives on the extension part of a deal that runs through 2024.
"There was a lot of different ways this thing could have went," Wentz acknowledged. "I left it up to [agents Ryan Tollner and Chase Callahan] and said 'You guys do what you do.' I have a lot of trust in what they do and how they operate, so I was in the know and not out of the loop, but at the same time, I didn't want to get too involved. I was focused on OTAs and we're out here as a team. I think this ended up working out as it was supposed to."
One of those different ways for Wentz could have been kicking the can down the road and betting on himself in the 2019 season.
“The earlier we did it, the better chance we have of keeping the rest of the team together to the extent that we can," Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman explained. "We want to keep as many good players here as possible; Carson understands that. We were open with him. Everyone understands that historically, the market goes up as it goes. This is not a secret."
Wentz has looked sharp in OTA practices open to the media this spring and had no limitations from the stress fracture in his back that derailed the 2018 season. He has also jettisoned the knee brace which was forced upon him from the torn ACL and LCL suffered in December of 2017.
“Shedding the knee brace ... I think that was kind of an annoyance throughout the year that he had to wear it," Wentz's position coach, Press Taylor, said earlier in that day. "... He’s got that bounce back.”
A bounce the Eagles believe will keep them contenders for years to come.
"This is a great day for the Eagles," owner Jeffrey Lurie surmised.
"We want to be in a position to win another championship," Roseman added.
The goals are clear. The focus now shifts to accomplishing them.
"[The Eagles] saw something special in me and at the same time in saw something special in this place," Wentz said. "I could see the chemistry, I could see the culture, the makeup from the moment I came here on my visit before the draft. I knew there was something different here, I knew there was something special and we were able to accomplish something special a couple years ago.
"It's been quite the ride for these couple years but I'm really excited about what the future brings."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen