Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson confirmed to the media that rookie quarterback Carson Wentz will likely wear street clothes this year.
Despite paying a king’s ransom before the draft (details here) to acquire the No. 2 pick from the Cleveland Browns, the Eagles are looking at Wentz clearly being the No. 3 quarterback. As such, he isn’t expected to play a single down for the Eagles this year, barring injury to Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel.
“Typically, the third quarterback is down,” Pederson said, via Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice. “It’s hard right now to look down the road, but if we had to play this week, Carson would be down. He’d be the third quarterback. He’d be deactivated. That’s probably the direction we’re heading, I would think is going that route. Obviously barring injury and, as you know, how this game is, but typically the third quarterback, whoever that is, is down on game day.”
Kempski had previously reported that Wentz would not play in 2016, but this is the first time Pederson has confirmed what was previously a rumor.
There are two ways to look at this situation.
The first is to say the Eagles made a fool’s bargain to give up so much for a quarterback who won’t even see the field. After all, if you sell the farm for a guy, that guy should be starting games, not watching from the sidelines wearing street clothes.
The second way to look at this is that the Eagles are actually doing the smart thing. The club can stay competitive with a veteran quarterback running the offense while the untested rookie out of North Dakota State learns the ins and outs of the NFL without getting his soul crushed.
Time will tell which argument will be justified in the end.
But in the NFL these days, landing a franchise passer is worth almost any price. They are the difference between competing for a championship and the cellar for most teams.
Wentz has, by all accounts, the tools to become a very good NFL passer. He lacks experience but has the physical abilities needed to play at a high level as well as the leadership skills that are required to take his team to the next level.
The Eagles have been pleased with him thus far (more on that here). But at the same time, he’s nowhere near ready to lead an NFL offense.
Letting him see the NFL from a safe perch right now is probably the best idea for this young Eagle.