In April 2016, Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman made the gutsy decision to package three draft picks in the top 100 selections plus a 2017 first and 2018 second-round pick to trade up and take Carson Wentz second overall in the NFL draft.
This would essentially end the bridge period after Michael Vick, in which the Eagles turned to several other potential solutions, including Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford. In other words, the Eagles finally found another franchise quarterback, despite the massive price tag.
But after being on the job since 2016 as the team’s GM and, to that point, having never won a Super Bowl, Roseman knew how crucial it was to have a top-notch quarterback under center. Wentz started from the very start of the regular season and led the team to 11 wins in his second season, but he tore his ACL in Week 14 and never returned to his top form in Philly.
Just after his fourth season, and a year that saw the Eagles reach the postseason as a Wild Card team, Roseman made the shocking decision to draft Jalen Hurts with the 53rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Being that it was a late pick in the second round, Hurts’ selection wasn’t exactly an expensive one, yet, teams don’t typically spend second-round picks on quarterbacks unless a replacement is needed in the next year or two.
It only took Hurts until Week 13 before he would make his way onto the field and in the starting lineup for Week 14. The rest was history, as Hurts would never again relinquish his starting role, leading to Wentz’s departure in the offseason.
While it’s easy to look back and say the Eagles made the right call now, the process to reach this point was very unconventional. Most teams likely wouldn’t have done what Roseman did, selecting a new quarterback when the existing face of the franchise was still just 27 years old.
Howie Roseman digs into Carson Wentz’s durability issues
But now that the Eagles are back in the Super Bowl, Roseman seemed more willing to open up about the fascinating decision he made two years ago by selecting Hurts.
“At the end of the day, it’s the most important position in sports. You see it through the course of this season. You need depth in this league. Why wouldn’t you consider building depth at the most important position of all sports? The league is a competitive league. If you’re worried — if you have players that are worried about competition … ” he began, shaking his head. “Look. You have to be really good to start in this league. If you’re worried [that] we’re bringing in depth and talent, you’re probably not the right guy at that position.”Eagles GM Howie Roseman on importance of QB position
His comment about having players who are “worried about competition” is particularly noteworthy when it comes to Wentz. Another report from 2021 suggested Wentz “responded very negatively” to the Eagles bringing in another highly-touted QB so quickly while being in the prime of his career.
While Wentz has never publicly made any negative comments toward the Eagles or toward Hurts, it’s not hard to imagine the QB being a bit disturbed by the team’s decision to plan for a future without Wentz on board. As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened, with Wentz traded in Feb. 2021.