Carson Wentz is a pretty straightforward guy. He’s all about football, family, and faith, a guy who isn’t going to pop off to the media or share headline-worthy quotes, not unless he’s accused of being selfish and then finds himself in a super-secret sitdown discussion with a half-dozen Eagles beat reporters.
But that’s old news. The new news is that Wentz is officially the Birds’ QB of the future after putting pen to paper on a $128 million dollar contract extension.
Here are six things that stood out to me from Monday’s presser:
1. he knew he wanted to be here
This was a recurring theme. There really was not another destination in mind, nor did it seem like Carson was interested in testing the market and trying to make the most money possible. He dropped multiple quotes yesterday stating as much, among them:
“I’m happy to be here, happy to be in this city long-term. You can play the ‘what if’ game a million different ways, and I don’t get too caught up in that. We talked through it, we thought through it. Wanted to reach something that was fair both for me and my family, but also for this team and the organization for the future. I don’t think I’ll have any regrets. I’m really excited to be here and hopefully do something special for a while.”
“I knew I wanted this to be home for a long time. Ever since being drafted it’s felt like home. So as soon as we found something that was a win-win and really a fair opportunity, I jumped at it just because, like I said, I want to – I love this place. I love this place and I want to be here for a while. Felt like it was a good time.”
Always good to hear that from your franchise quarterback.
2. the injury situation didn’t seem to be a big deal
Zach Berman from the Philadelphia Inquirer asked Wentz if he had considered waiting until after this season to address the contract situation, after what could be a fully healthy season:
“Yeah, I mean, there was obviously, you know, just from discussions with my agents, a lot of different ways this thing could have went. I kind of pushed that to them and said, ‘You guys do what you do.’ I have a lot of faith and trust in what they do and how they operate.”
“Obviously I was in the know. I wasn’t completely out of the loop. At the same time, I didn’t want to get too involved just because I wanted to focus on OTAs and where we’re at as a team. I think it ended up working out as it was supposed to.”
3. the process took a few months to complete
When did Carson’s people and the Eagles first start discussions? It started in the winter:
Q. How long a process was getting this contract done? I know you said that you weren’t actively involved in all the talks and everything, but when did your agents first approach you about the Eagles or you and the Eagles wanting to talk a deal? (Martin Frank)
Wentz: “I would say a couple months, something like that. Like I said, I just tuned in with my agents and got connected and updated as they felt I needed to. Just kind of let that all play out and sort itself out and obviously we got it done.”
4. he trusted the people around him
Wentz didn’t feel the need to control every detail of negotiations because he was comfortable with others handling it for him:
“First and foremost, I trust my agents a lot. I know they have a lot of experience and quite the track record in doing these things. I trust them a lot. Obviously, I wasn’t by any means oblivious to what was going on. As we got closer here to the end, I got more and more of the details to ultimately make the final decisions and stuff. But, again, it just comes down to trusting those guys and getting us to that right area, and then kind of diving in at that point.”
5. the mindset doesn’t change
You know how it goes; some athletes play their ass off in a contract year, then take it easy. Others get paid and then you see a shift in their performance or how they approach the game. That doesn’t seem to be a thing with Wentz, who says he’s just going about his business as he always has:
“I would never really say see myself being more focused just in the sense of I’ve come to work and attacked and approached every single day the same since I first got here. This obviously is a step along the way, but my focus, everything, nothing is going to change. I’m still going to be the same me. I’m going to be the same hard-working guy, blue-collar guy. That’s never going to change.”
“So to some extent, yeah, nothing is really going to change in that regard and I’m just as hungry as ever.”
Everybody loves a hard-working, blue-collar guy.
6. the connection was established early
Wentz, and Jeffrey Lurie, too, talked about the first meeting between team and player in North Dakota and about how they hit it off immediately:
Q. What do you remember about that first meeting in North Dakota you had with the Eagles, and could you have envisioned that you would be looking at ten years living in Philadelphia? (Zack Rosenblatt)
Wentz: “Yeah, I definitely could see it then. I just felt such a great connection with everybody that was there. I thought the workout and all the meetings went great. It was cool to see them come to Fargo and get them out of their comfort zone maybe a little bit.”
“Mr. Lurie is up here laughing. He remembers. A little different, but, yeah, I remember meeting them for the first time. I felt a connection from the jump. Obviously, a couple months later we realized it was meant to be.”
Right then. The contract is signed. On to the next order of business.
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) June 10, 2019