No argument you (or the Eagles) might want to advance to explain why Carson Wentz should still be the team’s quarterback makes sense. In fairness, we can go through them now.
1. Wentz makes too much money to be benched
Sure, he makes a lot of money. For salary cap purposes, he is making $18,656,536 this season and in future seasons, that number only goes up. But for today, we are only discussing whether Wentz should still be quarterbacking this team that is 3-6-1, having played 10 of its allotted 16 regular season games. Money doesn’t come into that discussion. The cap number on Hurts is $1,095.486 in 2020. Together, Wentz and Hurts make less this season (for cap purposes) than each of the following: Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, and Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s the money you are paying for the position as a whole that matters, not the money you are paying to one specific person.
2. Wentz is a veteran and Hurts is a rookie
Wentz has thrown 14 interceptions in 10 games this season. Many of them have been horrific:
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 22, 2020
— Philadelphia Inquirer Sports (@phillysport) October 11, 2020
— NFL (@NFL) October 5, 2020
He has also lost four fumbles, none worse than this high school mistake against the Cowboys in a game his team was lucky to win:
BALL IS OUT!@dallascowboys jump on the Carson Wentz fumble!
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 2, 2020
That’s 18 turnovers in 10 games, and that doesn’t even account for the stupid throws that somehow weren’t intercepted.
The usual knock on rookies is that the game moves too fast for them and that they will not properly respect taking care of the ball. The evidence through 10 games suggests strongly that Wentz is actually doing a worse job managing the speed of the game and protecting the ball than the typical rookie. Coming into Sunday, Cincinnati Bengals rookie Joe Burrow had thrown five interceptions and lost three fumbles in nine games. In eight games, Los Angeles Chargers rookie Justin Herbert had thrown six picks and lost only one fumble. Wentz is not only playing like a confused rookie, he is making critical errors at a pace that far surpasses the worst of the league’s elite rookies to date this season.
3. Benching Wentz now will sour his relationship with the franchise
AND? SO WHAT?
If anything, the franchise’s relationship with Wentz should be nearly irreparably soured by his horrible decision-making in his fifth professional season. Wentz has been given the gift of the worst NFL division in decades, a division where if the team was merely 5-4-1 at this point it would have a hammer lock on a playoff berth, and has in response lost winnable games to Cleveland, New York, Baltimore, and Washington. This 3-6-1 record represents the flat worst this team should be through 10 games, and the quarterback’s inexcusable play is a significant reason for that. Just against Cleveland, the atrocious pick-6 and the brain-dead safety Wentz bears primary responsibility for cost the Eagles nine points in a game that they lost by five. Wentz can resent the Eagles all he wants if they bench him — it would be on merit.
Eagles fans perpetually defecate on the legacy of Donovan McNabb. I’m putting it out for you here and now: McNabb in his prime would NEVER have been 3-6-1 at this point of the season.
4. Hey, the Eagles still lead the division, dance with the one that brought you
Here is the Eagles’ schedule in the next four games: Seattle (7-3), at Green Bay (7-3), New Orleans (8-2), at Arizona. (6-4).
Barring some freak injury to the starting quarterback of the Seahawks, Packers or Cardinals (Drew Brees is already hurt), the Eagles will be heavy underdogs in all of those games. If anything, Wentz’s play to date is a big reason why the Eagles will be getting a touchdown-plus for the next month.
5. It’s not the quarterback’s fault, it’s the injuries
Here is a recent list of injuries in the league. Dozens and dozens, into the hundreds, of players disabled by the league on a weekly basis. NFL stands for “not for long,” and the league mantra of “next man up” is the sort of thing they write books about. When you enter a game knowing your offensive line is decimated, maybe get rid of the ball when there is pressure. Instead, too often, this is what Wentz is:
40+ sacks, 10+ INTs, and 10+ fumbles thru the first 10 games of a season:
David Carr, 2002
Carson Wentz, 2020 pic.twitter.com/5S77Ze9sr4
— ProFootballReference (@pfref) November 22, 2020
The Eagles didn’t select Jalen Hurts in the second round of the most recent NFL draft because they thought Wentz was irreplaceable or indomitable. Wentz has been fragile in prior seasons. Now that he seems unbreakable, it’s ironic because it would apparently be better for everyone concerned if he didn’t keep taking the ball.
Are the Eagles winning a Super Bowl with Jalen Hurts? Nope.
But if we’re all being honest with each other, they never really won one with Wentz, either:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 19, 2018