On Sunday, Eagles’ coach Doug Pederson had enough of Carson Wentz’s mistakes. Pederson benched Wentz and put in 2nd round pick QB Jalen Hurts, who has been waiting the entire season to get his opportunity. Hurts had been used in a few games this season, but most often as a decoy in a receiver or running back position. Eagles fans had been anxiously awaiting Hurts’ first touchdown as an NFL quarterback, and it did not disappoint. Hurts made a great play on the move—something Wentz has been struggling with the whole season. To Eagles fans’ delight, Pederson announced on Tuesday that Jalen Hurts will be QB1 for the next game against the Saints this Sunday.
What more could Carson Wentz have done to prove that he should not be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles? He is having one of the worst seasons, statistically, for a quarterback this season and on top of that, he has lost his confidence. Was Wentz the quarterback to win the Super Bowl for the Eagles in 2017? No, that was Nick Foles. Watching your backup quarterback win a Super Bowl for your team, after leading them all season at a MVP level, can take a toll on a person mentally.
Carson Wentz has felt the pressure to perform ever since Philadelphia signed him to a $128 million contract extension in 2019, which keeps him around until 2021. The Eagles then drafted Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round, adding additional pressure and shaking his confidence. Hurts remained in Wentz’s line of sight all season waiting for his opportunity to step in and take over. On top of all of this, Wentz is extremely injury prone. He has faced an ACL tear, an LCL tear, back spasms, and a concussion. Once again, these injuries can take a toll on a person, both mentally and physically. It is vital to the teams’ success that Pederson takes into consideration Carson Wentz’s physical ability as a quarterback, as well as his current mental strength.
Why is giving Jalen Hurts the starting QB position the right move for the Eagles right now? The Eagles are out of the playoff race. They stand at 3-8-1 and 3rd in the NFC East. Why not give a young, inexperienced player some experience at a time where there is no pressure to make the playoffs? By starting Jalen Hurts for this next game, and possibly future games, the Eagles are giving Hurts much needed experience and are preparing him to be not only a good NFL quarterback, but a leader, something the Eagles are desperately lacking.
What should the Eagles do with Wentz? Cutting him is not an option due to his contract. If the Eagles were to cut Wentz this offseason, they would be paying him $59 million, without him even playing a game. Could Wentz go to the Colts and reunite with his former offensive coordinator, Frank Reich? Possibly. So, what are their options moving forward? Philadelphia has now given Hurts a head start this season.
Hurts has time to develop his skills during an actual game, and if he plays well, the Eagles can feel confident that they have a new young quarterback that they can depend on, and maybe draw in some new players during the offseason. Carson Wentz is not the young, rising star he once was. Luckily for the Eagles, they have a player in Jalen Hurts with great foundations and the potential to be everything Philadelphia was missing this season.
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