I'm sure everyone has seen the rumors surrounding Carson Wentz and what might happen to him this offseason. Eagles fans, and NFL fans in general have been quick to turn on Carson this past season. Casting him off as an overpaid, overhyped, turnover machine who isn't worth much anymore. While it's certainly possible that all this is true, I believe it is far too early to write Wentz off. We need to look at what has gone on around Carson these past couple years.
Let's go back to the 2017-2018 season. The Eagles are 10-2 going into their week 14 game against the Rams out in LA. Carson Wentz is the MVP favorite. He has thrown for 3300 yards and a 33/7 split, sporting a 101QBR. The team is averaging 30 points and 385 yards per game. Carson tears his ACL against the Rams and is done for the season. We all know what happens next, Philly Philly and all. This Super Bowl run is the worst thing that could possibly happen to Carson. It is also one of the most improbable things to ever happen in sports. Having your backup quarterback lead you to a SB win just doesn't happen. Nonetheless the expectations are set moving forward for Carson. It's SB or bust, no excuses.
All this is fine except for a few changes, which cannot be overstated. The most important being offensive coordinator Frank Reich's departure. Frank Reich made that Philly offense work and was instrumental in catering it to Carson's strengths when he was in, and changing it to fit Nick Fole's strengths when he took over. When Frank left for the Colt's HC position, Doug Pederson decided he was the only man the offense needed and forfeited hiring an OC. The next few years you started to see how flawed his gameplanning, play-calling, and game management was. Remember for a moment Philly Philly, Nick Foles is the one who calls that play not Doug. Doug's shining moment of his career and the statue of the play for which he's immortalized for wasn't even his call, he was just there. Carson would now be in Doug's hands.
In the 2017 off-season the Eagles offense would lose 2 top RBs, 2 important TEs, and number 2 receiver Torrey Smith. Efforts to replace them were failures outside of Dallas Goedert at TE. Play along the offensive line would deteriorate in 2018 and receivers like Alshon Jeffrey were either injury plagued or saw their production decline. Carson was trying to come back from a torn ACL which can be very difficult to do. Especially difficult when you're playing in Philly and the fans will turn on you in a second when you start performing poorly, and demand you be replaced. Normally this wouldn't be a concern, except for in this case when over your shoulder is Super Bowl hero Nick Foles who Philly fans would love to see take them on another run. How is one supposed to perform at an elite level when they are dealing with multiple challenges like these. Unfortunately Carson would suffer another season ending injury and Nick Foles would lose in the playoffs as most backup QBs would.
That offseason would result in no serious additions in terms of offensive weapons, which were lacking the year before, and a continued exodus of players who won the Super Bowl with the team. The 2019 season would be a solid year for Carson regardless, putting up 4000 yards and a 27/7 split in 16 games. Unfortunately another injury would end his season early. More weapons left that offseason and no efforts to replace them were successful. As expected 2020 would be a train wreck. Injuries plagued the team. The offensive line was either old or out with injuries. The receivers were a joke, and reliable guys like Zach Ertz started to show decline. To add to the pressure for Carson the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round of the draft, so he was once again looking over his shoulder for much of the season. Carson was destined to fail and there was nothing he could do to prevent it.
People like to blame Carson for the Eagles shortcomings, but the reality is he was only a small piece of the puzzle. Injuries, terrible coaching, looking over his shoulder, and the deterioration of the team around him made the situation in Philly an unwinnable one for Carson. Maybe a fresh start elsewhere would be beneficial for Carson, especially in a place like Indy with his old coach and a talented roster around him. I think trading him would be a mistake for Philly. Carson is a franchise caliber QB, like most QBs he just needs a functional team around him.