The relationship between Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles ended poorly, yet that wasn’t always the case. Just five years ago, Wentz led the Eagles to the No. 1 seed in the NFC before being lost for the season with an ACL injury.
Eagles fans know what happened next with Nick Foles. Wentz never was the same player and the Eagles subsequently finished the next season worse than the previous one, leading to Wentz getting benched for Jalen Hurts and asking out of Philadelphia last offseason.
Wentz is now with the Washington Commanders after a disastrous season with the Indianapolis Colts. He’ll be returning to Philadelphia for the first time since the trade, which will be an interesting reaction when he faces his former team.
Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie won’t be in disdain of him.
“I welcome Carson when he comes back,” Lurie said at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday, via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I think I’d rather take the road of, ‘He really helped us in a very important way in the 2017 season.’ And I wish he would have been able to maintain the level of growth throughout and it didn’t pan out that way.”
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Wentz was crucial toward helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl, getting Philadelphia to an 11-2 start and the NFC East title. He completed 60.2% of his passes for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a 101.9 passer rating in 13 games of that 2017 season, setting the franchise record for touchdown passes in a season. Despite missing the last three games, Wentz finished second in the league in touchdown passes.
“Probably played at an MVP level. There’s no way we’d be a No. 1 seed going into the playoffs if it weren’t for Carson,” Lurie said. “I doubt we would have been able to win the Super Bowl if we didn’t have the No. 1 seed. It’s hard to know, but that was the best of Carson. When we drafted Carson, that’s what we hoped for. An MVP-level quarterback.”
The Eagles handled Wentz’s departure from their franchise much differently than the Colts, as owner Jim Irsay went out of his way to criticize Wentz. Through the hardships at the end, Wentz helped deliver the Eagles their first Super Bowl title — a championship Lurie coveted since he took over the franchise in 1994.
“I’m excited, coming back to the East, a lot of good memories,” Wentz said earlier this month. “I’ll admit, it will be weird that first time going to the Linc [Lincoln Financial Field], I’m sure I’ll hear a little bit of everything. Definitely am aware of that. I embrace it. I embrace it.
“It’s exciting. I try and keep all those things at bay and just, ‘Hey, just football, just go play ball.’ And all the outside noise will take care of itself.”