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Carson Wentz's injuries could be a blessing in disguise for Eagles

Jeff McLane, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

Odd as it might sound, Carson Wentz's injuries might prove to be as beneficial to the Eagles as any other occurrence over the next six years.

The injuries, to some degree, made the contract extension Wentz agreed to last week possible because it gave each side an incentive to do it now. The Eagles would be locking down a franchise quarterback through 2024, but not doing so at an expense that would hamstring their ability to add talent to the rest of the roster.

And Wentz, besides getting a boatload of money, would be able to perform without having the specter of another injury, and what that could mean for his future, hounding what might be the most important season of his career.

As far as news conferences go, the one the Eagles held Monday to officially mark the four-year, $128 million extension was short on details. Wentz spoke mostly in generalities and avoided giving specifics on negotiations and why he ultimately decided to sign just three years into his career.

But the parts he left out articulated almost as much as anything about his decision-making.

Wentz didn't want to reflect on the low point of his first three seasons (besides, isn't it fairly clear?). And he didn't want to delve into the hypothetical of the constant scrutiny over his health had he opted to play out this season because what the extension has seemingly allowed is a turning of the page on the injuries that ended his last two seasons.

 

"In my opinion, it's all behind me," Wentz said at the NovaCare Complex. "You don't play the what-if game too much, and really don't worry about what other people might think, might say, all that stuff.

"That's always going to be there. That's what you sign up for when you play this game -- the scrutiny, the pressure, all those different things -- I'll never get caught up in all that."

Yes, the pressure will always be there playing that position in this town, and it will increase significantly after the Eagles awarded him the largest contract in franchise history. But there has to be some relief knowing that even if he were to suffer another injury this season -- minor or major -- he has five more years of security.

Wentz had to give to get and might -- over the course of the deal -- end up with a contract that pays him below market value. But he simply didn't have that kind of leverage. The 26-year-old had an MVP-caliber 13 games in 2017, but there isn't yet enough of a sample to say that he will someday outplay his contract.

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