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This wasn't supposed to happen to Carson Wentz, not the way the former Pro Bowl quarterback started his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. When the Eagles traded up to select Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, Philadelphia believed it found the quarterback that was going to lead the franchise for over a decade. The Eagles had their franchise quarterback who was going to lead them to deep playoff runs and write a new chapter in the franchise's storied history. 

Unfortunately, a series of bad luck, injuries, and team success have led toward the end of Wentz in Philadelphia. Wentz hasn't helped matters with with his poor play, becoming one of the worst quarterbacks in football overnight -- right before a massive contract extension is set to kick in. Wentz reportedly wants out of Philadelphia if he's the backup quarterback to Jalen Hurts in 2021 (who could blame him?), but how did a MVP frontrunner fall out of favor with the Eagles in just three years?

There are plenty of events that ultimately led to this impending divorce between Wentz and the Eagles, as this rollercoaster ride appears to finally be coming to an end. 


Eagles trade up to draft Wentz

Philadelphia possessed the No. 13 pick heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, but first traded up to No. 8 in an attempt to get a franchise quarterback. The Eagles landed Wentz by reaching a deal with the Cleveland Browns as Philadelphia gave up its first-round pick (No. 8 overall), a third and fourth-round selection in the 2016 draft, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 second-round pick. Philadelphia received the No. 2 overall pick (and a 2017 fourth-round pick) and selected Wentz weeks later.

Eagles trade Sam Bradford, make Wentz QB1

Wentz wasn't supposed to start for the Eagles in Week 1 of his rookie season, but that's what happened when the Eagles found a team that would take starting quarterback Sam Bradford off their hands. Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings eight days before the season, as the Eagles received a 2017 first-round pick and 2018 fourth-round pick. That trade paved the way for Philadelphia to make Wentz the starting quarterback in his rookie season, even though he played just one game in the 2016 preseason after suffering a rib injury in the first preseason game (he was fully healed by the start of the year). 

Eagles win Wentz's first three starts

The Eagles were flying high to start Wentz's career, winning their first three games and ending the month of September a surprising 3-0. Wentz became the first rookie quarterback since 1970 to win his first two games of the season while not throwing an interception and won NFC Offensive Player of the Week the following week (301 passing yards, two touchdowns). He won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month after completing 64.7% of his passes for 769 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 103.8 passer rating. 

While the Eagles finished 7-9, Wentz set the NFL rookie record for completions in a season with 379. He threw for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns, showcasing that he could be the Eagles' franchise quarterback for years to come.

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MVP frontrunner

The 2017 season was a coming of age for Wentz, as he was fulfilling the prophecy as the quarterback who finally would lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl. Philadelphia had the best record in the NFC as Wentz was the frontrunner for the league MVP award, completing 60.2% of his passes for 3,296 yards with 33 touchdowns to seven interceptions for a 101.9 passer rating.

Wentz was the NFC Offensive Player of the Week once and NFC Offensive Player of the Month in October after leading the Eagles to a 5-0 record. The Eagles were 11-2 in Wentz's starts as he earned his first Pro Bowl berth, second team All-Pro honors, and finished third in the MVP voting. Not only did Wentz lead the league in passing touchdowns per game (2.5) and touchdown percentage (7.5%), but he became just the third quarterback to post 33-plus touchdown passes and fewer than seven interceptions in the team's first 13 games -- joining Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady

Wentz tears ACL; Eagles win Super Bowl with Nick Foles

Wentz had a four-touchdown game in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams when he tore his ACL and was lost for the season. Wentz even threw a touchdown pass on the torn ACL, which was his last pass of that 2017 season. The Eagles clinched the NFC East that afternoon, but Foles was tasked with getting them home-field advantage and leading Philadelphia through the playoffs. 

Foles won his first two starts to clinch home-field advantage for the Eagles, then led the franchise to the Super Bowl with a postseason for the ages -- winning Super Bowl MVP honors as Wentz watched on the sidelines. There wasn't a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia, but a statue was dedicated to Foles outside of Lincoln Financial Field and a huge photo of him hoisting the Super Bowl trophy resides in the Eagles practice facility -- a constant remainder of what Wentz missed because of the injury. 


Wentz returns and more injuries arise

Due to his extensive rehab, Wentz was going to miss the start of the 2018 season as he recovered from his torn knee ligaments. The Eagles quarterback missed the first two games of the year before returning to thunderous applause in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz set a franchise record for completion percentage (69.6%), but the Eagles went just 5-6 in his starts (aided by two fourth quarter collapses by the defense). 

After the Eagles fell to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14, Wentz was shut down for the season with a back injury that he fought for the majority of his 2018 campaign (on top of playing on his rehabbed knee). Wentz became the second quarterback in NFL history to record 30-plus pass attempts and 115-plus passer rating in four consecutive games and threw 180 straight passes without an interception -- further proving the back injury that was developing affected him. 

Foles leads Eagles to the playoffs

With Wentz done for the season, the Eagles turned to Foles for the final three games of 2018 -- as the playoffs were a long shot at 6-7. Foles was excellent the final three games as the Eagles won all three of his starts -- including where he set the franchise record for passing yards in a game in Week 16 against the Texans -- as the Eagles finished 9-7 and earned the final playoff spot in the NFC. Foles led the Eagles to a playoff win -- a final second victory over the Chicago Bears (who had the No. 1 defense in the league) before Philadelphia bowed out in the NFC divisional round. 

Wentz was still the franchise quarterback, but questions arose whether he could last a full season. 


Eagles move on from Foles

Wentz no longer had to look over his shoulder as the Eagles passed on Foles' player option, allowing him to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. With Foles in Jacksonville, Wentz was the unquestioned franchise quarterback. 

There was some speculation the Eagles would choose Foles over Wentz, but that was outside noise. The Eagles front office was fully committed to Wentz and repeated it on multiple occasions. 

Eagles make Wentz highest-paid player in NFL history 

Despite missing eight regular season games so far in his career and five playoff games, the Eagles made Wentz the highest-paid player in NFL history. Philadelphia and Wentz agreed to a four-year, $128 million contract extension that gave him $107.9 million guaranteed -- the most for a player in the NFL. The total amount of the deal was six years and $154 million, a commitment to Wentz as the Eagles quarterback for years to come -- or so we thought. 

Wentz plays a full regular season, with peaks and valleys

Wentz started all 16 games for the first time since his rookie season, completing 63.9% of his passes for 4,039 yards with 27 touchdowns to seven interceptions (93.1 rating) -- but the Eagles were off to a dismal 5-7 start. Wentz played poorly in back-to-back games against the Patriots and Seahawks -- compiling a 75.1 passer rating with five turnovers against first place teams. 

The Eagles quarterback turned his season around in the final five weeks, completing 66.2% of his passes for 1,521 yards with 10 touchdown to just one interceptions as the Eagles went 4-1 en route to the NFC East title. Wentz led the Eagles to wins in their final four games, including a thrilling Week 16 win over the Cowboys to take over first place in the division. The Eagles quarterback was finally going to play in a playoff game. 

Wentz gets injured in playoff game

Wentz only took nine playoff snaps before his playoffs were over. Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney dove toward Wentz as he was sliding head first and hit him in the crown of the helmet, giving Wentz a concussion and knocking him out of the game (no penalty was given to Clowney for the hit). The Eagles failed to score an offensive touchdown in the 17-9 loss as Wentz finished the season injured for the third consecutive year.

Wentz's injury history was a major concern, even if this one wasn't his fault. 


Eagles shockingly draft Jalen Hurts

The Eagles pulled off a stunner in the NFL Draft, selecting Hurts in the second round -- just 11 months after signing Wentz to a record-setting contract. While there wasn't a quarterback controversy, the Eagles front office created one by drafting a quarterback that high in the draft. 

Wentz had to deal with living in Foles' shadow while wondering whether the Eagles were going to choose Foles over him for two years. Add that to the large number of injuries he's had to face along with playing in just one of the Eagles' six playoff games under head coach Doug Pederson -- and played just nine snaps -- now the Eagles franchise quarterback had to look over his shoulder again. 

The only way a quarterback controversy was coming is if Wentz played poorly. 

Wentz has worst season of his career

Instead of making sure Hurts never saw the field, Wentz did the opposite. Of the 32 qualified quarterbacks in passing statistics through 13 weeks, Wentz ranked 31st in completion percentage (57.4%), 29th in interception percentage (3.4%), 30th in yards per attempt (6.0), and 30th in quarterback rating (72.8). The Eagles offensive line didn't help, as Wentz was sacked a league-high 50 times -- or 10.3% on drop-back attempts. The Eagles were 3-8-1 in Wentz's 12 starts. 

Wentz was also second in the league in bad throw percentage (percentage of poor throws per pass attempt) at 22.2%, and only 70.4% of his passes were on-target (passes that would have hit the intended receiver), which ranked fifth-worst in the NFL. Only Drew Lock was worse than Wentz among qualified quarterbacks though 13 weeks, which led to the inevitable. 

Wentz benched for Hurts

The Eagles benched Wentz in Week 13 against the Packers after he went 6 for 15 for 79 yards in two and a half quarters of action. His 40% completion rate was the fifth-lowest mark of his career and the yards per attempt of 5.27 was the 10th worst. Hurts ignited a spark in the Eagles offense and he was named the starting quarterback for the next week's game against the Saints

Hurts takes over starting job, plays well

Hurts was awarded the starting quarterback job and is doing whatever he can not to relinquish it -- leaving Wentz's future with the Eagles in serious doubt. Hurts is the first player in the NFL in the past 70 years to have 500-plus passing yards and 150-plus rushing yards in his first two career starts. He has completed 41 of 74 passes for 505 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions while rushing 29 times for 169 yards in his first two starts -- compiling a 94.7 passer rating.

Wentz will have to earn his starting quarterback job back, but the Eagles quarterback reportedly wants out if he's relegated to being a backup. Even with Wentz's poor contract, a divorce seems to be coming. 

The breakdown

The Eagles are just 35-33-1 in Wentz's starts under Pederson (including playoffs) and 11-3 without him (not counting a meaningless Week 17 game in 2017 where Philadelphia had home-field advantage clinched). There are plenty of factors that led to the seemingly inevitable breakup of Wentz and the Eagles -- a saga unlike any other in recent NFL history.