After the dust settled from the Philadelphia Eagles’ heart-wrenching loss to the No.1 seed New Orleans Saints last Sunday in the NFC Divisional Round of the 2018 NFL playoffs, head coach Doug Pederson, along with executive vice president of football Howie Roseman held a joint press conference earlier this week.
Among the topics that were discussed was the future of quarterbacks Nick Foles and Carson Wentz, who have been joined at the hip for the last two seasons.
While it has been widely reported that Foles will have a quality trade market this offseason, Pederson made his intentions clear about who will be the Eagles’ starting quarterback next season.
“Yes, Carson is the quarterback going forward. And in Nick’s case, listen, we would love to have everybody back throughout the roster,” he said. “But as I’ve said many, many times, it’s not about one guy. It’s about the team. We’re going to do what’s best for the team.”
Wentz returned earlier this season from a serious knee injury that he suffered last season, but ended up missing the last five games due to a fractured vertebra.
Before suffering the season-ending back injury, Wentz put up some solid numbers across the board. He completed a career-high 69.6 percent of his passes for 3,074 yards, 21 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
However, he was sacked an enormous 31 times, which was the second-highest mark of his young career. That being said, it does not come as a surprise to see the Eagles sticking with Wentz.
Regardless of some fans and analysts thinking that Foles should be the guy going forward, it would be foolish for the front office to move on from their franchise quarterback this early into his career.
Even though Foles looked good in spurts this season and last, Wentz has a dynamic arm and does things on the field that the reigning Super Bowl MVP simply cannot do.
Along those same lines, with Foles not in the picture for next season, there will be immense pressure on Wentz to not only stay healthy but also lead the Eagles to the playoffs.
“It could [add pressure]. Without a doubt,” Wentz said (h/t NBC Sports Philadelphia). “You look at that and you could say it could put more pressure. I mean, you can say coming into the season there was more pressure.”
“But I do everything I can to block that stuff out. I think right now, going forward, my focus is getting my body right. And to play this game freely the way I did last year before the injury and cut it loose. Get rid of all that pressure and anxiety and whatever it may be, just play the game freely. And that’s where I’m going to get to.”
In addition to that added pressure to succeed is a looming contract extension for the young quarterback, which Roseman was asked about on Tuesday.
“We’re going to look again and have a meeting with the coaching staff this week and talk about kind of where we are and what we’re trying to do going forward,” he said.
“We haven’t had a lot of substance in those conversations, and because we want to have relationships with our players where we keep those talks close to the vest, I don’t know that it would be helpful to talk about any player, about what we want to do. It’s our job to keep as many good players here for as long as we can. In their prime and guys we drafted, those are guys that are always going to be a focus for us.”
The next few months should be interesting for the Eagles as they try to figure out what to do with Foles but also how Wentz performs with a lot on the line.