When Galen Hurts steps on the field on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, he will do more than just start his debut with the Philadelphia Eagles. He will do more than just kick-start an attack that has stagnated terribly. The second player from Oklahoma and Alabama could go a long way in determining Carson Wentz’s future in Philadelphia.
While Wentz has been replaced as a rookie for the Hurts by head coach Doug Pederson this week, there are many strong voices in the organization who believe Wentz can still be a good midfielder in the NFL. They invested a lot in it – two mega operations, # 2 pick, four-year extension, $ 128 million – and I don’t think he’s close to being a rookie.
These people on the premises believed Carson simply needed a deep breath, restart, and a little time to get back to where it was. They expect Wentz to be back on top. They think it’s repairable.
But if Hurts likes him at the start of one, he gets another. Then another. If he liked all four, it gets complicated.
Pederson on the hot seat, despite winning the Super Bowl three years ago. If the Hurts lead the team to a strong finish, it could boost Pederson’s state of survival while also potentially cementing Hurts’s status as a start in the future.
Although it is too early to speculate on the 2021 season, this scenario is likely to lead to Wentz becoming available in commerce – for example, it’s hard to imagine the start of a previous franchise okay to compete for a job.
And despite his performance this year, based on conversations with various decision-makers across the NFL, Wentz will have more than enough suitors to create a solid commercial market. After talking to so many GMs, no one thought Wentz was a start.
They see mitigating factors – a badly wounded offensive line and a poor receiver’s pool, and declining confidence – as reasons Wentz fell back.
And his remaining salary – four years, $ 98.4 million – would be below average for the start of the NFL. Very negotiable. If a team or team thinks Wentz can start, money is not an issue.
For the Eagles, the trade only eases an already heavy burden of his contract. Sources say they will not simply try to get rid of the salary because they have set it aside the budget.
If Pederson were to be replaced, perhaps the new coach could find the old Carson. There is a lot to settle for after the season.
As for Hurts, he’s in the spotlight. What do we expect? Quarterback guru Quincy Avery, for example, said he’d be a lot more ready this week once he got his cast in the beginning.
“They will be able to open the playbook in a way designed for it, with more extension, more play movement and the way that allows him to use his arms and legs,” said Avery, one of the best QB coaches to take part in. I worked with Hurts during the pre-draft process. “This week it’s going to be tough because of the defense they’re playing. But you’ll see someone who will prove to be a QB at NFL.”
Avery said Hurts improved more than any other possibility he had from start to the end of the draft process. This continued in the NFL.
“He was more flexible, and more confident in throwing the ball, leading the ball, and throwing the rhythm,” Avery continued. “And of course, he extends the plays. He’s doing all the things you want in quarterback in 2020.”