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SportWhy Eagles' Carson Wentz might regret settling for a team-friendly contract

19:05  12 june  2019
19:05  12 june  2019 Source:

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Philadelphia Eagles ' Carson Wentz signed a record-breaking contract extension. They might all wind up larger than Wentz ’s new deal. What he said: “I’m happy to be here, happy to be Unless the Eagles were looking for a contentious relationship with Wentz and his representation, this (waiting)

Why Eagles' Carson Wentz might regret settling for a team-friendly contract © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

All NFL contracts carry an inherent risk-reward factor for both the team and the player. When the player has a history of injury, the level of risk rises significantly for the team. And when the contract involves a star quarterback for whom the money skyrockets, and said QB has suffered major injuries in his career, that can cause high anxiety for the general manager. But the GM can lessen the angst if he feels he got a team-friendly contract while he prays the QB stays healthy.

In accordance with the above scenario, I give you the extension Carson Wentz signed last week with the Eagles. Today it looks like a fair deal for both sides with equal amounts of risk-taking. But I venture to say that, a few years down the road, the Eagles will be the winners in this negotiation, as I expect Wentz to stay relatively healthy and play at an elite level.

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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.

Carson Wentz signed a four-year contract on Thursday, the team announced. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports the deal is worth .67 The quarterback competition in Philly will garner plenty of attention this summer, especially after Bradford awkwardly lobbied for a trade after Wentz was drafted.


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Despite Wentz ending each of the past two seasons sidelined with major injuries, Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman is going all in on the player he traded up to the second overall pick in 2016 to draft. Roseman and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie are betting $107 million that Wentz can stay healthy and play at the level he displayed in 2017, when he was an MVP candidate until his December ACL injury.

That $107 million is the amount of guaranteed money in Wentz's four-year, $128 million extension. The new money in this deal is just below that contained in the recently signed deals of Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. However, the good news for the Eagles is that Wentz still has two years remaining on his rookie contract, so the total value of the six years for which he is signed is $154 million.

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Carson Wentz, Eagles agree to contract extension worth $128M, report says Philadelphia and the quarterback have agreed to a four-year extension that will run through the 2024 season, the team announced Thursday. The deal is worth $128 million, with at least $107 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. Eagles are giving Carson Wentz a four-year, $128 million contract extension that include guarantees over $107 million, per source. Wentz’s total deal is now six years for $154 million, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2019 “Can’t even explain to you how excited I am right now to be a part of this city for this many more years.

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That's $25.66 million per year, an amount that falls below the per-year dollars for the 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5 million) and the Vikings’ Kirk Cousins ($28 million). Considering the market value of top 10 QBs — which Wentz is when healthy — this is clearly a team-friendly contract.

But there is that injury risk; the scenario in which the Wentz deal would blow up on the Eagles.

In my GM years in Minnesota, I tried to do the biggest deals with players who had a record of durability, such as Hall of Famers Chris Doleman, John Randle and Cris Carter. When I was with the Titans, the same held true with Pro Bowl QB Steve McNair on his big extension in 2001.

Occasionally I would gamble, as I did in matching a league-high $5 million-per-year offer for running back Robert Smith, who had two ACL tears early in his career. Fortunately that worked out, as Smith became a Pro Bowler and led the NFC in rushing in 2000. But I was plenty nervous every time I saw Smith make a sharp cut or take a big hit.

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With a lot more money at stake, that’s how Roseman will feel every time Wentz is sacked or takes off on a run. I can already hear the GM yelling, “Slide!"

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From the perspective of Wentz and his agent, I understand it's hard to pass up the security of a long-term deal that has him financially set for life, especially considering his injury history. Wentz has 13 missed games over the past two seasons — eight due to the ACL tear in 2017 that carried over to the first two games in 2018, plus five games missed late last season (including two playoff games) due to a fracture in his back.

Perhaps there's some of the Tom Brady factor at work here, with Wentz being happy in Philly and willing to take less money than he could have eventually received so Roseman would have more money available to bring in a talented supporting cast. Wentz indicated after the signing that he wasn't interested in chasing the last dollar in a new deal.

”I wanted this to be home for a long time," he said. "As soon as we found something that was a win-win, a really fair opportunity, I jumped at it. Because I love this place."

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Wentz -mania is the latest source of false hope in Philadelphia. His early-season success is All of which makes Wentz ’s arrival in Philadelphia that much crueler. He may be able to overcome the It’s not hard to see the particular form of heartbreak Wentz will deliver to Southeastern Pennsylvania.

If that leads to Super Bowl titles a la Brady, the endorsement income will more than make up for any contract shortfall. But that's a big if.

The problem I foresee is that the QB market is going to continue to jump significantly in the next few years. Part of the reason is the fact that there will be a new collective bargaining agreement that already is in early negotiations. When it takes effect in 2021, and as new TV deals also are negotiated, the players' share of league revenue will likely see a significant increase. That will translate to higher player salaries with the QBs leading the way as usual.

There also is the presence of some talented young passers led by 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, who will surely approach or hit $40 million per year in new money from the Chiefs when his contract is extended in the next two years. Jared Goff, the QB picked by the Rams just ahead of Wentz in 2016, also will command big bucks, as will Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson and, possibly, the top two picks in the 2015 draft, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Then the class of 2018, led by Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, will be headed to new deals in about three more years.

So a couple years from now, Wentz could be far down the list of highest-paid QBs, and at that point, he might regret not waiting another year or two to see how the QB market was shaping up. He can earn another extension four years from now, when he will have two years left on his current deal, and that's definitely the end game in his agent's mind. But Wentz will have a hard time catching up to the top-paid QBs in terms of total career compensation.

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Latest on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz including news, stats, videos, highlights and more on ESPN. No teams in your favorites yet. Add some for quick access!

Carson Wentz signed his rookie contract Philadelphia Eagles for four years. The Eagles settled business with Wentz more quickly than the Tennessee Titans did with last year’s No. 2 pick Marcus Sports Illustrated may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.


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Under the tutelage of an excellent coach and QB guru in Doug Pederson, Wentz is a player I think will improve in areas such as getting rid of the ball quicker before taking big hits and protecting himself better when he runs. These advancements should help him stay on the field and off the injured list. Which in turn will lead to higher production and, eventually, a contract he has outperformed. Such is the risk that goes along with the peace of mind in a long-term deal.

In the final analysis, if he is winning big, it probably won't matter to Wentz if his contract lags behind his contemporaries. But what are the chances Wentz and the Eagles will have the kind of success of Brady and the otherworldly Pats?

Not great, wherein Wentz would come up short in this deal if he becomes a perennial top QB.

Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He makes speaking appearances to corporate/civic groups and college classes on negotiation and sports business/sports management. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL.

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