Few selections during the 2020 NFL Draft shocked more than the Philadelphia Eagles’ second-round pick of Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.
After all, Philly already had a franchise QB in Carson Wentz and a dutiful backup in Nate Sudfeld. Plus, it was thought that the Eagles were intent on finding early-round talent to complement Wentz, not potentially replace him.
Don’t count Wentz as one of those phanatics surprised or unnerved by the Hurts selection.
"With Jalen, I’m excited to add him to the team," Wentz told reporters on a conference call in his first comments since the draft. "I know how important the quarterback position is and how important the dynamic is for me and for the other guys in that room. I’ve been blessed over the years to have some incredible, not just quarterbacks, but incredible humans and friends in that quarterback room. We really endure a lot together and go through (a lot) together. So I’m excited.
"I’ve heard nothing but great things about Jalen, the player that he is. Got a chance to talk to him just briefly. So I’m excited to add him to the fold and create a really good, healthy, competitive, challenging environment for all of us. Excited to add him to the fold."
Given Wentz’s injury history — while the Eagles have made the postseason in three consecutive seasons, Wentz has played just two series combined in those playoff games — Philly’s selection of Hurts seemed to indicate, at the very least, the Eagles were simply bolstering their QB room in the event their franchise signal-caller went down again. A more cynical viewpoint concluded that Philly was through with Wentz’s unreliability and had drafted the dual-threat Hurts as his replacement.
For what it’s worth, Wentz isn’t concerned in the slightest about his job security, telling reporters he was not bothered by Hurts’ Day 2 selection.
"It didn’t really concern me. My reaction was kind of understood. I know I had a feeling there was a chance we were going to draft somebody, just given the way our roster’s laid out and trying to get younger and stuff. So there was no concern for me," Wentz said. "The team showed their investment in me last year and I have nothing but confidence and faith in them and they have nothing but confidence and faith in me, so I think it’s all about strengthening that position and this group that we have."
Wentz is 11 months removed from signing an extension through 2024 in Philadelphia, a pact that included $107.9 million in guarantees and up to $144 million in total value. The contract was a sign that, despite Wentz’s late-season injuries, Philly viewed him as the centerpiece of its offense going forward.
But according to the QB, his deal was just as much about his trust in the organization’s vision as the front office’s trust in him, one that he says has yet to be violated.
"If I were to start questioning (Eagles general manager) Howie (Roseman) and the management now," Wentz continued, "I’d really be questioning myself because when I signed the deal that I did, it was my way of showing I trust and believe in what we’re doing in Philly and they trust and believe in me. So I have nothing but confidence and I’m excited to get to work."
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