Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles on a four-year rookie contract, as reported on the team’s website. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com recently reported that the deal is worth $26.67 million and includes a signing bonus of $17.6 million.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 12, 2016
As a comparison, the No. 2 draft pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans’ quarterback Marcus Mariota, was reported by Sports Illustrated to have received a rookie contract worth $24.2 million, which included a $15.9 million signing bonus.
With Wentz having inked his contract, all eight of the Eagles’ 2016 draft picks are now signed, according to Phil Sheridan of ESPN.
In Philadelphia on Thursday to sign his deal, Carson is participating in rookie camp on Friday. This Tuesday, Wentz will join the rest of the Eagles for a three-day voluntary camp.
Carson Wentz became the Eagles highest draft pick since Donovan McNabb was selected by Philadelphia with the second overall pick out of Syracuse University in the 1999 NFL draft. As such, Wentz will have some lofty expectations to fulfill.
The Eagles traded with the Cleveland Browns for the opportunity to select Wentz with the second pick in this year’s draft. To do so, they gave up their first-, third-, and fourth-round selections in the 2016 draft, as well as a first-round pick in 2017 and a second-round pick in 2018, as reported by Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today. In addition to Wentz, Philadelphia also received a fourth-round pick in 2017 as part of the deal.
Considering the bevy of picks given up by the Eagles in order to acquire Carson Wentz, Philadelphia team management, as well as fans, will have their hopes set high for the quarterback to excel.
While at North Dakota State University, Wentz was a two-year captain of the Bison, which he led to back-to-back FCS championships in 2014 and 2015. In each of the championship games, Wentz was named the Most Outstanding Player.
During his senior year, Wentz suffered a broken wrist which limited his regular season playing time. Carson was able to start the first six games of the year for North Dakota State, throwing for 1,454 yards with 16 touchdowns and a 63.7 completion percentage. Although he missed the next eight games for the Bison, Wentz was cleared to play in the title game. Leading his team to the championship, Carson threw for 197 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 79 yards and two more touchdowns.
Although field time was limited for Wentz at the college level, his performance while in the game impressed professional scouts. As well, his physical attributes are those of a starting quarterback in the NFL. Wentz is listed on the NFL website as six-five, and 237 pounds, with 10-inch hands. Pro Football Focus notes that Wentz throws the ball with velocity and that he’s a good fit for a vertical passing system.
One scout, as reported on the NFL website, was particularly enamored with Wentz.
“He’s a genius, Wentz is. He could be really good. He’s the best runner, he’s the best athlete. He is off the charts.”
That is the type of profuse praise which has Eagles’ fans salivating to see Wentz line up under center for Philadelphia.
There will most likely be an apprenticeship first, however. The Eagles starting quarterback last season, Sam Bradford, was acquired in a trade with the Rams on March 10, 2015. That trade sent Philadelphia’s previous starter, Nick Foles, to St. Louis.
Bradford had a decent season for the Eagles, playing in 14 games while throwing for 3,725 yards and 19 touchdowns with a 65 percent completion rate. He was subsequently rewarded, on March 1, 2016, with a two-year, $36 million contract extension.
It may depend on how training camp and the preseason progresses for each quarterback, however Wentz will likely slot in behind Bradford on the depth chart, at least for his rookie season.
The Eagles did not trade up to the second overall draft pick for a backup quarterback though. It is hoped that Carson will be the starting quarterback of the future for Philadelphia. Just how far into the future that is, remains to be seen.
[Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images]