By Tom Brennan
There were lots of losers when the Eagles named 39-year-old Nick Sirianni as head coach yesterday:
Duce Staley, who has been passed over so often he must feel like he is Jewish;
Josh McDaniels, the consensus fave in Vegas;
But the big winner was Carson Wentz.
Weeks after a Wentz-Eagles divorce appeared inevitable, exactly what does Philly’s new head coach mean for Wentz’s future?
The Eagles may still be open to listening to offers for Wentz, whose $128 million contract looks daunting in the wake of his drastic and unexpected 2020 regression, not to mention a reported fallout with team leadership. Sirianni has also yet to lay eyes on a single Wentz practice rep, and second-round draft pick Jalen Hurts remains in the building with starting aspirations.
But almost everything else indicates that Sirianni’s hiring is proof that Philly is serious about restoring, not parting with, Wentz in 2021.
“I believe Sirianni’s background with Frank Reich,” writes Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, “helped the team get the answers it was looking for regarding his pairing with Carson Wentz.”
With Pederson out, the Colts assistant checked almost all the boxes as a potential successor:
He’s a young, ascending offensive mind; was Reich’s hand-picked coordinator a year after Reich himself left the Super Bowl-winning Eagles; oversaw career years from his starters as the Chargers’ wide receivers coach (2014-2017); survived two different teams’ head coaching changes, in Kansas City and San Diego; and hails from a strong football family.
“We’ve spent so much time talking about, is Carson Wentz gonna go anywhere? Is he gonna go to Indianapolis?” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Thursday, referencing the Colts’ QB vacancy. “Instead, what it (seems) the Philadelphia Eagles did is bring Indianapolis to him. They don’t get Frank Reich, someone who obviously had a close relationship and worked very well with Carson Wentz. But they get Frank Reich’s top lieutenant, top developer of quarterbacks.”
Worst-case, Wentz proves either stubborn or genuinely broken, Sirianni pulls the plug on the experiment.