It appears the Eagles’ front office is fully on board with having Jalen Hurts as the starting quarterback in 2021, after a source close to the situation told SI.com Eagle Maven that former head coach Doug Pederson wanted Carson Wentz to return as the team’s starter next season.
It had been assumed that Pederson wanted Hurts to be his starter in 2021 because it was, after all, Pederson who benched Wentz for the final four games of the season.
That was not the case.
"Doug did not buy into Hurts the way (GM Howie) Roseman did at all,” said the source, “(and) the two could not come to an agreement on his future with the team."
That indicates the firing of Pederson on Jan. 11 had more to do with his desire to have assistants such as Press Taylor and Matt Burke return and could be a reason why Wentz is angry with the front office.
Wentz appeared to be the Eagles' long-term answer at quarterback but is now the subject of swirling trade rumors and is expected to depart from the team that made him the No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The source added, “(Wentz) wouldn't return to the Eagles even if they hired Frank Reich as head coach.”
ESPN reported during Super Bowl weekend that a trade of Wentz would happen “in the coming days,” though there was no reporting on what the compensation would look like in any supposed deal or even which team had the inside track.
Teams involved are believed to be the Bears and Colts, though it would help the Eagles immensely in what they were to receive for Wentz for at least two teams, and preferably three, to get into a bidding war for his services.
The last time the Eagles had a quarterback that wanted a trade was Sam Bradford after the team traded up twice to land in prime position to draft a franchise QB, who they believed was Wentz.
Bradford wanted out because he saw he had no long-term future with the team, and maybe Wentz ultimately feels the same way with Hurts in the picture after having to deal with the situation behind the scenes for an entire season.
Also, when Roseman claimed he could not pass on the opportunity to draft Hurts because of how the team missed out on Russell Wilson during the 2012 draft, that comment should've resonated more.
And maybe it did with Wentz, another reason for these seemingly irreconcilable differences.
With the Eagles holding all the cards in a Wentz trade, there is no reason to rush a deal on Philadelphia's end unless the compensation meets expectations.
Yet, instead of waiting the quarterback market out, the Eagles are reportedly days away from trading the unhappy quarterback and have been quietly shopping him for a while as reported by Eagle Maven.
Wentz is tied to Philadelphia regardless, but the emphasis to ship the quarterback out of town as soon as possible tells you the Eagles know the guy they want to be their quarterback, and that is Hurts.
Somewhere along the way in 2020, the franchise's outlook of Wentz changed, and Hurts is now the main focus.
If Hurts convinced Roseman he was his next opportunity at landing Wilson, how hard could it be for Hurts to convince the general manager that he's the future at quarterback?
Despite a small sample size, the rookie quarterback did in fact do enough for the team to have faith moving forward with him. Now the team is focused on trading Wentz, the quarterback they invested a ton of resources in, to test that faith.
The only passer under contract, at the moment, and guaranteed to be on the 2021 roster is Hurts.
The Eagles will undoubtedly add to the quarterback position, but as it stands, this is Hurts' team. Any player looking to take that spot away will have stiff competition.
For now, Hurts is the quarterback, and it will be intriguing to see how Roseman and company get the Russell Wilson model they envisioned when making him the 53rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Conor Myles is a contributor for EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news on ww.SI.com/NFL/Eagles. Listen to Conor and Ed Kracz on Eagles Brawl available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and RADIO.com. Reach Conor at email@example.com or Twitter: @ConorMylesNFL
Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.