By letting Nick Foles go in March, the Eagles showed faith in Carson Wentz. On Thursday, Philadelphia showed Wentz the money, and lots of it.
The 26-year-old quarterback agreed to a four-year contract extension that, per reports, has more than $107 million in guaranteed money. That’s a record for an NFL player, topping the $107 million guaranteed to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in an extension he received last month. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the $66 million guarantee Wentz will receive at signing is below Wilson’s $70 million guarantee.
“I can’t even explain to you how excited I am right now to be a part of this great city for this many more years,” Wentz said in a video addressed to Philadelphia fans. “It means the world to me. ”
At an average annual salary of $35 million, Wilson’s four-year deal still sets the top league mark (per Spotrac) while the Seattle quarterback also received more at signing ($70 million) than Wentz’s $66 million, per Rapoport. Wentz’s $128 million over four years has him slated for an average of $32 million, also behind the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, when the extension takes effect in 2021. Wentz still has two more years left on the rookie contract he signed in 2016, after the Eagles traded up to make him the No. 2 pick in the draft.
Since then, the 6-foot-5, 237-pounder has displayed an exciting package of accuracy, creativity and mobility. He has also suffered major injuries in three of the past four seasons, going back to his college career at North Dakota State, and was unable to finish each of the past two seasons in Philadelphia.
In both of those cases, Foles filled in exceptionally well, particularly in 2017 when he led the Eagles on a postseason run that resulted in him earning Super Bowl MVP honors after the franchise won its first NFL championship since 1960.
With Wentz still set to make a relatively low amount this season, Philadelphia could have applied the franchise tag to Foles to keep him for another year as an insurance policy. Instead, he was allowed to depart in free agency, and he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Wentz, whose 2018 campaign was cut short by back issues, has missed 13 games over the past two seasons, including a total of five playoff contests. He reportedly looked healthy, though, during a recent Eagles minicamp.
Wentz was widely regarded as a strong candidate for MVP honors in 2017 until he tore ligaments in his left knee during a December game against the Los Angeles Rams. His efficiency dipped in 2018, but he still set an Eagles record with a 69.6 percent completion percentage, good for third in the NFL, and posted a career-high 102.2 passer rating, good for seventh in the league.
Wentz’s deal reportedly has provisions that can escalate the total amount to $144 million. He becomes the first quarterback in his draft class to receive an extension, and his contract numbers are likely to play a major factor in negotiations between Jared Goff, the first overall pick that year, and the Rams and between Dak Prescott (135th overall) and the Dallas Cowboys.