The NFL will regret disrespecting the Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz.
Whenever the NFL Network puts out its annual Top 100 Players list ahead of the regular season, it always sparks criticism and conversation. That’s both because it falls in football’s off-time, where there’s normally only baseball to watch if you’re into it, but this year’s list comes in this new CaronAmerica, where sports conversations are limited.
It’s supposed to be a bulletproof list since it’s voted on by the players, who theoretically have unique knowledge about these things since they’re the ones playing, but after the first half of this year’s list was revealed, more and more former and current players came out to question the validity of this ranking.
What happened to the Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz is nothing short of egregious.
Carson Wentz has been a polarizing figure in the NFL conversation, to put things mildly. His injury history, or more accurately, the timing of his injuries, coupled with the Nick Foles’ playoff runs being the two biggest factors for that being the case. Five Philadelphia Eagles made the list, and all of them were revealed before the countdown reached its halfway point. That alone is an issue, but what’s truly interesting is this. Wentz was omitted from this year’s list entirely.
Wentz’s omission from the ranking comes as no surprise to some of us. In 2017, he finished third. That was followed by his freefall to 96 after 2018. Recently, there’s been a split opinion on him, which may have created the possibility of his exclusion. Knowing that there was a possibility that “11” would land behind the likes of Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott, justifiably or not.
It’s also hard to imagine that, in a world that’s increasingly become anti-Wentz, young stars like Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes, or even savvy veterans like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers all figured to be placed higher on the list than Wentz did.
The problem isn’t so much that Carson Wentz and a few other deserving Philadelphia Eagles didn’t make the list, as much as it is about who did.
While the aforementioned signal-callers are all deserving of mention, there are other guys whose inclusion is certifiable lunacy. Kyler Murray made his debut at 90, followed by Josh Allen at 87, Ryan Tannehill at 68, Kirk Cousins at 58, Prescott at 46, and finally, Jimmy Garoppolo at 43. Where do we even begin?
Frankly, at this point, the Wentz versus Prescott debate needs to die. Wentz took the division title from Prescott with a depleted roster while Prescott’s was loaded. Prescott does have that playoff win though.
Speaking of numbers, in today’s stat-obsessed society, we almost always exclusively look at numbers and not the big picture, but if we look at the smaller frame (stats), Wentz produced more passing touchdowns and passing yards than every quarterback who’s appeared on the list so far, minus Dak Prescott. Both Wentz and Garoppolo had 27 passing touchdowns. In other words, even with the stats argument, Wentz comes out on top.
Sure, Murray and Allen are the newer commodities, and Murray even won rookie of the year, Allen took the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs, but then again so did Tyrod Taylor. One can also make the argument that Cousins upset the New Orleans Saints in a road game in the playoffs, Tannehill’s team went on a magical run culminating in an AFC Championship appearance. Jimmy Garoppolo took his team to the Super Bowl in his first full season as a starter. Still, someone else could make the argument that all three benefited from solid-to-great defenses and outstanding running games. Again, Wentz won a division title with scout team guys and made everyone around him better, something the other players mentioned didn’t do.
At the end of the day, it’s really pointless to get bent out of shape over player rankings, but this one supposedly being the most “official” the injustice of Wentz’s omission must be called out. Carson Wentz has become one of, if not the most criticized quarterback in the league, and quite frankly, this is blatant disrespect. With training camp around the corner and with Wentz looking shredded in the court of public opinion, he should be ready to prove the doubters wrong. That is assuming we have a season of course. Fingers are crossed on that one.