It wasn’t quite love at first sight for the Eagles organization and quarterback Carson Wentz, or, as Howie Roseman put it shortly after Wentz spoke to reporters for the first time on Monday evening since signing his four-year, $128 million contract extension last week, “we didn’t get married after one date; we had a bunch of dates and got to know each other.”
It was close, though.
Roseman said they loved everything they saw from Wentz during the Senior Bowl prior to the 2016 NFL Draft. When they brought Wentz into a suite to talk to him after one of the Senior Bowl practices, Roseman said that owner Jeffrey Lurie asked him for a comparison.
Longtime Eagles tight end Brent Celek was the name that came to mind.
“For us, he (Celek) is such a great Eagle and to think about your quarterback having that type of personality like a tight end then going through the process and getting to know each other,” said Roseman.
The team got to know Wentz better later on in the pre-draft process when they went to Fargo to take him out to dinner then brought Wentz to Philly for a visit.
“He made us uncomfortable on his turf, we made him uncomfortable on our turf,” said Roseman. “I was thinking about the fact that we brought him … I remember the last time we brought him in (before the draft). He was sitting in my office and I said, ‘You know, if you come to Philly, your life is going to be drastically different.’ He looked at me and said, ‘I don’t understand.’ I was like, OK, and you know what, he was exactly right.”
Wentz cited his love for the city as one of the big reasons he wanted to commit the next six years of his life to living near and working in.
“I want to thank this entire organization for believing in me from the moment they traded up to get me they saw something special in me, and that means a lot,” said Wentz. “At the same time, I saw something special in this place. I could see the chemistry, I could see the culture and the makeup from the moment I came here on my visit before the draft.”
The quarterback said contract negotiations took a couple months, but he didn’t set any deadline for getting a deal done. He did, after all, still have two years left on his rookie contract.
“I think both sides wanted to get (this) done,” said Wentz. “I knew I wanted this to be home for a long time. Ever since being drafted, it’s felt like home. As soon as found something that was a win-win and a fair opportunity, I jumped at it, because I love this place. I want to be here for a while. So I feel it was a good time.”