Bryce Harper captured the headlines in Philadelphia on Thursday, the outfielder signing a record-breaking $330 million contract with the Phillies that will span the next 13 years.
Carson Wentz will be the next big contract this city’s fans will see next. If - and that's a big if - the Eagles quarterback can stay healthy. He has been unable to make it to the finish line the past two seasons, exiled to the sidelines by injuries.
"He understands where he’s at," head coach Doug Pederson told reporters gather in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine this week. "He understands he has to stay on the field. Obviously he knows that. But he’s one piece, he’s not the entire football team. We did this thing as a team and he’s a part of that.”
Wentz's contract-in-the-making won’t rival Harper’s but it will be plenty enough to feed the next couple generation of Wentz’s.
The QB also took some heavy hits from anonymous teammates this offseason, the unnamed players, calling him selfish, among other things, in a story published by a Phillyvoice.com.
Wentz already answered questions about the story. Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and Pederson were asked about the story on Wedneseday afternoon.
Roseman and Pederson, who are both in Indy for the Combone, were asked about the story that was all the rage for a couple of weeks shortly after the season ended in New Orleans.
“We know Carson,” said Roseman. “We know what kind of teammate he is.”
Added Pederson: “We know how we all feel about Carson. Carson is our quarterback. I love everything about Carson Wentz and the way he attacks his job every single day, the way he competes, the way he embraces the locker room, so I don’t put a lot of weight in (the anonymously-sourced article). "
Pederson added that he played backup quarterback to Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brett Favre and Dan Marino, and they weren’t universally loved in the locker room, either.
“You’re not always going to be buddy-buddy with everybody,” said Pederson. “Do you build relationships with everybody? Yeah, but you hold everyone to a high standard, including myself. We’re not in a feel-good business. We’re obviously in the business to win games and ultimately a championship, and that’s our goal. People get offended, I’m sorry. It’s just the way it is. You can’t make excuses for it but at the same time at the end of the day we walk out onto that football field, we’re united and we play the game.”
Roseman said that Wentz has been a reason free agents have wanted to come to Philadelphia in the last few seasons.
“So many guys want to come to Philly to play with him,” said Roseman. “So (the anonymous report) is (not) any issue to us. We’re incredibly excited about having him as our quarterback, and excited about the season.”
As for when that big contract could arrive for Wentz, it could come as early as this offseason, though that seems unlikely. The Eagles still have control of Wentz for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and this year looks like it could very well be a proving ground for him to stay injury-free for an entire season and take the team to a third straight postseason.
Then it will be Wentz who takes over the headlines the way Harper did on Thursday.