Former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in February. But driving past Lincoln Financial Field, you wouldn’t know it.
Despite the disgruntled Wentz playing for a team in another zip code, his banner has remained prominently displayed outside the Linc in full view of I-95, drawing the ire of Eagles fans forced to see the former first-round draft choice regularly.
But Wentz won’t adorn the walls of the Linc much longer.
An Eagles spokesperson told the Inquirer that new artwork to replace the Wentz banner is in production, and will be installed “in mid to late July,” prior to the start of training camp.
The team declined to reveal who might be featured in the new banner. Reports that circulated on social media earlier this week that the banner was already in the process of coming down were false.
Former Eagles defender and current 94.1 WIP host Ike Reese said the team should replace Wentz with a banner featuring Brandon Graham’s sack of Tom Brady, which forced a fumble and essentially sealed the team’s Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.
“That’s what you put on the side of the stadium,” Reese said on air earlier this week. “It was that play where I said, ‘We’re winning the Super Bowl. It’s really going to happen.’ [And] he’s an Eagle, he’s not going to play for anybody else.”
The Wentz banner went up outside the Linc in July 2019, shortly after the Eagles made him the face of their franchise with a four-year, $128 million contract extension. After a solid 2019 season, he regressed in 2020, and was ultimately benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts, leading to his abrupt exit out of Philadelphia.
The Eagles traded up to draft Wentz with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, where his North Dakota background quickly helped him become a fan favorite. But injuries kept him out of the playoffs during the Birds’ Super Bowl win in 2018 and again in 2019, and he was forced out of the Eagles’ 2020 wildcard loss to the Seahawks in the first quarter with a head injury.
Ultimately, the Eagles were only able to secure a third-round draft pick this year and a conditional second-round pick in 2022 in return for Wentz, who will still cost the team $33.8 million in dead cap space this season — the most in the history of the NFL (the 2020 draft pick could end up being a first-round selection if Wentz plays enough for the Colts).
“The Eagles had presumed Carson Wentz was made for Philadelphia, for the most demanding and difficult market in professional sports, but growing up in cold weather, wearing flannel and Levi’s, and hunting down your own dinner aren’t necessarily indicators of how you’ll react the first time things don’t go your way,” Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski wrote following the trade.
Recently, Wentz offered some advice to fellow North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, who was drafted this year by the San Francisco 49ers with the No. 3 overall pick.
“There are going to be a million things pulling you in one direction, then the other direction, pressure, expectations, all these things,” Wentz told NBC Sports Bay Area. “[Lance is] in a great situation. They have a great culture there in San Fran, a good coaching staff. So I know he’s going to do a great job, and I’m excited for him. I just keep telling him to be himself: ‘Don’t let any of those things change who you are, change your values, change your perspective on football. Just go play.’”