Eagles general manager Howie Roseman finally spoke Wednesday, in very general terms, about the rupture between the organization and quarterback Carson Wentz that led to the trade with Indianapolis, which became official at the 4 p.m. Wednesday start of the NFL year.

Roseman didn’t talk on Feb. 18 when the trade was made because it wasn’t official. Wednesday, Roseman and team owner Jeffrey Lurie were quoted on the Eagles’ website; they did not face questions from reporters. When Wentz is introduced to Colts fans Thursday via Zoom, he will not take any questions from Philadelphia-area reporters, a Colts spokesman said.

So it might be a while before we get any substantive answers to the question of why Wentz, 28, felt he needed to leave the franchise that traded up twice to draft him second overall in 2016, then gave him the richest contract in franchise history, a $128 million, four-year extension, in 2019. Wentz regressed horribly and was benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts in the 12th game of 2020, but the Eagles eventually fired Doug Pederson, the coach who made that decision. When he wrapped up the team’s 4-11-1 season, Roseman seemed to envision Wentz remaining with the Eagles and returning to form.

In the trade, the Eagles got a third-round pick this season and a second-rounder next year that can be a first-rounder if Wentz takes 75% of the Colts’ offensive snaps this season, or 70% with the team making the playoffs. The website story quoted new Eagles coach Nick Sirianni praising Hurts, but Roseman made it clear that he will consider using the sixth overall draft pick on a quarterback.

“It’s no secret about how we felt about Carson Wentz as a Philadelphia Eagle, whether it was the process of trading up for him in the [2016] draft or extending him after the 2018 season, and we had this season where there were some things that happened and, obviously, Jalen ended up starting the last four games,” Roseman said. “We had some conversations with [Wentz] and his representatives about what was the best thing to [do going] forward, and when we were doing the coaching search, communicating with him and his agent – really good, productive conversations, really good people – and they talked about maybe it was time for him to have a fresh start, that he was looking forward to a fresh start.

“For us, we’ve got to do what’s in the best interest of our team. And so, if it didn’t work for us, if it wasn’t a situation where we thought we were also benefiting and he was put in a good spot, that was the only situation that would work for the Philadelphia Eagles. As we went through it and went through the offers that we got, particularly the offer from the Colts, the opportunity to not only get the picks but also get some financial flexibility back for our football team, we decided going forward that that was the right decision.”

The Eagles carry a $33.8 million dead cap charge from Wentz’s contract this season, the largest in NFL history, but Wentz will be off their books completely in 2022.

Roseman spoke of “at the end of the day understanding that [Wentz] felt it was best for him to get a fresh start, understanding that it’s hard to win in the National Football League and to win you have to have a group of people who are all tied together and who are invested in what’s going on here.

“We just felt like it was a fair trade, it was a good trade for the Colts, it was a good trade for the Philadelphia Eagles and where we are right now and so, we pulled the trigger.”

Lurie praised Wentz extensively and did not venture into the circumstances of his departure.

“The Eagles organization is truly grateful for everything Carson has meant to this team and the city of Philadelphia. His approach to the game of football and his passion to win brought so much pride and excitement to the team and our fans,” Lurie said. “He achieved great things as an Eagle, setting numerous franchise records and helping to guide the team to multiple division titles. Of course, we will always remember and value the crucial role he played in our Super Bowl Championship season in 2017.

“It was an honor getting to know Carson as a person and seeing firsthand how much he cares about using his platform to create meaningful change for the less fortunate. Carson is a tremendous, deeply compassionate human being who consistently represented the Eagles and our fans with class. We will all appreciate the substantial impact he made on our team and the community. We wish happiness and success to Carson and his family as they begin their next chapter in Indianapolis.”

A recent ESPN report said Lurie had directed the organization to build around Hurts, which would seem to preclude drafting a QB sixth overall. Wednesday’s website story quoted Sirianni saying how much he looks forward to working with Hurts.

“What we saw is a player who can really extend plays and create on his own,” Sirianni said. “We saw his ability to create when things weren’t there. That’s an unbelievable asset to have as a football team. You can see his toughness on tape and how he carried himself. ... He is a leader who loves football. There is no substitute for that.”

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The next paragraph of the website story noted that “Roseman said the Eagles ‘won’t put a cap on what we’re going to do at that position’ and that the team will consider every option as they address depth and competition at the game’s most vital position. Roseman also did not rule out using the No. 6 overall draft pick on April 29 at quarterback, saying the Eagles will perform due diligence at every spot on the roster.”

The Colts, meanwhile, quoted head coach (and former Eagles offensive coordinator) Frank Reich as saying: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to coach Carson again and he will be a fantastic addition to this organization. I have the utmost respect for him as a competitor and [for] his integrity as a man. Carson will bring great leadership to our locker room and will be an asset for the Colts both on the field and in our community.”

Wentz set the Eagles’ franchise record for touchdown passes in a season, with 33 in 2017, though he only played in 13 games, tearing two knee ligaments a few plays before launching the record-setting TD pass. In 2020, he threw a league-high 15 interceptions and took a league-high 50 sacks. His 72.8 passer rating and 57.4% completion rate each ranked 34th in the NFL.

Wentz, No. 11 for the Eagles, will wear jersey No. 2 for the Colts.

Barnett gets big guarantee

The Eagles’ only move when the free-agent market officially opened Wednesday was to bring back running back Adrian Killins, who had been released. They chose to let 2017 first-round defensive end Derek Barnett’s fifth-year option become guaranteed, rather than extending Barnett at a lower cap figure, or trading or releasing him. He will make $10,051,000, all of which has to go under the tight cap.

Also, the Eagles’ release of defensive tackle Malik Jackson and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery became official Wednesday.