Carson Wentz: Doing More With Less Since 2016
The lack of help at the wide receiver position for the Eagles has been well documented for years. Since entering the league in 2016, not many QBs have been asked to do more with less than Carson Wentz. From throwing to the likes of Bryce Treggs his rookie season to dragging Deontay Burnett to the playoffs last year, Carson Wentz has had to play nearly flawless football to make these players serviceable. Here is the breakdown of every receiver Carson Wentz has played with to this point in his career:
Nelson Agholor, 2015 First-Round Pick
Agholor drew comparisons to the beloved Jeremy Maclin upon entering the league but became more known for lining up incorrectly and being the subject of recent jokes. The USC product underachieved for most of his 5-year tenure in Philadelphia, Super Bowl run aside. He caught 39 passes for 363 yards last season, averaging a career-low 9.3 yards per catch. After counting for $9.4 million against the cap last season, the Eagles & Agholor rightfully parted ways. Agholor signed a one-year deal with the Raiders worth just over $1M during the offseason.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 8, 2017
Josh Huff, 2014 3rd-Round Pick
Huff recorded 13 catches for 72 yards during Carson’s rookie season. He was cut before the season’s end and now plays for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.
Bryce Treggs, Undrafted Free Agent
Treggs caught 3 passes for 80 yards in 9 games with the Eagles in 2016. Treggs hasn’t played in the NFL since 2017.
Jordan Matthews, 2014 2nd-Round Pick
Matthews donned Eagles green on three different occasions. During Carson’s rookie year, Matthews was his #1 WR target. He caught 73 passes for 804 yards and 3 TDs in 2016 before being traded to Buffalo. Matthews suffered from injuries and struggled to find a home until the Eagles called him in 2018. After losing multiple receivers to injuries of their own, the Eagles needed a familiar face to step in. He caught just 20 passes that year and was cut again. Matthews returned for the 3rd time in 2019 but was cut 2 weeks into the season.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 30, 2018
Dorial Green-Beckham, Trade
The trade was widely viewed as a good one for the Eagles when they swapped underperforming OL Dennis Kelly for the next Megatron (so we all thought) in Dorial Green-Beckham. DGB had all the physical tools to be a great NFL receiver if he could just keep his head on straight. He was no better in Philadelphia, catching just 36 passes for 392 yards and looking flat-out uninterested at times. DGB has been out of the league for 3 years. To make matters worse, the Titans just gave Dennis Kelly a 3-year, $21M contract as he’s become a capable starter in the NFL.
Thought DGB was a steal lol. pic.twitter.com/CfEpoWjLMy
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) May 7, 2020
Paul Turner, Undrafted Free Agent
Turner will forever go down as one of the preseason MVPs that showed heart, doing everything he can to solidify his spot on the team. He got his chance in 2016, recording 9 catches for 126 yards in 4 games. Turner hasn’t been able to find a team since that year.
Kamar Aiken, Undrafted Free Agent
Aiken played his last year of football with the Eagles in 2018, catching 6 passes for 53 yards in 5 games.
Mike Wallace, Free Agent Signing
Wallace signed a one-year, $2.5M deal with the Eagles to be Carson’s primary speed option in 2018. That never came to fruition, however, as Wallace sustained a leg injury early and never caught a pass for the team.
Torrey Smith, Free Agent Signing
Smith played an integral part in the 2017 Super Bowl run. He kept defenses honest as a true deep-threat, catching 36 passes for 460 yards and appearing in all 16 games. The Eagles didn’t bring him back and he signed with Carolina, where he played his final season before retiring.
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) January 22, 2018
Alshon Jeffery, Free Agent Signing
The prized free agent WR signed a one-year, $14M “prove it” deal in 2017 after having injuries in back-to-back seasons. Jeffery proved to be worth the risk appearing in all 16 games for just the second time in his career and securing the city a Super Bowl with a torn rotator cuff. The Eagles rewarded him with a contract extension through 2021 and a lot has happened since then. Off the field drama aside, Alshon provided Carson Wentz with a true WR1 and looks to be a productive part of the offense in 2020.
Alshon working hard to make his Super Bowl prediction come true 💪 pic.twitter.com/4QvhglofEp
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) February 5, 2018
Mack Hollins, 2017 4th-Round Pick
Hollins showed flashes of being a reliable receiver during his rookie year, but could never quite put it all together. He was downright terrible last season, stating he preferred to play special teams, catching just 10 passes all year and dropping crucial passes in key moments. To summarize his Eagles tenure, he contributed more penalty yardage than receiving yards at one point last season. Hollins was cut before the season ended.
Mack Hollins had three (3) chances to catch this ball.
He statistically made the team worse each time he was on the field. pic.twitter.com/3AM7goYFVs
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 5, 2020
Marcus Johnson, Undrafted Free Agent
Johnson caught 5 passes for 45 yards with the Eagles in 2017.
Shelton Gibson, 2017 5th-Round Pick
Gibson was an intriguing prospect coming out of the draft. He possessed 4.39 speed and the Eagles were willing to take a chance on a potential playmaker. Gibson dropped too many in training camp, however, and was cut after the 2018 season. He returned to the team when the Eagles brought him back prior to their playoff run last season. I wouldn’t expect him to be on the roster much longer.
Golden Tate, Trade
The Eagles parted ways with a 3rd-round pick midway through the season in 2018 in exchange for the services of Golden Tate. The YAC leader in an offense predicated on screen passes sounded like a perfect fit. Apparently, Mike Groh found it too difficult to create plays for him, as he only caught 30 passes for 278 yards down the stretch. Tate did catch a crucial touchdown pass in the Wildcard game that season, so I guess it wasn’t a complete waste. The Eagles let him walk at the end of the year to sign with the Giants, where he became an instant impact on offense.
Nick Foles says he ran this play based on the homework he did on Bears this week
Foles says he knew the Bears liked to blitz up middle on these type of play so he wanted to roll out and create another pocket
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) January 7, 2019
DeAndre Carter, Undrafted Free Agent
Carter spent half the season with the Eagles in 2018 as a return specialist. He caught 2 passes for 21 yards from Carson Wentz during his time in Philadelphia.
DeSean Jackson, Free Agent Signing
At long last, DeSean Jackson was back in Philadelphia. The Eagles inked DeSean to a 3-year, $27M deal prior to the 2019 season to be that dynamic weapon that Wentz has never had. For just one week, Wentz & DeSean put on a show for 154 yards & 2 TDs. Jackson sustained a core muscle injury the next week, ending his season. Luckily, Jackson seems to have returned to 100% following surgery and will be back for the 2020 season more determined than ever.
Again. Carson Wentz to DeSean Jackson for the second time today. First one was a 51 yarder, this one is a 53-yard TD. pic.twitter.com/W9mBkCQYOr
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 8, 2019
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, 2019 2nd-Round Pick
JJAW was presumed to be the Eagles’ shiny new red zone threat coming out of the draft. After his crucial drop against Detroit in Week 3, we didn’t see much of him. JJAW struggled to get separation and looked straight up confused at times. Recent reports have come out saying that he was learning multiple roles at once and was oft-injured last season. JJAW caught 10 passes for 169 yards last season.
Deontay Burnett, Undrafted Free Agent
The Eagles added Burnett down the stretch last season when they were decimated with injuries. Burnett caught two passes for 48 yards for the Eagles. He only had 10 career catches prior to the signing.
Robert Davis, 2017 6th-Round Pick
Davis, originally drafted by the Redskins, caught one pass for the Eagles at the end of the year for 6 yards. He has 2 total receptions for his career.
Greg Ward, Undrafted Free Agent
Ward is the ultimate feel-good story in the NFL. Former college QB converted WR, cut multiple times in the NFL, played in the AAF before it’s demise. The former San Antonio Commander finally got to showcase would he could do when his number was called. He caught 21 passes for 209 yards and game-winning touchdown during the last 4 games of the year, helping Carson Wentz and the Eagles secure a playoff berth.
Our best (and most clutch) receiver was on the practice squad all year.
First career touchdown for Greg Ward is a game winning one. pic.twitter.com/v7Jt8gf5LL
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) December 15, 2019
If you’ve lost count, that’s 20 Eagles WRs that Carson Wentz has played with since being drafted. Seven of them went undrafted and eight of them are no longer in the league. Yet Wentz continues to put up elite numbers. For the first time in a long time, Carson Wentz appears to be set up with an abundance of dynamic playmakers in Reagor, Jackson, Goodwin, etc. Health permitting, the Eagles are set up for a high-powered passing attack in 2020. In reality, they can’t get much worse than years past.
Passing TDs per game since 2017:
• Pat Mahomes: 2.5
• Russell Wilson: 2.1
• Carson Wentz: 2.0
Wentz was the only QB in the NFL to throw a TD pass in all 16 games last season. #Elite
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 27, 2020
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