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Carson Wentz Showed 'Grace' and 'Class' in 'Pompous' Interview, Commanders Pres. Says

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2022

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Washington Commanders president Jason Wright ripped into reporter Scott Abraham on Friday, calling him a "pompous, unprofessional mess" for his line of questioning to quarterback Carson Wentz in a recent interview.

Jason Wright @whoisjwright

Thankfully, Carson demonstrated grace &amp; class in response to this pompous, unprofessional mess. I recognize you have made a living on childlike provocation but it needs to be called out. Don’t expect special access and good luck building rapport with the guys <a href="https://twitter.com/Scott7news?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Scott7news</a> . <a href="https://t.co/fegxgvcJmr">https://t.co/fegxgvcJmr</a>

Abraham pulled no punches in the interview, questioning Wentz on his unceremonious exits from Indianapolis and Philadelphia and discussing the quarterback's inconsistent accuracy in camp.

"Real talk here, Carson: It's been well-documented, Philly didn't want you, Indy didn't want you. Do you think this is your last chance to prove you can be a starting quarterback in the NFL?" Abraham asked.

Wright seemed to have a particular issue with the way Abraham phrased the questions, saying it was disrespectful in a reply to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:

Jason Wright @whoisjwright

You can honestly say, “Philly didn’t want you, Indy didn’t want you” is an appropriate tone? We value giving extraordinary access to local media &amp; Lord knows can’t avoid hard questions here. But disrespect should never be tolerated and we should defend our guys when it surfaces.

Jason Wright @whoisjwright

I think the tone is obvious. Private conversations have been had and enough is enough. We’ve spent the last two years re-introducing ourselves and establishing a collaborative way of working with media. But being kind &amp; values driven does not mean being a doormat.

Whether Abraham was being disrespectful is ultimately a subjective opinion. Wentz seemed a little taken aback by the straightforward nature of the questioning but answered without incident.

However, Abraham's line of questioning is unquestionably accurate. The Philadelphia Eagles paid the largest dead cap hit in NFL history ($33.8 million) to trade Wentz in 2021. The Colts, who traded a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 first-round pick for Wentz, dumped him off almost a year to the day later for minimal return.

More tellingly, Indianapolis replaced Wentz with Matt Ryan, a quarterback who is eight years older and who performed worse than Wentz in every statistical category last season. It's not often you have a team owner publicly calling the decision to acquire a player a "mistake." Nor is it very often when a coach is apologizing to said owner for vouching for a quarterback.

Wentz is a player with a reputation for not always being the easiest person to get along with. He's also playing for his third organization in as many seasons and is likely being given his last opportunity to serve as an unquestioned starter.

There is plenty of reason for optimism in Washington. Wentz, while wholly unspectacular, put up solid numbers last season. He threw for 3,563 yards and 27 touchdowns against seven interceptions. ESPN's QBR metric gave him a 54.7 overall grade, which was ninth among qualifying quarterbacks, and Pro Football Focus also graded him out positively.

It's possible the Commanders bought low on a distressed asset that will help stabilize the quarterback position.

That said, it's also not a good look for a team president to publicly rebuke a reporter and threaten to limit access over a line of questioning he disagreed with. Florio pointing out that these threats could limit reporters' willingness to ask tough questions is fair. That's particularly concerning in Washington, given the organization's most recent public headlines have involved changing an insensitive team name after decades of public pressure, a sexual misconduct workplace scandal, and allegations of financial impropriety by team owner Dan Snyder.

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