On Saturday, former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb said the Philadelphia Eagles should consider drafting another quarterback if current starter Carson Wentz is unable to lead them to the NFC Championship Game or further in the next 2-3 years.
On Monday, he took to Twitter to clarify those remarks:
Donovan McNabb @donovanjmcnabb
For those of you who misread, didn’t understand, were confused or just didn’t like my comments let me clarify it for you. Let me start by saying there’s no beef,riff or ill-will toward @cj_wentz or the @Eagles . My comments were strictly based off of experience and understanding
Donovan McNabb @donovanjmcnabb
And trust tough decisions are usually made. Maybe people just didn’t like it because it’s coming from me or I answered a question from one of the talents on the radio the way you didn’t agree with. If that’s how you feel I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s the nature of the game.
McNabb's full comments were as follows (h/t ESPN.com):
"I think in the next two, three years—two years or so—he has to find a way to get out of the second round of the playoffs. What Nick Foles was able to do, take them to a Super Bowl and then possibly take them back to the NFC Championship Game, proves that, hey, some people can get into that offense and be very successful. [Wentz] hasn't been healthy. He hasn't really proven to me, besides the year before he got hurt [when] he was, really, an MVP candidate. He needs to get back to that moment."
Those comments didn't sit well with Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson, who quickly defended Wentz and went after McNabb:
Johnson took it further during an interview Sunday on 94WIP (h/t ESPN.com):
"This is what I meant—every training camp we have all of these ex-players come and shake our hands, wish us good luck. Then they just go out and just talk hate. I feel there is a lot of envy, jealousy, and I see a lot of fakery. It isn't just me—a lot of other teammates see it too. You would think the best quarterback in franchise history would try to build up a young man that looks up to him instead of always criticizing him, critiquing him and wishing he would fail so he could be the missing link and feel better himself."
Some of what McNabb said made sense. Foles thrived in head coach Doug Pederson's offense over the past two seasons, while Wentz struggled at times in 2018, leading the Eagles to a 5-6 record in his 11 starts. Foles, meanwhile, went 5-2 last season as the starter (including the playoffs).
Foles also led the Eagles to a Super Bowl title in the 2017 season after Wentz suffered a torn ACL in mid-December.
However, Wentz has earned some benefit of the doubt. He posted solid numbers (3,074 yards, 21 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 69.6 completion percentage) despite being less than a year removed from a severe knee injury.
He was also the MVP front-runner in 2017 (3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games) prior to his injury.
Entering his fourth season, it's premature to suggest the Eagles should consider moving on from Wentz, especially since he's proved he can play at a high level.
Wentz will undoubtedly be compared to Foles for the rest of his career, as the veteran journeyman led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl title. But the 26-year-old Wentz has more talent than Foles and still has the potential to grow into a superstar.
McNabb reached the NFC Championship Game in his third, fourth and fifth seasons before making the Super Bowl in his sixth. If Wentz can return to his 2017 form, he won't be all that far off from McNabb's pace.