As the Eagles’ relationship with Carson Wentz soured this past fall and winter, rumblings of discontent in the locker room over Wentz’s personality and the organization’s favorable treatment towards the QB began to resurface.
Those sorts of stories began in 2019 when PhillyVoice published a deep dive into some voices in the Eagles’ locker room not caring for Wentz, the way he carried himself, and even the way he targeted Zach Ertz over other receivers.
All this is to say, after Wentz was traded to the Colts last week, some football fans and analysts have created an image of Wentz being a selfish, me-first player who divided the Eagles’ locker room and ultimately forced his way out of Philly.
Two of Wentz’s ex-teammates disagree with that characterization, and they want to set the record straight.
Former Eagles great Malcolm Jenkins joined ex-Eagle Chris Long’s Green Light podcast on Tuesday to talk about a wide range of football and non-football topics, but they eventually landed on the Wentz discussion, and Long brought up what he feels is the mischaracterization of Wentz as a bad guy in the locker room:
Here’s how Long and Jenkins attacked that line of thinking:
“JENKINS: All of these things that have happened to him, it may be hard to overcome those things in Philly, but now that he’s somewhere else, those lessons are going to be things that he will learn from and lean on and make him a better leader, especially the locker room stuff. Because like you’ve said, he’s not a locker room cancer. We played with him, and that’s not it.
“LONG: You want him to reach out more.
“JENKINS: Yeah, what teams want from their quarterback, and what teams want from their leaders, that’s something I think he’s had to grow with.
“LONG: This has existed as this extreme conversation when, he’s got things to fix, but I don’t remember ever thinking, ‘What an a**hole.'”
“JENKINS: Nah. Nah. Never.”
That’s about as clear as it gets.
And, sure, you can say that it’s just the opinion of two guys out of a locker room of (counting the practice squad) 60-some players. But Jenkins and Long were two leaders in the locker room, and they absolutely had their fingers on the pulse of the entire roster. So it’s fair to say they had a good sense of the attitude around the franchise QB.
Plus, that’s sort of the point. Sure, maybe one person didn’t care for Wentz’s personality or his leadership style. But that kind of thing happens in every locker room. It doesn’t make Wentz a “locker room cancer.”
We’ll see what Wentz’s tenure in Indianapolis looks like, whether he becomes the face of their organization or simply plays for two years before heading elsewhere. But you can bet his future will be based on his play on the field.
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