Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
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Eagles rolling dice with Carson Wentz

Once the Philadelphia Eagles traded a boatload of assets to move up in the 2016 NFL Draft for quarterback Carson Wentz, it was only a matter of time. Soon, Wentz would be starting, ready or not.

At the beginning of the summer, there was talk that Wentz would basically undergo a redshirt season as he sat behind Chase Daniel and Sam Bradford. That seemed in concrete once Wentz injured his ribs in the first preseason game, putting him out for the rest of the exhibition slate.

Then, on Saturday morning, everything changed. The Eagles announced a trade with the Minnesota Vikings, which saw them receive and first and fourth-round pick for Bradford. Philadelphia was moving toward the future, and doing so at the speed of light. The following news was that Wentz would be the new starter provided he is healthy, not Daniel.

This could be a fatal mistake for Wentz’s career. From all accounts, the second-overall pick out of North Dakota State isn’t ready to take the field yet. He hasn’t been able to take real reps in a month, and now he’s been thrust into the lineup when he fully expected to be holding a clipboard throughout most of 2016.

Philadelphia is also not well-equipped to be shoving a rookie onto the field at the game’s most important position. The Eagles have an aging left tackle in Jason Peters and a right tackle in Lane Johnson who is both mediocre and potential suspended. The guard play is nothing special, either, leaving only center Jason Kelce as the last man between an entire defensive line and Wentz’s already beaten body.

The Eagles should be smart enough to understand the current situation. Philadelphia is not a good football team, and even if Wentz goes out and plays terrific, it likely won’t make the playoffs. General manager Howie Roseman should be telling head coach Doug Pederson to play Daniel and not worry one bit about his job security. Daniel can go out and take his lumps, and then when the time is right, send in the rookie.

Lastly, this is Philadelphia. If Wentz plays horribly to start the season and the Eagles lose at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 11 to the Cleveland Browns, those folks will boo him out of town. There have been many promising careers dashed on the rocks of lost confidence, and that could be the case with Wentz if things get ugly early on.

The trade of Bradford was brilliant, but the forcing of Wentz’s development is asinine. This isn’t a team trying to reach the Super Bowl this year, it is a group in transition. Be patient, and let it all play out. The Eagles are making a big error by putting Wentz in far before he’s ready.

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