Carson Wentz just became one of the richest football players ever, and his strongest message Monday was that nothing will change.
The money won't change him. The pressure won't change him. The security won't change him.
He's the same guy. He's just about $130 million richer.
Wentz met the media Monday evening at the NovaCare Complex, three days after officially signing a contract that gives the Eagles his rights through 2024.
Five thoughts off Carson's presser:
He loves it here
Wentz said he has no interest in playing anywhere else and feels Philly is a perfect fit for his personality. That probably gave the Eagles a little discount because Wentz was so up front about wanting to stay here. But he clearly doesn't care.
They saw something special in me, and that means a lot, and at the same time I saw something special in this place. I could see the chemistry, I could see the culture and the makeup from the moment I came here on my visit, before the draft even. I knew there was something different here, and I knew there was something special. … I love everything about this city. The fan base is amazing. It's truly special in that Linc on Sundays to see those fans and the passion they bring. … I don't think this culture of this city could fit me any better just with the passion they bring and how bad they want to win, and I'm wired the same way.
Why sign now?
Because the salary cap keeps increasing and this deal is so long, Wentz likely won't be among the top-10 highest-paid quarterbacks in a couple years. He probably won't be in the top 20 even with a couple years left on the deal. That's why this is such a strong deal for the Eagles. But Wentz said he's thrilled with the value of the contract and won't be looking for a renegotiation down the line.
As soon as we found something that was a win-win and really a fair opportunity I jumped at it. … I'm happy to be here, happy to be in this city long-term. You can play the ‘what if' game a million different ways, and I don't get too caught up in that. We talked through it, we thought through it. Wanted to reach something that was fair both for me and my family, but also for this team and the organization for the future. I don't think I'll have any regrets.
Dealing with the pressure
Along with a contract like this comes a tremendous amount of pressure. Wentz will have to live up to the money, he'll have to live up to Nick Foles' Super Bowl run in 2017, he'll have to live up to some astronomical expectations. I think he's ready for that. He thinks he's ready for it. How he responds to that pressure will go a long way toward defining the next five years for the Eagles.
When you sign up to play this game, you're welcoming that pressure. That's just part of it. No matter what's happened in the past, no matter what's expected of you in the future, there is always that pressure. For me, that's not going to change how I prepare, how I focus, how I go out and compete every game. … You just kind of have to block it out a little bit and just keep doing what you know how to do. That's just keep getting better every single day. The pressure is always going to be there, so never let it bog me down.
Can he stay healthy?
Wentz, understandably, has had enough talking about his two season-ending injuries. He's healthy, he looks phenomenal and he said he's not concerned with people who say he'll never get through a season healthy.
That's all, in my opinion, behind me. I really don't worry about what other people think, might say, all that stuff. That's going to always be there. That's what you sign up for when you play this game, the scrutiny, the pressure, all those different things. I'll never get caught up in that. I try not to sweat it.
The Doug factor
Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz have a lot in common. They're both avid hunters, they're both deeply religious, they're both NFL quarterbacks, past and present. And Wentz said the opportunity to continue working with Doug had a lot to do with his desire to stay in Philly.
Means a lot. He has always had my back, always trusted me since the moment I got here. It's always been such a positive relationship with him. The faith and the trust that he's instilled in me goes a long way, and I'm looking forward to continuing to build that relationship over the years.
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