It took a few questions, but Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson ultimately distanced himself from friend Brett Favre’s recent comments that the team should have moved forward with Nick Foles instead of Carson Wentz.
“I respect his opinion and his words. Those aren’t mine,” Pederson said to end Wednesday’s news conference. “Please don’t put words in my mouth or we’re going to have a problem. Carson’s our guy, bottom line. End of story.”
Appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday, Favre offered the opinion that the Eagles should have gone in a different direction when choosing between Foles and Wentz after Foles helped deliver a Super Bowl championship in 2017 and then rally the team back into the playoffs a year later. Philadelphia opted to let Foles walk in free agency following the 2018 season before giving Wentz a four-year, $128 million extension.
“I actually thought that they should have kept Nick Foles rather than Carson Wentz just based off production and where they got to,” Favre said. “They won a Super Bowl with Foles. And that was a little bit surprising. But they’re obviously banking on his upside. How many more years do you let it linger before you stick with him or you cut bait? That’s a question only they can answer.”
Favre and Pederson were teammates on the Green Bay Packers and remain close.
Pederson twice said that he respected Favre’s opinion and would leave it at that, even when asked to clarify that he didn’t share that opinion. On the third try, he strongly backed Wentz.
“Carson’s our guy. Carson was our draft pick. Carson’s the guy that is going to carry us and lead this football team. Listen, everybody is entitled to their own opinion,” he said. “Those aren’t my words, those aren’t Howie [Roseman]’s words, Jeffery [Lurie]’s words, those are his words. I respect that opinion. Whatever he wants to say, that’s fine and we’re going to remain friends. It doesn’t bother me one way or another.”
Wentz is on track for the worst season of his career. He entered the team’s Week 9 bye leading the league in turnovers (16), interceptions (12) and sacks (32) while ranking 31st in completion percentage (58.4) and 29th in yards per attempt (6.1).
Asked about Favre’s comments, Wentz, a North Dakota native who grew up a Favre fan, said that he wasn’t aware of them.
“At the end of the day, it’s really whatever,” he said. “Everyone has their opinion, so, I don’t know.”