Stirring the Pot, Pt 1- Wentz vs. Foles Madden Experiment

The only way to truly end the debate about who should be the Eagles’ starting QB.

Nick Foles or Carson Wentz? Or Nate Sudfeld, who is also here. Credit USA Today’s FTW

*Disclaimer- this is only for fun, this is for laughs, enjoyment, and to have something less serious to talk about occasionally. Nick Foles is an Eagles legend, and I would argue should have his number retired with the Eagles, but Carson Wentz is the franchise QB and the guy for the future. Let me say it again, this is just for fun*

Who doesn’t settle problems by picking up the sticks and playing some Madden? I know I sure do, especially when I’m not sure what the Eagles should do with their roster. This was always a much bigger issue when the Eagles were a much worse team, and it never amounted to anything in real life (obviously), but it kept me occupied and feeling involved with the roster.

In this series, we are going to go through the 2019-2020 season on Madden with the Eagles, but we will do it with two teams. One season will be with Wentz at QB, and Foles becoming a free agent and leaving the team. The other will have Foles become the starter, with Wentz being traded for the highest pick I can get.

For the hardcore Madden players; I am playing on All-Madden (the highest difficulty), with 6 minute quarters and the standard run-off time. I simulated the first season and then made two save points to work from, creating two identical starting points for the offseason.

I will be mimicking the Eagles’ roster moves and how I expect them to act this offseason as closely as possible, to stay as close to reality as possible.

I’ll begin with the offseason, and make updates on both seasons every four games. This ~should~ be fun.

Offseason, 2019

The 2018-19 season, in-game, ended with a Chargers-Rams Super Bowl, and the Rams won, which I find hysterical. The Eagles had a surprisingly bad season in the simulation, going 6-10. Here’s how the rest of the NFC East shook out:

New York8-8

Weird, right? It left us with the 8th overall pick, and a lot of players on the team who were less interested in re-signing with a 6-10 team.

Tom Brady got MVP, with Baker Mayfield taking 4th and Lamar Jackson taking 5th. There were only a few Eagles who placed decently in the season awards, with the closest to anything relevant being Avonte Maddox, who took 3rd in NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

Jason Peters and Darren Sproles were the only Eagles to retire.

And from here I created the save point, and began the two offseasons.

Team Wentz

In Madden, Foles’ contract isn’t as complicated as it is in real life, so he was already going to be on the team in the next year, so I had to release him. I also cut Timmy Jernigan, as I expect the Eagles may do this offseason.

I had a load of players in need of new contracts, and I was only able to re-sign Cre’Von LeBlanc and Nate Sudfeld to 4-year deals. In the meantime, I had the following players leave in free agency:

  • Golden Tate
  • Jay Ajayi
  • Chris Long
  • Ronald Darby
  • Haloti Ngata
  • Mike Wallace
  • Jordan Hicks
  • Corey Graham
  • Jordan Matthews
  • Richard Rodgers
  • Boston Scott
  • Daeshon Hall
  • Paul Worrilow
  • Chance Warmack
  • DJ Alexander
  • Chris Maragos
  • LaRoy Reynolds

Brutal. I offered most of them contracts, but I am (and I expect for most of these players, Howie Roseman will be) very cheap and didn’t offer any big contracts.

Early in free agency, I offered Tevin Coleman and Chris Long a nice contract, but only Long accepted the deal.

Nick Foles signed with the Giants. That one hurt.

Later in free agency I managed to sign Paul Worrilow and LaRoy Reynolds back for next to nothing, and I signed Jaylen Watkins (remember him?) to a cheap deal as well.

That was about it with free agency. I wanted to remain realistic so I didn’t indulge much, and I tried to aim for cheap vets like the Eagles tend to do. Next up was the draft, which went very well:

Rd 1, Pick 8Rashan GaryDL79
Rd 2, Pick 8Josh JacobsRB78
Rd 2, Pick 30Marquise BrownWR77
Rd 3, Pick 8Ross PierschbacherC73
Rd 4, Pick 8Ryan Connelly LB69
Rd 5, Pick 8Andre DillardOT75
Rd 6, Pick 8Charles OmenihuDE74

I was extremely pleased with this draft, the only disappointments being Connelly and Pierschbacher, as I expected Pierschbacher to be rated better, and Connelly just doesn’t seem like a great choice in round 4.

I moved Gary to DT for now to see if he can hold down the inside next to Fletcher Cox and maximize their talents while I still have older defensive ends I can rely on. Gary will likely eventually move to the outside.

And with that, the offseason was over. Let’s see how the Foles team looks:

Team Foles

Beginning in the re-sign period, I was able to retain a couple more players than with the Wentz team. This time I kept LeBlanc and Sudfeld, as well as Boston Scott and Daeshon Hall.

After this came the real meat of the Foles team. I advanced to the period when you can trade player, and started fielding offers for Wentz. To stay as objective (by stupid Madden standards) as possible with this Stir the Pot experiment, I would only trade Wentz for draft picks, and not players. I also only traded Wentz, and wouldn’t offer anything else to the team I’m trading with.

So, I began to aim for teams with multiple first-round picks. The closest I got was with the Packers, who were fairly interested in trading two first-round picks for Carson Wentz.

I then found the first overall pick, and offered Wentz straight-up for the number 1, and it didn’t work. I then “walked up” the first round by asking for the second pick, then the third, fourth, etc., until I reached the Panthers at pick 12, who were significantly more interested than other teams. This led me to believe that the Lions, at 13, were the winners for Wentz, so I asked for their first-overall pick, as well as some of their other picks.

Eventually, I was able to trade Wentz for the 13th pick and two sixth round picks.

This is also why Madden kinda sucks, because in real life Wentz could be traded for a ridiculous amount of capital. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice often says that Howie Roseman should only begin listening to trade talks “at 5 first-round picks.” So a 1 and two 6’s is just awful. But that’s Madden, you can trade a 60 overall cornerback for a 2nd round pick one day, and can’t acquire anything of actual value for a 26 year old franchise QB.

In the Madden world, this is not worth it. In real life, your front office gets fired immediately for this trade. But I had to do it for science!

When I moved to free agency, I was more willing to offer bigger contracts to guys that the Eagles could somewhat realistically approach in free agency because of the theoretical cap space gained from shedding Wentz’s contract, and future contract extension. For instance, I submitted an offer for CJ Mosley, who rejected it because it wasn’t over $100 million (stupid Madden).

In the end, I signed Jaylen Watkins, Jordan Matthews, DT Margus Hunt, and CB Jonathan Jones. I later offered Wendell Smallwood the league minimum for two years, and he agreed to it! Poor Smallwood.

And with that, it was time for the next draft. I tried to stick to the same picks from the Wentz draft, except with the additional picks from the Wentz trade. It went like this:

Rd 1, Pick 8Rashan GaryDL79
Rd 1, Pick 13Jachai Polite**OLB76
Rd 2, Pick 8Josh JacobsRB78
Rd 2, Pick 30Marquise BrownWR77
Rd 3, Pick 8Ross PierschbacherC73
Rd 4, Pick 8Amani Oriwariye*CB75
Rd 5, Pick 8Andre DillardOT75
Rd 6, Pick 8Vosean Joseph*OLB68
Rd 6, Pick 13Kendell Joseph**MLB71
Rd 6, Pick 28Garrett Bradbury**C63

*= a player taken in this draft that is different than the Wentz draft

**= a player taken with a pick received from the Wentz trade

This draft is objectively better, in that I got three more players in the draft, and two of them are pretty solid value. The players that replace the guys who were already drafted (that I took in the Wentz draft) also appear to be better. Namely, taking Oriwariye instead of Connelly.

The following players were also available at pick 13, AKA the best pick I received from the Wentz trade:

  • Greg Little
  • Montez Sweat
  • Kyler Murray
  • Michael Deiter
  • Deionte Thompson
  • Mack Wilson
  • Dre’Mont Jones
  • Jerry Tillery

There are plenty of arguments about if I should have taken Little, Sweat, or Wilson in this situation, and in hindsight, a different player may have been the better choice. I still wouldn’t have taken Wilson, though there’s a need for LB on the team, but Greg Little and Sweat are constantly tempting options.

I moved Gary to DT again, and moved Polite to LDE, where he is a 77 overall. Vosean Joseph was also moved to LDE, and he is a 71.

And that’s where I stopped! Next up will be the first four games for both seasons, which will be compared.

Should I keep doing this experiment? It can only get worse for the Wentz/Foles debate (which isn’t a debate, Wentz is better)! Let me know what you think, as this series takes much longer to work through than I expected, and I want to know if anyone actually cares about my experiences in Madden.

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