INDIANAPOLIS -- Not only are the Eagles going to build around Carson Wentz, but they're also going to let him help.
Sure, the Eagles sat down with Wentz after the season to talk about a plan, but his contributions when it comes to actual personnel decisions have likely been exaggerated.
He can help in other ways, though.
Namely, he can just be himself: the talented face of a franchise who other guys want to play with. The Eagles view Wentz as the type of bait that could lure potential free agents to Philly.
"First, in free agency, money does talk. There's no question about it," vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. "But having a guy that people want to play with, and we've had that before. Having a quarterback that people say, 'I want to play with that guy, I want to build around that guy,' that's huge for you from a recruiting perspective.
"So if things are close or even and people see that there's this opportunity to build chemistry with a guy over a long period of time, we think that will help us as we go and recruit players."
A year ago at the combine in Indy, the Eagles got to sit down and talk with Wentz for an extended period of time. The process of acquiring Wentz began a year ago in Indy too, when Roseman and Dolphins GM Mike Tannenbaum began discussing a trade that moved the Eagles from the 13th pick in the draft to eighth. From there, the Eagles were able to jump up to two in a trade with the Browns.
A lot has changed since then.
Instead of the focus being on finding a franchise quarterback, in 2017 it's all about surrounding that franchise quarterback with talent that can grow with him. On Thursday, a report surfaced that the Eagles are interested in trading for speedy Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
"One of the compelling things when we made the trade, we certainly gave up a lot to go get him," Roseman said of Wentz. "But when you look around our division, when you look around the QBs who were picked in 2004, and we’re going into the 2017 draft, and those teams are still trying to surround that guy.
"That’s exciting when you can say we may have to take it on the chin for a year or two here from a resource perspective. But if we get this right, we can build around him for a really long time."
The Eagles are trying to be realistic about their situation, which has changed the way they view free agency. On Wednesday, Roseman said the team isn't just one player away from a championship. It will take more. That's why splashing in free agency by getting the biggest name with the highest price tag isn't the plan. Instead, the Eagles want younger players, and it's all about Wentz.
Roseman said this is the first time since the organization started over with Donovan McNabb in the early 2000s that they're in this position.
"It’s hard to think of any higher priority than having a QB on your roster," Roseman said. "At this time last year, our starting QB was a free agent. We were picking 13th and we wanted to figure out a long-term answer there."
The Eagles found their answer at quarterback. Now it's all about helping him to fulfill his potential.