There would be no Carson Wentz in Philadelphia had the Eagles not traded away Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso a year ago.
Back in March of 2016, the Eagles swapped Maxwell, Alonso, and the 13th overall pick for Miami’s eighth overall pick just about a month before the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles then moved the No. 8 pick as well as a slew of other draft picks to the Browns for the eventual No. 2 overall selection that was used to select Wentz. However, it was the initial deal that sent Maxwell and Alonso off that got the ball rolling.
After the first joint practice between the Eagles and Dolphins on Monday afternoon at the NovaCare Complex, Maxwell and Alonso spoke about their time with the Eagles.
“The things that happened in Philadelphia made me a better leader for Miami,” Maxwell acknowledged. “It made me a better football player and a better person, so I was able to handle getting benched in Miami and then bounce back. It was tough in Philly. Just losing your coach, so it helped to go through all of that.”
Maxwell joined the Eagles during the 2015 offseason after spending his first four seasons in Seattle. Maxwell started in 14 contests and came away with two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a career-high 64 tackles.
“I was surprised but you know something just wasn’t right. You usually hear from your coaches in the offseason and I didn’t hear from any of them so it was like I might be on the move,” the cornerback said. “But I’m happy. I’m glad they made that choice. It worked out for both of us. They got a quarterback. I’m on a winning team so I’m good.”
Nonetheless, the exchange lit a fire under Maxwell and he used the move as motivation.
“I’d be lying if I tell you that I don’t want to do better than the Eagles do. I do. I want to win more games than them. I want to prove them wrong,” he said.
On the other hand, his fellow teammate was unmoved.
“Not really,” Alonso answered when asked if he was shocked by the trade. “It was the second time I got traded and I was definitely more surprised the first time around but given the year we had I wasn’t that surprised.”
In his stint with the Eagles, Alonso played 11 games and came away with an interception during his debut outing against the Falcons. Before the season concluded, former coach Chip Kelly - who was also Alonso’s head coach at Oregon – was let go and the long-term status of Kelly’s former players in Philadelphia was in question.
“I didn’t really get caught up in that,” the linebacker admitted. “I just go with the flow. They traded me, I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to Miami.’”
The two Dolphins got a taste of Wentz’s playmaking ability for the first time prior to Thursday’s matchup. Maxwell disclosed that he had been keeping track of Wentz and stated the second-year quarterback “did well” and “made a couple passes” during Monday’s practice. Alonso offered, “He’s a good player. They’ve got a good offense and they’ve got a lot of weapons.”
There is no doubt that Maxwell will be motivated to outplay his former team come Thursday’s preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field, but he understood why he and Alonso were shipped away from Philadelphia in the first place.
“It was obvious,” Maxwell claimed. “They needed a quarterback.”