Eagles Pushed to Sign Pro Bowl QB to Back Up Jalen Hurts

Tyrod Taylor

Getty Veteran QB Tyrod Taylor will be a free agent next year.

The Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Marcus Mariota to a one-year, $5 million contract this offseason, and he’ll likely be looking for a new team when Philly’s season ends.

The Eagles will have 2023 sixth-round QB Tanner McKee on the roster, but adding an experienced vet to back up Jalen Hurts seems like a good idea. Enter current New York Giants QB Tyrod Taylor. Matt Holder of Bleacher Report thinks the Eagles should consider Taylor to fill Mariota’s shoes when the 2024 offseason hits.

“Marcus Mariota is an impending free agent, and current third-stringer Tanner McKee would need almost an entirely new playbook if he were called into action, as McKee and Jalen Hurts have very different skill sets,” Holder wrote on November 6.

Having a capable backup to run the offense is crucial for every NFL team, particularly one that wins as much as the Eagles (currently an NFL-best 8-1.

Is Tyrod Taylor an Upgrade Over Marcus Mariota?

Whether Taylor offers much upside over Mariota is debatable, but when healthy, Taylor can still make plays, as you can see in the above video shared on X by NFL analyst Robert Schmitz.

“Taylor has proven to be a quality backup over the years and wouldn’t rock the boat in Philadelphia’s offense that much if Hurts went down,” Holder wrote. “The long-tenured veteran would give the team a better chance to win than the 2023 sixth-round pick in an emergency situation.”

Mariota, 30, is younger than the 34-year-old Taylor, and their career numbers are extremely similar.

Mariota has played in 87 games; Taylor has played in 88. Taylor’s career completion percentage is 61.6%. Mariota has been a tad better (62.6%). Mariota has thrown for more touchdowns (92 to Taylor’s 62), but Taylor has thrown fewer interceptions (26 to Mariota’s 54). Taylor is also the better running QB, netting 19 TDs on the ground to Mariota’s 17.

Taylor, who is in the final year of his two-year, $11 million deal with the Giants, is currently on injured reserve. The Giants QB injured his ribs Week 8 against the New York Jets. He caught his own deflected pass and was brought to the ground by Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley when the injury occurred.

Injuries have plagued Taylor at times during his 13-year career, but the veteran signal-caller, who was named to the Pro Bowl with the Buffalo Bills in 2015, is still a capable backup.

Eagles QB Tanner McKee Should Improve in Year 2

McKee showed some promise during the 2023 preseason, but he has yet to be active during a regular season game. He will likely improve after a full year in Philly’s system, but whether he can handle the QB2 job in Year 2 is a legit question.

Over three preseason games, McKee completed 54.2% of his passes for 453 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions (stats via PFF). He had nine passes dropped, which contributed to his lower completion percentage. He is a solid young quarterback, and his progress will be worth monitoring.

That said, the Eagles will likely still want to search the free agent market for a vet with more experience next offseason. Could that be Taylor? He’s one affordable option. Stay tuned.