The biggest question surrounding the 2022 Philadelphia Eagles was whether they had a franchise quarterback in Jalen Hurts. The next query after that, does he deserve a contract extension? And when do the two sides head to the negotiating table?
Following Hurts’ dominating performance under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, those talks might be starting sooner rather than later. The former Heisman Trophy runner-up looked like a leading candidate for NFL MVP honors, throwing for 333 yards and 1 touchdown while completing 84% of his passes (26-of-31).
Hurts also ran for 57 yards and two scores, including a back-breaker that showed off his work on the squat rack. It was a statement moment in arguably the best single-game outing by an Eagles quarterback since Michael Vick in 2010.
Head coach Nick Sirianni was all smiles at the post-game press conference, trying not to ride the hype train off the tracks. The organization believed in Hurts and it’s paying off big time.
“It was a big-time performance by him, obviously in the run game and the pass game,” Sirianni said. “Both of his touchdown runs were outstanding runs. The one, I know it was only four yards out, but it reminded me of that New Orleans one he made last year. Big-time performance on a big-time stage.”
Hurts Looking at Contract Extension, How Much?
How much should the Eagles commit to Hurts in a potential contract extension? He has two years left at roughly $2.4 million on his rookie deal. They could technically wait it out and see if Hurts continues to build off his MVP start to the 2022 campaign. Or, more likely, the franchise will look to negotiate at a discounted rate (see: Carson Wentz in 2019).
Famed NFL agent Leigh Steinberg told Heavy that Dak Prescott’s 4-year, $160 million extension was a good measuring stick for Hurts. Those comments came back in August. Things have changed a bit since then. NBC Sports’ Barrett Brooks thinks the Eagles should offer Hurts $45 million per year. He wasn’t the only one sharing that opinion. Hurts is on his way to a lucrative contract extension, one that could out-earn Kyler Murray (46.1 million).
Is Hurts worth that kind of money? It’s only a two-game sample size, but so far the answer is a resounding yes. Let’s revisit how Steinberg defined a franchise quarterback …
“So here ultimately is the dilemma: in judging that incumbent quarterback, in trying to project whether he’s a franchise quarterback,” Steinberg told Heavy. “And let’s define that as someone you can build a team around for 10 to 12 years, someone you can win because of rather than with. And, importantly, someone who in critical circumstances, like he’s thrown a couple of interceptions, the crowd is booing, the center’s looking at the quarterback like he’s on hallucinogens, what does he do now? Can he compartmentalize and adopt a quiet mind and elevate his level of play to take you to and through victory? That’s the magic ingredient in contemporary pro football for the franchise quarterback.”
Nick Sirianni Sees High Ceiling for QB1
Hurts put in the hard work this offseason, from quarterback training with Tom House in California to private throwing sessions with his receivers. He worked on specific weaknesses, like improving his deep ball and getting it out quicker along with increased accuracy and better footwork. Everything is showing up on film. No one should be surprised.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. I’ve seen the growth,” Sirianni said. “We talk about this so much with Jalen. Why is he going to continue to reach his ceiling? Because he’s tough, he has high football character, and he loves football. He’s going to reach his ceiling. It’s fun watching him grow.”