If Nick Sirianni has his way it sounds like Jalen Hurts will return as the starting quarterback in 2022. The Philadelphia Eagles head coach went out of his way to point out his development and growth, especially as a passer.
Hurts appears to have the inside track to being the franchise guy. Then again, Sirianni’s bosses – team owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman – may see things differently. There was enough static about them pursuing an established signal-caller all year to cling tighter to than a dryer sheet. Now the offseason is here and Hurts’ job seems far from secure.
“It hurts and it stings because that journey of the 2021 Eagles is over and that team will never be the same again,” Sirianni said after losing 31-15 to Tampa Bay. “They’ll be changes, right? Never does a team look exactly the same as it did the year before. I think it’s a special group of guys and you’re sad because the journey is over.”
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
5 Veteran Quarterbacks to Watch
Deshaun Watson: According to reports, Lurie already gave the green light to pursue the three-time Pro Bowler. The Houston Texans still hold his contract rights, but he doesn’t want to play another down there and the franchise continues to shop him – at an insanely high price tag. Three first-rounders would get a deal done and the Eagles have the draft capital to do it. Is Watson worth it? It’s a huge risk with his legal troubles far from resolved.
Russell Wilson: The Super Bowl champion hasn’t demanded a trade out of Seattle. But a new report (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport) says Wilson wants to “investigate other destinations.” The eight-time Pro Bowler has long been viewed as the one who got away within the Eagles’ organization. He’s another guy requiring multiple picks to acquire in a trade. However, Wilson will turn 34 next November and just endured one of his worst statistical years.
Mitch Trubisky: The former second overall pick spent the 2021 campaign backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo where he attempted only eight passes on 33 offensive snaps. Trubisky was the subject of deadline rumors (see: Washington) but nothing panned out. Reports were that the one-time Pro Bowler looked sharp at Bills training camp, too. He was soaking everything in under Brian Daboll, one of the NFL’s sharpest offensive coordinators. Trubisky would be a cheap free agent option for the Eagles as a Gardner Minshew replacement. And a guy who could push Hurts.
Baker Mayfield: Don’t laugh. The Browns are at a cross-roads with the top overall pick from the 2018 draft. Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry – a former front-office executive for the Eagles – went on record saying Mayfield would return in 2022. He’s entering the final year of his rookie deal with a guaranteed salary of $18.9 million. Most fourth-year quarterbacks want their extension before hitting that fifth year. They want security over a possible franchise tag. That’s not going to happen in Cleveland where fans and management remain unsure if he’s their long-term answer. Roseman could roll the dice and give his old assistant a call.
Nick Foles: Yes, this is the longest shot on the board and jumping in the DeLorean really does the Eagles no good. The soon-to-be 34-year-old quarterback saw meaningful action in just one game in 2021 while serving as the Bears’ third-stringer behind Justin Fields and Andy Dalton. However, Foles did go 24-of-35 for 250 yards and a touchdown in that one which turned out to be a 25-24 win over Russell Wilson. Truthfully, the Super Bowl MVP probably wouldn’t want to return to Philly. He turned down a reunion last offseason.