Jeffrey Lurie Shares Biggest ‘Regret’ Since Buying Eagles Franchise

Getty Images Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.

“Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention” crooned Frank Sinatra on one of his most iconic tracks. You could almost hear Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie singing that tune last week.

Lurie was describing all the personnel moves he had input on during his 28 years at the helm. The billionaire movie producer said he tries not to dabble too much in football operations, although there was one move he wished he could have back. He really wanted the Eagles to draft Russell Wilson in 2012.

“[Wilson] is a player we didn’t get, and I’ll always regret it,” Lurie said, via the News Journal. “It was someone I really wish we had drafted in the second round and didn’t wait. But we really didn’t think that anyone would jump us and take Russell, so that was that.”

The Eagles nearly got Wilson that year as Lurie alluded to. He went in the third round (75th overall) to Seattle, 13 spots before Philadelphia selected Nick Foles at No. 88. The Philly brain trust thought Wilson was going to be there when they picked. He wasn’t.

Franchise quarterbacks are hard to come by and the Eagles are banking on Jalen Hurts turning into one. The Heisman Trophy runner-up will get another season to run the show, a move co-signed by Lurie — and hopefully Hurts proves he can be that guy. Lurie compared the situation to what Buffalo endured with Josh Allen. He didn’t look like a franchise quarterback until Year 3.

“Was he even thought to be a franchise quarterback when Buffalo drafted him? I think the answers are clearly no, no and no. He developed into one,” Lurie said, via Pro Football Talk. “We all have this vision, myself included, of an automatic franchise quarterback. It’s almost nonexistent and when it does exist, you’re very, very lucky to have that.”

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Lurie Denies Making the J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Pick

Lurie wanted to shoot down all the rumors about his draft-day meddling. He doesn’t do it. There had been a report floating around that the owner made the decision to take J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (over DK Metcalf) in the 2019 draft.

Lurie did express his opinion on that controversial second-round pick in 2019, but he didn’t make the final call. More importantly, the choice was never between Arcega-Whiteside and Metcalf. They liked Parris Campbell.

“I know some of you thought I was trying to pick J.J. or whatever, no, that was not the case,” Lurie said, via Philly Voice. “There was a tie between J.J. and Parris [Campbell] in that room and they said to me flippantly, who do you want? And I said hey, these are both red star players, that means A-plus character, you’ve got my blessing whatever way you want to go, and I think they went probably based on injury risk, Parris had some soft-tissue injury risk.”

Eagles ‘Stuck in the NFL’s Middle Tier’

It doesn’t take a genius to see the Eagles haven’t done much since winning the Super Bowl in 2017. Sure, they have qualified for the NFL postseason in three of the four seasons after that epic championship but those runs were short-lived and hollow.

The Eagles play in the worst division in football – that’s not even arguable anymore – and continually take advantage through no fault of their own. But it does stain their credibility a bit as a winning franchise. The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia broke it down in a recent article where he concluded the Eagles are “stuck in the NFL’s middle tier.”

Kapadia wrote: “So how do the Eagles get out of the NFL’s middle tier and achieve their stated goal of sustained success? The obvious answer is to get high-level quarterback play.”

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