Joe Flacco grew up about 17 minutes from downtown Philadelphia in Audubon, NJ. Many assumed the veteran quarterback had been bleeding green his entire life, but Flacco and his family had been denying any hometown bias for years.
It wasn’t an “Eagles-only household” and Flacco admired Joe Montana as a kid. Not anymore. Not after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles late Tuesday afternoon to be the backup to Jalen Hurts. Flacco put it all out there by digging up a throwback photo of him and his brother in an Eagles shirt as youngsters, with the caption: “Rooting for the home team again … Hope I can find this shirt.”
The Eagles shelled out $3.5 million on a one-year deal, per Inside the Birds’ Adam Caplan, that can escalate to $7.5 million if he hits certain playing-time incentives. The money is a tad high for a 36-year-old quarterback who only had one other suitor (San Francisco 49ers). However, there’s no debating what Flacco brings to the table: a former Super Bowl MVP who can mentor Hurts while being ready to play in a pinch should Hurts suffer an injury. Unlike Nick Foles, he brings no nostalgia or threat of a quarterback controversy.
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Not Everyone On Board with Flacco Signing
While this reporter was quick to applaud the Flacco signing in Philly, not everyone agreed. Yes, the financials are high and the Eagles are cash-strapped but this is a franchise that values the quarterback position above all. Remember, genereal manager Howie Roseman’s infamous “quarterback factory” comment? So it makes sense.
Still, there are plenty of fair questions to ask. Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice called Flacco’s contract “absolutely baffling” and “simply laughable.” He cited other (better?) backup quarterbacks who scored cheaper deals, guys like Mitchell Trubisky ($2.5 million), Jacoby Brissett ($5 million), Mike Glennon ($1.35 million). In addition, the decision to sign Flacco will likely cancel out the compensatory draft pick the Eagles received for letting Jalen Mills walk in free agency.
Meanwhile, loud-mouth national sports talker (and noted Dallas Cowboys fan) Skip Bayless called the move a “weird signing for the Eagles.” He even pondered aloud whether Philly might give Flacco a chance to win the starting job at training camp. The latter doesn’t seem plausible considering team owner Jeffrey Lurie’s reported instructions to build the team around Hurts. Plus, Flacco just isn’t very good anymore: 0-4 as a starter last year with an 80.6 QB rating and 55.2% completion percentage.
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Eagles Make Free-Agent Signings Official
Now that the calendar has turned on a new NFL year, the Eagles were able to officially announce several free-agent signings for 2021. The team welcomed three players to the team: safety Anthony Harris, safety Andrew Adams, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway.
In addition, the team released wide receiver Deontay Burnett and added Brandon Graham’s name to their Pro Bowl wall at the NovaCare Complex. The veteran defensive end restructured his contract and wishes to retire in midnight green.