The Philadelphia Eagles were able to trade quarterback Joe Flacco for a conditional sixth-round pick last season. Now it looks as if the savvy veteran might be parlaying that twist of fate into a starting job.
Flacco – the underrated MVP of Super Bowl XLVII – has been outshining projected starter Zach Wilson at New York Jets training camp, according to multiple reporters on the scene. The New York Post’s Brian Costello went so far as to call Flacco a “breakout candidate.” Well, this is an interesting development.
Flacco was supposed to mentor Wilson and help forge him become the face of the Jets’ franchise. Which could still happen. New York isn’t going to give up on the No. 2 overall pick from the 2021 draft after a few practices. He’ll have every opportunity to start Week 1. However, it certainly is entertaining to watch the situation unfold as an unbiased outside observer.
“He could start in this league, in my opinion, I believe that,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “Sometimes this league has a tendency to pigeon-hole people or put labels on people, and then their opportunities kind of get limited, but Joe Flacco is a starting quarterback in this league. He’s really, really talented.”
Remember, Flacco started strong at Eagles camp last summer (amid very brief rumors of a battle for the starting job with Jalen Hurts) before fizzling out in the preseason. The team eventually traded for Gardner Minshew to solidify the backup quarterback spot.
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Nick Sirianni: ‘Great Person, Great Pro’
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni had nothing but positives to say about Flacco when the trade was announced on October 25, 2021. They wanted to move forward with Minshew as the backup, plus the team saw a chance to sign 25-year-old Reid Sinnett. Wilson was hurt at the time, so the Jets needed a stop-gap starter. It was a win-win for everyone.
“We feel really good about Gardner being our No. 2,” Sirianni said, via the Eagles’ website. “Reid had a lot of good plays in preseason this year. We thought we added a good prospect to our roster. As far as Joe goes, Joe was just a great person to be around, a great pro to be around. Had a phenomenal preseason and was really good for our room, but an opportunity arose for him to go ahead and contribute somewhere else and obviously us getting a pick for that.
“Our time with Joe Flacco was really good. We really appreciated him and everything that he did. He’s a great pro and you can see why he won so many games when he was with Baltimore and all the other places that he’s been.”
Meanwhile, Sinnett remains on the roster as he battles rookie Carson Strong for the third-string job at camp this year. It appears to be Strong’s job to lose at this point, but a good showing from Sinnett in preseason action could change that.
Dick Vermeil Gets Enshrined This Weekend
It’s about damn time, right Lizzo? Former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend (Saturday, August 6) in Canton, Ohio. The 85-year-old is scheduled to be the last speaker out of the eight inductees. Speeches are limited to six minutes. Festivities begin at 12 noon on NFL Network.