The Philadelphia Eagles are signing free agent quarterback Cody Kessler, according to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport. The announcement is expected to be made official on Monday.
Kessler played college football at USC before being selected by the Cleveland Browns with a third-round pick (No. 93) overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He went 0-8 as a starter with the Browns in his rookie season before eventually being traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars last year in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick. Kessler took over at the Jags’ starter after Blake Bortles got benched and went 2-2 in four starts. The Jags recently released Kessler, no longer needing him after signing Nick Foles and drafting Gardner Minshew.
Kessler’s career numbers aren’t overly inspiring. He’s completed 64.2% of his passes for a mere 6.3 yards per attempt, eight touchdowns, five interceptions, and an 83.7 passer rating. He’s fumbled nine times in 17 games played.
The Eagles now have five quarterbacks on their 90-man roster: Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Clayton Thorson, Luis Perez, and Cody Kessler.
Wentz is obviously the starter when healthy but it’s unclear if he’ll fully be ready for OTAs. Perhaps the Eagles wanted to have another arm for spring practices.
Sudfeld is the favorite to be Wentz’s backup; the Eagles are paying him just over $3 million this year. But the presence of the other quarterbacks will give Sudfeld some competition. Sudfeld will be a free agent after 2019.
The Eagles liked Thorson enough to select him in the fifth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft. His college numbers sure weren’t pretty but Philly’s coaching staff clearly sees a player worth developing.
Perez is very raw. He was already a long shot to make the team and the Kessler signing doesn’t help him.
Kessler will theoretically push Sudfeld for the No. 2 job. He could keep Thorson on his toes as well, though I’d think the rookie will end up as the No. 3 quarterback.
It’s worth noting that Kessler has ties to Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry. Berry worked for the Browns when Cleveland selected Kessler.
The Eagles’ roster was full at 90 players prior to this reported signing so Philly will have to cut someone to make room for Kessler.
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