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Report: Josh McCown, Eagles agree to contract

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Veteran QB depth.

New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Hey, this is interesting! The Philadelphia Eagles are signing free agent quarterback Josh McCown, according to a report from NFL insider Adam Schefter. The one-year contract is reportedly worth up to $5.4 million with incentives and $2 million is fully guaranteed. That’s significant money.

The 40-year-old McCown retired from professional football earlier this year in order to join ESPN. But now he’s back in the NFL.

The Eagles obviously had a need for quarterback depth with Nate Sudfeld suffering a broken wrist last week and Cody Kessler suffering a concussion on Thursday. Carson Wentz and Clayton Thorson were the only two healthy quarterbacks on Philadelphia’s 90-man roster.

There was thought the Eagles might sign some unspectacular camp arm (like Luis Perez or Matt McGloin) to help the team fill reps in practice and preseason games. That’s not the direction Philadelphia went here, though. McCown is a legitimate backup quarterback with 16 seasons of experience under his belt.

McCown has logged 76 starts in 99 games played since his career began all the way back in 2002. He’s completed 60.2% of his passes for 17,707 passing yards (6.7 average), 98 touchdowns, 82 interceptions, and a 79.7 passer rating. He’s 23-53 as a starter.

McCown seems like the favorite to be Wentz’s primary backup early in the season until Sudfeld heals. It’s been reported that Sudfeld could be back as soon as Week 3 but he realistically might not be ready until Week 5.

It looked like Kessler was going to be Wentz’s short-term backup prior him getting hurt and Thorson playing well in the Eagles’ second preseason game. Then it looked like Philadelphia might just roll with Thorson as the No. 2 behind Wentz for a few weeks.

But now it looks like McCown will be Wentz’s short-term backup, which has interesting implications for the Eagles’ quarterback position. Are they going to keep four quarterbacks with Wentz, McCown, Sudfeld, and Thorson on the 53-man roster? Do they risk trying to get Thorson on the practice squad? Does McCown definitely go to being the third string quarterback once Sudfeld is healthy? Is Sudfeld going to take longer to heal than expected?

Overall, I like this signing. McCown has earned a reputation for being a good locker room guy and a mentor for young quarterbacks (such as Sam Darnold on the Jets). In addition to giving the Eagles more short-term depth, he provides insurance if Sudfeld has to play and then struggles.

UPDATE: Schefter notes that the Eagles had interest in signing McCown PRIOR to the Sudfeld and Kessler injuries. Interesting. Seems like he could really be the No. 2 behind Wentz this year with Sudfeld once again being the No. 3.

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