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What the Eagles should do at quarterback

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Eagles roster outlook: position-by-position.

NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL offseason has begun for the Philadelphia Eagles. Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson have a lot of tough decisions to make as they try to get this team back to Super Bowl contention. Today we begin our position-by-position roster outlook series examining the quarterback position.

THE PLAYERS

CARSON WENTZ

Regular season stats: 1148 snaps, 388/607 (63.9% completion), 4039 yards (6.7 yards per attempt), 27 TD, 7 INT, 93.1 passer rating ... 62 rushing attempts for 243 yards and 1 rushing TD ... 16 fumbles

Playoff stats: 9 snaps, 1/4, 3 yards, 39.6 passer rating ... 1 fumble

Review: Expectations were sky high for Wentz — who was coming off a $128 million contract extension — heading into 2019. Many were predicting him to be NFL MVP. Wentz appeared to be back in 2017 form in Week 1 when he threw four touchdowns (one was technically a lateral but shut up). It looked to be an encouraging sign for the rest of the 2019 season.

But then things got derailed in a hurry. After combining for 15 receptions, 221 yards, and four touchdowns in Week 1, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Dallas Goedert all inexplicably got hurt in pregame warmups against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2. The game plan went out the window and Wentz threw two picks before almost willing his team to victory ... if not for Nelson Agholor dropping a would-be touchdown.

That Agholor drop wouldn’t be the only time Wentz was let down by his teammates. The story for much of the 2019 season was Wentz’s supporting cast failing to help him in high leverage situations, such as when JJ Arcega-Whiteside dropped a potential game-winning reception in Week 3.

This isn’t to suggest that Wentz was perfect. He struggled with accuracy issues and ball placement at times during the season. Fumbles were also a big issue considering he had 13 in his #LastSevenGames, bringing him up to 48 career fumbles in 56 starts. That’s simply too many.

But the positives outweighed the negatives for Wentz. He shed the injury-prone label (to some extent, at least) by playing all 16 games for the second time in his career. He became the first player in NFL history to ever to throw 20 or more touchdowns and seven or fewer interceptions in three straight seasons. He became first Eagles passer in franchise history to go over 4,000 yards ... and the first quarterback in the league to go over 4,000 without having a single wide receiver with at least 500.

Wentz really elevated his teammates — which mostly compromised of practice squad promotions — down the stretch. His efforts were a big reason the Eagles were able to bounce back from 5-7 and win four straight games to clinch the NFC East. Wentz erased the tired “he isn’t clutch!” narrative by stepping up in pressure situations (see: game winning drives in Week 14 and Week 15). His numbers from the Eagles’ final four games, which were must-win scenarios: 117/173 (67.6% completion), 1,199 yards (6.9 average), 7 TD, 0 INT, 100.8 passer rating.

Wentz truly earned the right to play the playoffs. It really sucked, then, when he was knocked out by Jadeveon Clowney’s helmet-to-helmet hit early in the Eagles’ wild card game. He missed out on the chance to at least get some playoff experience, if not lead the Eagles to victory.

Outlook: Wentz ultimately left no doubt that he’s a legitimate franchise quarterback. The team’s future should be bright with him under center. The Eagles need to do a better job of supporting him moving forward. He’s arguably dealt with the worst wide receivers corps in the NFL for two of his four seasons. Get the man some real weapons who can actually stay healthy. Bringing in an offensive coordinator who can help maximize Wentz (such as a Jim Caldwell) would also be nice.

Poll

Carson Wentz: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Stay
    (6845 votes)
  • 6%
    Go
    (447 votes)
7292 votes total Vote Now

JOSH MCCOWN

Regular season stats: 15 snaps, 3/5, 24 yards, 72.1 passer rating

Playoff stats: 60 snaps, 18/24 (75% completion), 174 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 94.8 passer rating ... 5 rushing attempts for 23 yards

Review: McCown surprisingly unretired in mid-August. He had a great game against the Baltimore Ravens’ backups in the preseason before barely playing in the regular season, which was ideal. McCown still contributed to team behind the scenes by getting the Eagles’ practice squad promotions up to speed with the offense late in the season. McCown was then forced into action in the Eagles’ playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks when Wentz got concussed. McCown played through a torn hamstring and gave it all he had ... unfortunately it just wasn’t enough for the win.

Outlook: McCown, who turns 41 in July, is set to be a free agent this offseason. It’s very possible his playing days are over. He could easily return to broadcasting at ESPN ... or maybe even get into coaching. The feeling here is the Eagles should find a way to add McCown to Doug Pederson’s staff in some capacity. Seems like a pretty sharp and good dude.

Poll

Josh McCown: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Stay
    (2441 votes)
  • 63%
    Go
    (4173 votes)
6614 votes total Vote Now

NATE SUDFELD

Review: The Eagles tendered Sudfeld at the second-round restricted free agent level, showing they were serious about retaining him. He was poised to be the No. 2 quarterback behind Wentz before unfortunately suffering a wrist injury in the Eagles’ first preseason game. The Eagles signed McCown and that knocked Sudfeld down to No. 3. He was active for just five of the team’s 17 games and never came close to playing a snap.

Outlook: Sudfeld, who turns 27 in October, is set to be a free agent this offseason. He could try to find a team that would at least give him a chance to compete for a starting role (Indianapolis Colts connection with Frank Reich?) ... but is he really going to find that? Sudfeld’s best bet could be to return to Philly as Wentz’s backup.

Poll

Nate Sudfeld: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Stay
    (4254 votes)
  • 35%
    Go
    (2305 votes)
6559 votes total Vote Now

KYLE LAULETTA

Review: Lauletta had a good preseason with the New York Giants. His numbers: 37/62 (59.7%), 453 yards (7.3 average), 4 TD, 0 INT, 103.8 passer rating, 13th out of 79 quarterbacks graded by PFF. And yet the G-Men cut their 2018 fourth-round pick (No. 108 overall) as they kept Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, and Alex Tanney on their roster. The Eagles showed serious interest in acquiring Lauletta — an Exton, PA, native — by making him one of the NFL’s highest paid practice squad players. The Eagles signed Lauletta to a reserve/future contract following the 2019 season.

Outlook: Lauletta, who turns 25 in March, is an interesting developmental quarterback for the Eagles to work with. This offseason will be his first full one in the Eagles’ system. Perhaps Lauletta can make a serious run at the No. 2 quarterback job behind Wentz. Interested to see what he can do during offseason practices and preseason games.

Poll

Kyle Lauletta: Stay or go?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Stay
    (3471 votes)
  • 37%
    Go
    (2056 votes)
5527 votes total Vote Now

WHO COULD SIGN

The Eagles could bring McCown back for one more year ... but I’m guessing his playing days are over. Re-signing Sudfeld to be Wentz’s backup makes sense, although there are more proven backup options out there. Along those lines, Case Keenum will be available. Former future Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota is notably available but I’d think he’d want to land at a destination with less starter certainty (like the Chicago Bears?).

NFL DRAFT OPTIONS

BGN’s Ben Natan ran through some quarterback prospects that could interest the Eagles. It’s hard to be crazy about the Eagles drafting a Day 3 developmental guy after seeing their taste last year. Clayton Thorson was just a total waste of one of the Eagles’ five total selections. Lauletta should qualify as a young guy worth grooming. If the Eagles want to add a rookie quarterback, maybe just sign an undrafted player.