Joe Flacco signed with the New York Jets on Friday afternoon.
It’s not hard to believe there was mutual interest at one point in time. We previously highlighted Flacco’s multiple connections to Philly when the Denver Broncos were gearing up to move on from him.
For starters, the Audubon, New Jersey native grew up 20 minutes outside Philly and attended the University of Delaware. Flacco could have interest in returning close to home.
Beyond the local angle, Flacco could have a supporter in the Eagles’ front office in the form of Eagles vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl. Weidl was still a scout for the Baltimore Ravens when Flacco was drafted in 2008.
Weidl isn’t the only former Ravens connection to note. The Eagles also currently employ Flacco’s former quarterbacks coach (2015-2016) and offensive coordinator (2016-2018) in Marty Mornhinweg.
Mornhinweg isn’t the only former offensive coordinator connection to note. The Eagles also currently employ Flacco’s offensive coordinator from last year with the Denver Broncos in Rich Scangarello.
Of course, the Scangarello factor might actually work against the idea of an Eagles-Flacco union. The veteran quarterback openly ripped Scangarello’s play-calling at one point last season.
Flacco ultimately still valued a former Baltimore connection by reuniting with former Ravens and Eagles executive Joe Douglas, who was hired as the Jets’ general manager last year. Flacco will clearly be backing up Sam Darnold, if/when he’s fully recovered from the season-ending neck injury he suffered during the 2019 season.
Jets’ QB Joe Flacco is expected to be ready to participate in training camp without contact, per source, but he is expected to be cleared from his neck surgery in September.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 22, 2020
One can only wonder how things might’ve gone differently if the Eagles were more comfortable with Flacco’s health. Do they not controversially select Jalen Hurts at No. 53 in the 2020 NFL Draft if they sign Flacco?
Speaking of Hurts, a common defense of that pick has involved citing how he’s not as expensive as veteran free agent quarterback options. ‘The Eagles can use those savings to spend money elsewhere!’
And, sure, Hurts isn’t making much — relatively speaking — over the next four years. Projected contract numbers via Over The Cap:
... but it’s hardly like established quarterbacks were expensive to come by this offseason. Reports indicate Flacco’s deal is only worth $1.5 million. Jameis Winston signed with the New Orleans Saints for a mere $1.1 million. Andy Dalton joined the Dallas Cowboys for just $3 million. Cam Newton is still unsigned and he’s probably not in line to get a big deal in this buyer’s market.
To further put these numbers in perspective, the Eagles signed Nate Sudfeld — who has one career NFL start to his name — to a deal worth $2 million earlier this year. Of course, the Eagles can either release or trade Sudfeld prior to Week 1 to clear $1.5 million. But it seems like a risky bet to make Hurts the immediate No. 2 behind Carson Wentz when the rookie passer is going to suffer from a lack of regular offseason practice reps.
Sudfeld is the favorite to be Wentz’s backup early on but neither the Eagles’ previous interest in Flacco nor the Hurts pick bode extremely well for the team’s confidence in him. Not to mention that Sudfeld actually had to take a pay cut from what he was making last year to return to Philly.
Should the Eagles have signed Joe Flacco before the 2020 NFL Draft?
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