This week, I’ll be ripping through each position on the Eagles’ roster and looking at remaining free agents waiting for contracts either in training camp or in the seasons upcoming. Some positions could use a starting-caliber free agent and there isn’t one available; some don’t need much but have plenty of options on the current market. So for some it will be easy; and for some it will be hard.
Here, we’ll start with the factory position: quarterback.
If the Eagles have to sign a free agent quarterback this year, something went terribly wrong. Such is the nature of the quarterback room they’ve built. With Carson Wentz entrenched as the long-term starter and Nate Sudfeld as the quality backup in the short-term, they didn’t need much in the first place — and then they added rookie QB Jalen Hurts as a long-term backup and gadget option. Their three-deep at quarterback is as secure as anyone’s in the NFL.
So if they’re adding a free agent, it’s likely as a response to an injury to Carson Wentz. They can’t carry a fourth developmental quarterback unless it’s on the practice squad, which is a position they likely already have filled by Kyle Lauletta. It’s going to be a veteran passer — but it would have to be a veteran passer who would bring more value to Philadelphia in one year of stop-gap play than the Eagles would get out of starting and developing Hurts, or relying on Nate Sudfeld.
The list of veteran quarterbacks isn’t impressive, however. With Cam Newton signed in New England, here’s the remaining crop of significant 2020 free agents.
- Josh McCown (41 years old)
- Drew Stanton (36 years old)
- Trevor Siemian (28 years old)
- Matt Moore (36 years old)
- Blake Bortles (28 years old)
- Cody Kessler (27 years old)
The best name on that list is likely still McCown, who the Eagles saw last season in the playoffs when Carson Wentz was concussed. McCown was fine in that capacity, but if that’s what you’re bringing in for long-term play, it’s tough to imagine you wouldn’t get something better out of Hurts, both in short-term offensive potency and long-term value of his development.
So really the only name of any interest is the player not on that list: Colin Kaepernick.
Nobody knows for certain if Kaepernick would be a better player in 2020 than McCown would be, if only because Kaepernick hasn’t taken significant snaps since 2016. What we do know for certain is that, between the two, Kaepernick has been the better player across his career to this point. He’s actually held down a starting job, put out statement performances, accumulated stats, and had playoff success. Kaepernick also brings the mobility at QB that the Eagles seem to be valuing with the Hurts selection.
So, if there’s any QB free agent target left for the Eagles, it must be Kaepernick, who could start in place of Carson Wentz and win some games. Again, there is a warranted question: is he better for the Eagles than allowing Hurts to start and develop for 2020? Or is the money spent on a Kaepernick contract worth losing that cap space, relative to just starting Sudfeld and trying to win with him?
The Eagles have been listed as a logical landing spot for Kaepernick, and did attend his workout last November. Given their penchant for high-profile QB acquisitions and the history of activism in the Eagles’ locker room under Jeffrey Lurie, Kaepernick would not be a signing from which the Eagles shied for the additional attention he would bring to the team. The only major deterrent would likely be the size of the contract negotiated, as the Eagles need to retain cap room for future years, and shouldn’t be looking to add money anywhere.
Who do you think is the one free agent QB the Eagles are most likely to target in 2020? Let us know in the comments below.
How likely are the Eagles to offer Colin Kaepernick a deal during the 2020 season?
This poll is closed
Not very likely