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Report: Carson Wentz trade doesn't necessarily mean Jalen Hurts is the Eagles’ starting quarterback

Philadelphia intends to “bring in competition.”

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Now that the Carson Wentz trade is finally over and he’s a member of the Indianapolis Colts, the Philadelphia Eagles are definitely going to move forward with Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback. Right?

Not necessarily.

NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen had the following to say in a joint-report for ESPN (bold emphasis mine):

Each team walks away from the deal with what it wanted across all fronts: Wentz will be reunited with Colts head coach Frank Reich, his former offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, and help fill the void left by Philip Rivers’ retirement while the Eagles are likely to turn to Jalen Hurts, though they also intend to bring in competition for him. The Eagles’ starting job is not expected to automatically go to Hurts.

Hurts is the only Eagles quarterback under contract for 2021 with Nate Sudfeld set to be an unrestricted free agent. So, the 2020 second-round pick is currently the starter by default.

But Hurts has hardly proven himself to be a long-term solution. He did have some positive flashes as a rookie, yes. Hurts was able to move the offense. He made some nice touch throws. He took advantage of his mobility to pick up yards. The moment never looked too big for him.

The unfortunate reality is that Hurts might be a limited talent. There were obviously concerns that had him fall to No. 53 in last year’s draft. Hurts fumbled too much as a rookie and didn’t showcase any kind of special arm strength.

This isn’t to say that Hurts can’t get better. He played his rookie season as a 22-year-old and he’s said to be highly coachable. He seems to have a real hunger to improve.

Still, the Eagles can’t just put all their eggs in the Hurts basket. If the Eagles feel like there’s an opportunity to acquire a franchise quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft — be it at No. 6 overall or trading up — they’ll have to take it. At least one NFL source expects the Eagles to draft a quarterback.

Whether or not this Eagles regime can effectively build a successful long-term environment around a young quarterback remains to be seen. Their attempt to do so with Wentz obviously ended up with them trading him.

We should also note that this report could refer to the Eagles adding a veteran at the position. Other than to push Hurts, adding a stop-gap quarterback doesn’t make all the sense in the world with the Eagles expected to be in a “retooling” phrase in 2021. But free agents like Tyrod Taylor and Jacoby Brissett have obvious connections to Nick Sirianni’s coaching staff, so maybe they’ll add one of those guys.