Speaking to reporters for the first time since the Philadelphia Eagles lost Super Bowl LVII, Howie Roseman made it clear that the team plans to sign Jalen Hurts to a contract extension. Here’s exactly what the executive vice president/general manager had to say.
Q: Howie, I know it’s been a while, Jalen’s eligible for a contract extension this offseason. How motivated is the organization to secure his future with the team long term?
ROSEMAN: Obviously we want to keep our best players here for the long term. And he’s certainly one of our best players. So that’s something we’ll keep all the contract talks internal but we’d definitely like to keep Jalen Hurts here long term.
Q: Would you like to understand what that looks like before you can go forward with the rest of the offseason?
ROSEMAN: I think we have a good sense of what we need to do here. We have a little bit of time here, too, to kind of figure it out and get away and discuss that. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is keeping our best players here. And Jalen’s certainly one of our best players.
And so it seems that it’s only a matter of time until the two sides agree to a lucrative deal.
The latest buzz indicates that an extension could get done within a week’s time. Veteran NFL reporter Ben Volin recently had the following to say:
Hurts and the Eagles declined to talk about a contract extension following the Super Bowl loss, but don’t be surprised if he has a new deal before the Combine starts in a week and a half. Prior to the Super Bowl, the Eagles had already approached veterans about redoing deals to make space for Hurts.
The 2023 NFL Combine starts in nearly a week’s time on Tuesday, February 28. Having an agreement figured out by then would give the Eagles more time to map out their free agent approach before the NFL’s negotiating window opens on March 13. The new league year then officially begins at 4:00 PM Eastern on March 15.
Coming off an MVP caliber season, which was nearly capped off with Super Bowl MVP honors, Hurts will undoubtedly command top dollar at his position. The 24-year-old has shown makings of an elite quarterback. There’s reason to believe he hasn’t even hit his ceiling yet considering how he gets better every year.
Aaron Rodgers currently leads all NFL quarterbacks in average annual salary just north of $50.2 million. Hurts’ valuation figures to be in that neighborhood. The years and guaranteed money remain to be seen, especially in the wake of Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed deal worth $230 million.
The idea that Hurts will take significantly less money to help the team win probably isn’t realistic. There’s really no precedent for that happening. Players rightfully want to maximize their earnings. Not to mention that there’s pressure from agents (who receive no more than 3% of the deal) and the NFLPA to keep boosting the market as opposed to suppressing it.
Some will question if Hurts is worth what he gets, especially if his price tag hampers the Eagles’ ability to build a great roster around him. But the reality is that’s the going rate to retain him. And extending Hurts isn’t going to get any cheaper down the road. That is, unless his performance drops off a cliff, which would not be a great scenario for the Eagles to be in.
The last time the Eagles signed a quarterback to a big money extension, it obviously didn’t work out as intended. Carson Wentz crumbled and Roseman had to take on the biggest dead cap number in NFL history to get rid of him. But that experience shouldn’t scare the Eagles away from paying another QB. For starters, Hurts could not be built more differently from his predecessor. And even if things unexpectedly go south, Roseman should feel like he can successfully navigate that scenario since he did it before.
Of course, the Eagles will hope it doesn’t come to that. They have good reason to believe it won’t. They should feel confident about paying a quarterback who clearly has the ability to be a championship winner.