Our Philadelphia Eagles roster outlook series following the 2022 season begins by examining the quarterback position.
REGULAR SEASON STATS: 1028 snaps played, 306/460 (66.5%), 3701 yards (8.0 yards per attempt), 22 TD, 6 INT, 101.5 passer rating ... 165 rushes, 760 yards, 13 TD ... 9 fumbles
PLAYOFF STATS: 210 snaps played, 58/87 (66.7%), 579 yards (6.7 yards per attempt), 3 TD, 0 INT, 96.9 passer rating ... 35 rushes, 143 yards, 5 TD ... 2 fumbles
REVIEW: In last year’s version of this article, the theme was “Jalen Hurts cannot be the Eagles’ Plan A at quarterback.” And he wasn’t. The team had serious interest in trading for Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. To the Eagles’ benefit, neither QB was eager to play in Philly. And so instead of making a move to acquire another passer, Howie Roseman focused his efforts on supporting his current quarterback. The approach clearly paid off. Hurts was awesome in 2022. He defied precedent and improved beyond realistic expectation. Hurts proved capable of thriving with his passing ability in addition to being able to do damage with his legs. Hurts was the betting favorite to win NFL MVP right before suffering a shoulder injury that caused him to miss two games later in the season. Hurts easily would’ve won Super Bowl MVP had the Eagles been able to beat the Kansas City Chiefs.
OUTLOOK: Hurts doesn’t turn 25 until August. Considering how he’s improved every year dating back to college, he hasn’t even necessarily hit his ceiling yet. That’s something for the Eagles to keep in mind as they decide to offer him a massive contract extension. At the risk of sounding reductive, Hurts is just a winner. He was a big reason the team went 16-2 in his 18 starts. Hurts offers everything you could really ask for from a franchise quarterback. He’s evolved into a high-level passer who doesn’t put the ball in harm’s way. His mobility adds a lot of value to the offense. He’s a great leader and his unique blend of confidence and composure seems to resonate with his teammates. All told, Hurts announced himself as an elite quarterback in 2022. The Eagles should give him a ton of money and trust that Hurts will have them in position to be annual championship contenders.
MY TAKE: Stay.
Jalen Hurts: Stay or go?
This poll is closed
REGULAR SEASON STATS: 151 snaps, 44/76 (57.9%), 663 yards (8.7 yards per attempt), 3 TD, 3 INT, 83.4 passer rating ... 7 rushes, 3 yards, 1 TD ... 4 fumbles
PLAYOFF STATS: 9 snaps
REVIEW: Minshew got to see some snaps in mop up duty since the Eagles were so good. He made two starts late in the year after Hurts missed two games with a shoulder sprain. Minshew played well enough on the road to give the Birds a chance to beat the Dallas Cowboys, which didn’t happen. But then he absolutely stunk up the joint against the New Orleans Saints on New Year’s Day. That was a discouraging performance.
OUTLOOK: Remember when Minshew asked Nick Siranni what he could do to overtake the starting job after his sole win in 2021? Yeah, well, he doesn’t seem like a dude that’s totally content with being a backup QB. The thinking here is Minshew will try to sign with a team where he can either compete for a starting role (theoretically, at least) or be in position to take over for a starter who is currently on thin ice. If Minshew can’t find what he’s looking for, perhaps he’d settle for being a backup to Hurts for one more reason. But the Eagles might want a more inspiring No. 2 option after watching Minshew’s struggles.
MY TAKE: Go.
Gardner Minshew: Stay or go?
This poll is closed
REVIEW: The Eagles claimed Book off waivers after the New Orleans Saints waived him to get down to 53 players in late August. The 2021 fourth-round pick spent most of the season as a healthy scratch. He was active for two games as QB2 behind Minshew when Hurts couldn’t play.
OUTLOOK: In theory, Book could push for the backup job behind Hurts. It’s more likely that he’ll compete to be QB3 again in 2023 with the hope that he can eventually develop into a solid QB2. This offseason will mark Book’s first one with the Eagles.
MY TAKE: Stay.
Ian Book: Stay or go?
This poll is closed
FREE AGENCY OR TRADES
The Eagles probably desire an experienced backup behind Hurts. They’re not going to want to rely on an unproven option as they try to get back to the Super Bowl. If Minshew leaves in free agency, the Eagles’ options include the likes of Jacoby Brissett, Teddy Bridgewater, Mason Rudolph, Case Keenum, and Taylor Heinicke. (Former Eagles quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are both candidates to be cut ... but I think we can rule out those reunions.)
Brissett feels like the name to watch since Sirianni absolutely loves him. The two overlapped on the Indianapolis Colts. There’s some thought that Brissett might be able to land a bridge QB job somewhere. If he doesn’t, he would be a strong backup option behind Hurts. Brissett has made 48 career starts in 76 games played.
NFL DRAFT APPROACH
The Eagles drafting a quarterback with a Day 1 or Day 2 pick doesn’t seem likely. Then again, this is The QB Factory we’re talking about. And virtually no one saw them drafting Hurts with the No. 53 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
At the risk of being wrong again, we’ll say that the Eagles won’t be adding a rookie QB prior to Day 3. If they don’t use a late-round pick on one, they’ll look to go the UDFA route like they did with Carson Strong last year. That player figures to compete with Book for the QB3 job.