A week after the Eagles and Jalen Hurts agreed to terms on a contract extension, the franchise QB was back in Philly on Monday and spoke to reporters about his new deal.
Eagles owner/CEO Jeffrey Lurie opened the press conference by lauding the person and player that Jalen Hurts is, and emphasized how remarkable it is to have someone as talented and mature as the QB at just 24 years old. He echoed Howie Roseman’s comments about signing Hurts is just the beginning of what should be an incredible journey together.
“Franchises go through special moments, and this is one for the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s crucial, no matter what, that you can find your quarterback for the present and the future, and to have that person be as sterling a character, and as passionate about his craft, and as dedicated as this young 24-year-old is, is remarkable.”
Hurts took the stage after Lurie’s introduction, and opened by thanking God and the Eagles organization — Lurie, Howie Roseman, and Julian Lurie — for taking a chance on him three years ago.
“I’m really thankful for this opportunity, not only to lead this team, but to lead this city. Philadelphia is a very special place, and a place I want to be for a very long time.”
The QB also thanked his coaches — Brian Johnson, Alex Tanney, Nick Sirianni, Shane Steichen —, and his teammates for their commitment to the work they do and their buy-in for the culture they’ve set in Philly. He also thanked his family members for being part of the reason he’s made it to this point, and for all their support along the way.
“I think about these moments, and I think about these times — they say it’s an exciting moment, this moment right here. But, I think I’ve set the precedent for what it is that I desire, and I think for me, it’s so hard because my mind’s everywhere, and I just really can’t help but keep the main thing the main thing and what I set out to do, and what this organization has set out to do.
The only thing that I’ve ever wanted to do, is to be the best version of myself. That hasn’t changed. That won’t change. And, I’m fortunate to have a great opportunity — an opportunity to do it in a special place.”
He went on to say that it’s hard for him to sit back and reflect on his career thus far, because the journey isn’t over.
On his relationship with Philly
“It means a lot. It means everything. I think — three years ago today, Mr. Lurie and Howie had the courage to draft me when no one really understood why. No one quite knew why. And, I think just to have the opportunity to grow, and to grow into a man. I’ve grown into the young man that I am today, and I couldn’t do it in another place, and I couldn’t imagine this being another way.”
From coming up with “It’s a Philly thing” to including a no-trade clause, it seems like Hurts is making a commitment to the city.
“What makes this place special? The fans, culture. The enthusiasm. The passion and the love for the game. I’ll never forget talking to Howie one day, he was telling me how, you know, just wait, wait ‘til we get rolling, you’re gonna see how stuff really is around here. And, that’s something that I saw firsthand.
Early in my career, I wouldn’t call myself naïve — I’m saying early in my career, I’m 24 going into Year 4 [smiling]. When I first got here, everybody kind of treats me like a journeyman, and I’ve experienced a lot, whatever, whatever, but playing at Alabama, playing at Oklahoma, those are two very special places. But, Philly, it’s a Philly thing. It’s different.”
On his focus and growth
Hurts was asked about how he expects to balance some of the new opportunities he might have as a franchise quarterback, with putting in the work he needs to, but the QB was steadfast — as he always is — about keeping the main thing, the main thing.
“I think the main thing for me has always been, since I was in high school, was to be the best player I can be. I love the game. I love the grind. I love the hustle that it takes. And the hard work continues.”
He later talked about how he has mixed emotions, because he is grateful and thankful for this opportunity, but he’s still hungry and the fire continues to burn.
On the contract terms
It was brought up that other QBs around the league have signed shorter deals with more guarantees, and was asked why he agreed to a longer deal that wasn’t fully guaranteed.
“I think you look at all the great teams around there, and I won’t get too much into detail, but you look at all the great teams, great players, it takes a village.”
Hurts went on to say that they’ve been building something special together the past three years, and they want to be doing it together for a long time. It was important for him to take that approach with regard to his contract. The QB gave a lot of credit to his agent, Nicole Lynn, for getting the deal done, and he acknowledges that it’s great to show that a deal like this can be done and that a woman can be the one to do it.
After the Super Bowl, Hurts said he had a purpose before anyone had an opinion, and he was asked on Monday how satisfying it is now to be the highest paid player in the league.
“I think money is nice, championships are better.”
The Eagles including the first no-trade clause in franchise history with Hurts’ contract is a topic for Nicole, according to the QB, who was busy working on football stuff while all the negotiations went down. Hurts said he had faith that everything would get done, and just let them all do their jobs.
When Hurts got the call that things were all set, he was out West working out and he got a FaceTime call from his coaches and everyone from the team, and then he hung up the phone and kept working out.
Hurts later admitted that it was awkward for him to be sitting in front of people talking about money. He’s a southern boy who loves the game of football, it’s his life.