Why the signing of QB Joe Callahan is so important for the Eagles

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The Philadelphia Eagles announced today that they have signed former Packers QB Joe Callahan to a two-year contract. The move was first reported last week but made official this afternoon. On the surface, this may seem puzzling or otherwise uninteresting in the grand scheme of things. The Eagles quarterback room is locked and loaded with the future of the franchise coming off of what would’ve been an MVP campaign had it not been for a torn ACL, not to mention a Super Bowl MVP backing him up. So, why would the Eagles need an extra quarterback?

Nate Sudfeld is the team’s third arm, but competition is key and as things stand, there won’t be much of it. While Carson Wentz has been seen throwing during the early periods of OTA’s, his recovery time remains up in the air. The NDSU star noted today on NFL Network that he’s aiming for a week one return, but the last thing the team would want is a rushed recovery that jeopardizes his health. There’s simply no need, especially with Nick Foles waiting in the wings. Don’t be surprised if we see very little of Wentz this Training Camp in preseason.

That brings me onto my second point. Teams often carry four quarterbacks into training Camp in order to evenly split reps and enhance competition. Last season, that matter was complicated due to the fact Nick Foles missed near enough the entire thing because of the birth of his child and some notable elbow soreness. If Foles, for whatever reason, is absent again, especially after such a long postseason run, then it will down to former Redskins QB Nate Sudfeld to potentially run with the one’s. The team signed the somewhat disappointing Matt McGloin last season and the unforgettable gun-slinging Dane Evans, who has since caught on with the Hamilton Tigercats in the CFL.

The Eagles also signed two undrafred free agents in the way of Jeremiah Briscoe and Brandon Silvers. It’s not yet clear whether or not the two are just rookie minicamp invitees or have actually secured deals, but the latter wouldn’t be surprising. The Eagles have a sudden lack of optionality at the position and moving forward, that’s not good.

Nick Foles was given a reworked deal in order to reward his Super Bowl efforts but he made his intentions of starting in the NFL again one day very clear…and as a Super Bowl winning quarterback, who can blame him?! It would hardly be surprising to see the Eagles emotionally part ways with Foles for a second time as he seeks a long-term future of his own. Again, that leaves Nate Sudfeld to step up to QB2 with just one regular season game of experience and no real successor to his current QB3 throne.

24-year-old Joe Callahan could well be that man. At 6’1, 216 lbs, he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Wesley College in 2016. He saw plenty of preseason action due to Aaron Rodgers sitting out and an injury to Brett Hundley and later floated around teams such as New Orleans and Cleveland, before landing back on the Packers practice squad.

After a slight roster shuffle and the signing of DeShone Kizer, Callahan became expendable as the team’s fourth quarterback and this opened the door for Philadelphia, a team who are always looking for developmental talent at the position.

Nobody is expecting Callahan to win out a starting role or even a backup one for that matter. But with the Training Camp’s QB room looking so unpredictable and the long-term future of it even more so, a two-year deal for a 24-year old signal-caller who had time to learn under Aaron Rodgers at least gives the Eagles some much needed optionality should they lose Foles at the end of next season and elevate Sudfeld to QB2.

 

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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