Eagles should target these two free-agent quarterbacks to back up Hurts

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 22: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) looks downfield during the NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and the Indianapolis Colts on December 22, 2019 at Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles officially turned a new page this past week by parting ways with Carson Wentz. New Head Coach Nick Sirianni will have Jalen Hurts in his QB room this Summer, but as of right now, there won’t be anyone else joining him.

Regardless of whether a QB at 6 is likely, the Eagles are going to need a backup. If we go off of recent history, the Eagles seem to have a preference when it comes to finding veterans to mentor young signal-callers.

During the rookie season of Carson Wentz, Chase Daniel was signed to a (puzzlingly expensive) deal. Prior to this, Daniel backed up Alex Smith during his time at Kansas City, where he of course overlapped with Doug Pederson.

One year later, Nick Foles returned to Philadelphia, reuniting with Pederson for the third time in his career. Pederson actually rallied for the Eagles to draft Foles when he was the teams’ QB coach in 2012, and the two would work together again in Kansas City.

When Carson Wentz was able to hold his own, the need for a veteran backup disappeared, but Josh McCown arrived on the scene as a QB3 as a high-character signal-caller with 17 years of starting experience.

The Eagles clearly favor older players with schematic familiarity and who have a previous track record with the coaching staff. With that said, there are two names that jump off the page of free agents who would fit the Eagles perfectly.

Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett has spent the last four years in Indianapolis after being traded away from New England and has proven to be a more than competent starter.

Between 2017-2019, Brissett started 30 games, with Andrew Luck returning from a shoulder injury in 2018. In that timeframe, he completed 59.8% of his passes, threw for 31 TD and 13 INT along with 6,042 yards and an 84.6 QBR.

The main draw here of course is that Sirianni was Jacoby Brissett’s offensive coordinator from 2018-2020. His last full season as a starter was in 2018 under Sirianni’s guidance and was easily his best, but what impresses me more is the fact that in 2020, the Colts were able to handle a 2-QB dynamic very well.

There were times where Brissett was actually used in the offense like Hurts was last year (only it actually worked). He rushed the ball 17 times, scoring 3 touchdowns in the process, while only completing 2 of 8 passes. While the offensive coordinator by committee may have been disbanded, if the Eagles do plan on retaining 2-QB sets, Brissett has proven to be a viable extra chess piece.

Above all else though, Brissett has backed up Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, and Phillip Rivers. At 28-years-old, he should hypothetically be in his prime and the perfect candidate to give Jalen Hurts a real QB competition this Summer as a result. If he loses, it’s not like a QB controversy would follow. Brissett has proven to be a valuable backup since first entering the league who not only handles the role as one should but is more than serviceable as a starter.

Tyrod Taylor

Tyrod Taylor spent the last two years with the Chargers, where he worked closely with new Eagles QB coach Shane Steichen. He only attempted 36 passes in that span, completing 55% of them and throwing 1 TD and 0 INT in the process, but over the last 10 years, he’s proven himself to be the perfect ‘bridge’ QB.

Taylor’s reputation is confusingly negative. He’s done nothing but show himself to be a fringe starter who can absolutely win you games and is a strong locker room guy. In three years with the Bills, he threw for 51 TD and 16 INT. That is absolutely someone who can step up in a pinch, battle a young QB for a starting role, and use his extensive resume to advise the QB of the future, exactly as he did with Justin Herbert this year.

The NFL offensive rookie of the year had this to say about Taylor earlier in the year:

“He’s been an incredible teammate,” Herbert said. “He’s been awesome in the locker room and he’s one of those guys I look up to so much. He’s always there on the sideline, helping out, giving advice and even when we’re watching film together. He’s a great guy to have in your locker room and one of the best guys I’ve ever met.”

Taylor would be a great addition to the new Eagles QB room.

Who do you want to see named QB2 in Philadelphia this offseason?

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire