Why did the Eagles trade Joe Flacco to the Jets?

NFL: DEC 20 Jets at Rams
INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 20: New York Jets Quarterback Joe Flacco (5) warms up during an NFL game between the New York Jets and the Los Angeles Rams on December 20, 2020, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. )

Well, who saw that coming? According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Philadelphia Eagles have traded QB Joe Flacco to the New York Jets. Here is all you need to know:

The returns

According to Adam Schefter, the Jets are sending a conditional sixth rounder to the Eagles that could become a fifth-rounder depending on Flacco’s playing time. Considering that the Eagles actually signed Flacco as a free agent and paid him a strangely large sum of money, this is a very strong return.

Why did they trade Flacco?

The Jets were in need of immediate QB help. Zach Wilson is out for a few weeks with a strained PCL, meaning that their only other option at the position was third-year signal-caller Mike White. With Joe Flacco only a short trip down the I-95 away, a call made sense.

Flacco spent 2020 with the Jets and is more than familiar with the franchise. He completed 55.2% of his passes that year for 864 yards, 6 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and his lowest passer rating since 2017…the season that led Baltimore to drafting Lamar Jackson.

For the Jets, it’s a way of bringing in an established veteran to tide the team over until their rookie returns. For the Eagles…easy draft capital?

There is the issue of cap space as well. Flacco signed a $3.5M deal with the Eagles this offseason, and trading him does save the Eagles $1M up-front.

No, seriously, why did they trade Flacco?

In terms of a pinch-hitter, Flacco proved in the preseason that he’s ready to fill that role. However, given the struggles of Jalen Hurts, it’s interesting that the Eagles would look to ship him off now. Either they’re all in on Hurts, or really love a quarterback they’ve seen very little from since his arrival in the way of Gardner Minshew.

The Eagles did poach a QB from the waiver wire after he was waived by the Dolphins. That man is Reid Sinnett. He was a UDFA last year and signed on with the Tampa Bay Bucs before eventually landing in Miami where he spent the rest of his career to date. Sinnet shined with the University of San Diego, completing 66.9% of his passes for 3,528 yards, 32 scores, and 10 picks during his lone year as a starter.

It feels like the Eagles are promoting Minshew to the QB2 spot and opening up that QB3 vacancy for a young and developmental arm just like we’re used to seeing.

We might be seeing Minshew sooner than many would hope, especially if Jalen Hurts is unable to find any kind of rhythm against the lowly Detroit Lions. This is probably a worst-case scenario for Hurts, as Flacco was never really a likely candidate to take his job. If Minshew-mania sets in…who knows how far that roar will carry.

Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire