The Philadelphia Eagles may well be heading towards a quarterback crossroads. Time is running out for Jalen Hurts and with Gardner Minshew serving as the only other option, it may be time to start surveying what the market is going to look like this upcoming offseason.
Options available on the open market are predictably thin. If a team has a franchise quarterback, there’s a very good chance he won’t be allowed near free agency or be traded so that his team can at least cash in before saying goodbye.
Big Ben is the biggest name available, but for a team looking to find their guy for the long-term future, Ben would serve as nothing more than a stopgap…and something tells me he wouldn’t want to play for his long-time state-rival.
However, if the Eagles do view this upcoming QB class as a poor one, a stopgap QB wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Nick Foles would be a free agent (don’t shout please), along with Jacoby Brissett and Teddy Bridgewater. All three have proven themselves as fringe starters and if Gardner Minshew is unable to convince the coaching staff that he’s able to hold the fort, would be logical options.
Outside of that, there really aren’t that many options.
The trade market
The Eagles are built to trade for a franchise QB. The Draft class isn’t exactly brimming with talent and there are some top-tier passers who will likely be available. With a trio of first-round picks and some actual cap space, Howie Roseman is well poised to make a move.
There will be two big names being circled in red this offseason – Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. You can throw Aaron Rodgers into the mix as well, but he would be closer to a stop-gap given the fact he’s now 37-years-old.
It would probably cheaper to poach Wilson from a declining Seahawks team for a variety of reasons. He’ll be 33 by the end of the league year and carries a hefty $37M cap hit in 2022 and a similar one in 2023. That’s a big sum for a team who have only just been able to shake free from the shackles of the Carson Wentz contract and are in no rush to go ring chasing.
The Seahawks seem to be a long way from their former glory and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. If they want to expedite the re-tooling period, freeing up that kind of cap space would go a long way in helping that. There have been whispers of Russ wanting out for quite some time and if the Seahawks are finally in a position where they’d want to grant his wish before it’s too late, the Eagles have all the right pieces to make a trade happen.
As for Deshaun Watson, he’ll be the more volatile of the two. There are the obvious complications surrounding his legal situation and the 22 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. These have to be taken seriously, mainly from a moral perspective, but also from the business side of whether or not he even has a career left. It only takes one of those civil suits to be proven and Watson is staring at a very different future.
If nothing comes of the allegations (which is hard to believe that would be the case), then would the Texans really want to part ways with a player they’re paying an absurd amount of money for? They clearly need QB help and trading away a top-5 QB makes little sense.
Russell Wilson would be the right call here if the dominos fall the right away.
The NFL Draft
As aforementioned, this is a pretty weak class in comparison to those in recent years. Liberty’s Malik Willis is rapidly ascending draft boards everywhere due to his rare combination of mobility and arm-strength. However, he struggles with the same flaws as Jalen Hurts, so moving on from Hurts for a QB who has drawn comparisons to the Oklahoma product would be a strange call to say the least.
Kenny Pickett could move into the first-round conversation over the next few weeks if he continues to impress and build on his impressive body of work against Clemson. Pickett is playing his collegiate ball at Pitt and has only thrown one pick in comparison to his 23 touchdown passes. He’s someone that isn’t afraid to check the ball down underneath and take the high-percentage throws, which while a little boring, is something that has evaded Jalen Hurts at the NFL level. A previous ankle injury and a topsy-turvy 2020 campaign will keep scouts guessing, but if he can cement his level of play more and more each week, they won’t be guessing for long.
Then, there’s Matt Corral. He seems to be the golden child of this years’ QB class, having come up big for Ole Miss on numerous occasions. A 30-carry game against the Vols helped Ole Miss to a big-time win as well as flashing his ability as a runner. He ranks fourth in the FBS when it comes to QBR and has shown consistency as a passer throughout this season, which was absolutely needed after some horrific turnover-plagued blowups last year. If he continues to perform at this level, he could also sneak into the bottom of the first round.
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