NFL Free Agency is just around the corner and the Eagles should be in the market for a quarterback. It’s okay, you can put down your pitchforks (for now), I’m referring to a backup.
Sure, Gardner Minshew is an appealing developmental option, but a QB such as Jalen Hurts needs all the help and advice he can get. There are some really experienced veterans set to enter the free agent market who could be a much-needed voice of reason in the ear of a young quarterback who is primed to take a big step in his development.
Here are five the team should look into.
Tyrod Taylor was the man many pegged to backup Hurts last year and with good reason. He spent the two years prior to 2021 with the Chargers, where he worked closely with Eagles QB coach Shane Steichen. While he rarely saw the field, he did mentor Justin Herbert who enjoyed a thunderous breakout that would earn him Rookie of the Year honors.
Taylor was snapped up by the Texans of all teams and would probably welcome being on a team that isn’t constantly imploding. He’s 32-years-old, has seen plenty in his career, and is a mobile QB like Jalen Hurts. If there’s anyone who can mentor the young signal-caller, it’s a man who plays the same way and has been a reliable starter at times during his NFL career.
35-year-old Colt McCoy is coming off of a stint with Arizona that saw him backup Kyler Murray. He’s been on the Browns, he’s played in Washington, and has started at least one game in each of his last three seasons.
This is a simple copy and paste job for Howie Roseman, but Cards GM Steve Keim has already made it clear that he intends to bring McCoy back in 2022.
McCoy has proven to be a solid QB2 throughout his career and while he looked awful against the Panthers earlier this year, he looked very polished just one week earlier.
The Eagles ideally wouldn’t be put into a situation where he has to play. If Arizona let him go, McCoy could be the perfect ’clipboard QB’ for Jalen Hurts, sitting in behind even Gardner Minshew and giving his wealth of knowledge to two hungry young quarterbacks who are at a crucial stage in their development.
This is a no-brainer. The Eagles were reportedly hot on the tail of Brissett this time last year, but ended up signing Joe Flacco instead. This was a confusing move, but they’ll have another shot at landing a QB that Nick Sirianni knows all too well.
The Eagles Head Coach was Jacoby Brissett’s offensive coordinator from 2018-2020. His last full season as a starter came in 2018 under Sirianni’s guidance and was easily his best. Between 2017-2019, Brissett started 30 games for the Colts due to injuries to Andrew Luck. 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.
His stint with the Dolphins was an interesting one. He actually set a career-high completion percentage in the absence of Tua, throwing 5 touchdowns and 4 picks in 5 starts. He is exactly what the Eagles need – someone who can just about carry an offense down the field in a pinch, but more importantly a veteran arm who not only has experience working behind two of the great QB’s of the past decade, but a strong relationship with Nick Sirianni. It also helps that he has some mobility about him, giving Jalen Hurts a bucket of knowledge to pull from.
The fall from grace isn’t what we’re looking at here. The fact he backed up Russell Wilson in 2021 and balled out during 4 pinch performances is really what’s turned my head.
*This is on the condition that the recent DUI charge is dropped or at least heavily investigated by the team.
Smith was as efficient as you could ask for in relief of Russ earlier this year. He completed 68% of his passes and threw 5 touchdowns and only 1 interception. A game-manager who can run, has worked with the QB Howie will be hoping Jalen Hurts will develop into, and has battled more than his fair share of adversity throughout his career.
Have I added him here purely because I’m still not over the ‘what if?’ scenario in 2015? Probably.
However, the former Tennesee Titan was used in a similar way to how Hurts was in his rookie year, as a dynamic option weapon in a Raiders offense that already had its franchise QB. The two share very similar skillsets and it’s easy to see the appeal in bringing in a passer who was never arguably that bad.
Mariota would be closer to the type of QB that Gardner Minshew is – a fringe starter. He’s been hurt by injuries and the resurgence of one Ryan Tannehill, and may try to find some life in Philadelphia. He wouldn’t be the mentor that a Tyrod Taylor would, but if it’s competition the Eagles want, Mariota is the guy.
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