When Howie Roseman drafted Jalen Hurts with the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the general consensus for the then-NFC East champs was that Philadelphia created an un-needed quarterback controversy with their $100 million quarterback already on the roster.
Not even two full years later and Howie Roseman’s gamble has turned into one of the NFL’s best success stories.
Jalen Hurts has the Philadelphia Eagles at a 7-0 mark following the team’s 35-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. In just his second full season as a starting quarterback, Hurts has not only shown that he is capable of making the large jumps in improvements people had speculated, but is capable of being THE reason Philadelphia wins games over the weekend.
In the Eagles’ win over Pittsburgh, Hurts threw for over 280 yards and four touchdowns (a career high). On the season, Hurts is 12th in passing yards, first in yards per attempt, seventh in completion percentage, eighth in QBR, and in the top 10 in total touchdowns. For most players with this resume, MVP consideration would be right around the corner.
But numbers aren’t the only key when discussing the job Hurts has done this season. And it sets himself nicely for a big payday after the season is over.
Jalen Hurts’ upcoming contract concerns
It’s no longer a question of if the Eagles will extend Jalen Hurts after the season, but when. The former Heisman Trophy runner-up has done everything the Eagles could possible ask of him. He’s the reason Philadelphia is winning games as opposed to last year when they were merely winning with him.
“Winning with” and “because of” are two different distinctions when talking about the quarterback position. Very few quarterbacks are the sole reason for their team’s success. Jalen Hurts is becoming one of those guys.
Whether it’s his ability to show his improved arm talent, timing or even simply his overall will to win, Hurts has set himself nicely for a major payday.
The work Hurts has done has been seen throughout the NFL. And it’s pretty clear that when the Eagles are allowed to negotiate a contract extension, they’ll do so fairly quickly
The Eagles have had a long history of top quarterback play. Donovan McNabb is the team’s best in franchise history, Carson Wentz had the greatest regular season in franchise history and even Nick Foles had the game of his life.
Jalen Hurts has done something none of the Eagles top quarterbacks have been able to do.
Like McNabb, Wentz, Foles, Cunningham and Jaworski, Jalen Hurts is a key reason for the Eagles success. Him being on his rookie contract has also allowed Howie Roseman to break the bank for top players around him.
In turn, this has led to the Eagles overwhelming opponents on a weekly basis in 2022. The way Philadelphia is winning games is reminiscent of the 2017 and 2004 teams – regarded as two of the best seasons in Eagles history.
But the 2022 unit is unique in that they win in far more different ways than either of other squads. An argument can be made that Jalen Hurts is playing as good or even better than Donovan McNabb and Carson Wentz did during their runs as well.
Even if one argues against the latest claim, it’s clear that Jalen Hurts, on a winning streak never before seen in Eagles history is the right man for the job. His mental strength, will to win, and overall skill set makes him a perfect match for the city of Philadelphia.
Nothing but a Super Bowl title will satisfy the city with the way the Philadelphia Union and Phillies are playing. But as long as Jalen Hurts is the quarterback, it’s pretty clear that Howie Roseman got his guy.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum