Eagles Rumors: Is Jacoby Brissett a lock to be the team’s QB2?

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)

A long list of free agents will dominate the offseason conversations about the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ll need to evaluate and properly prioritize 13 players who played significant snaps in Super Bowl LVII

One player who did not see the field in Arizona is Gardner Minshew. The impending unrestricted free agent has backed up Jalen Hurts for two seasons during the Nick Sirianni era.

The Eagles prioritize the backup quarterback position more than any other NFL franchise. If they decide to upgrade, they’ll look no further than Jacoby Brissett as their slam-dunk choice.

Jacoby Brissett

Brissett earned himself a Super Bowl ring after his rookie season in 2016 as the backup to Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. He spent the next four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Three of them came under Frank Reich with Sirianni as his offensive coordinator.

The shocking retirement of Andrew Luck forced Brissett into action in 2019. He proved himself capable in extremely difficult circumstances, throwing for 18 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions for a 7-9 team that hung tough for most of the season.

Jacoby Brissett moved on to Miami in 2021 and Cleveland in 2022. He completed 64% of his passes for 2,608 yards with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 11 starts for the Browns last season while Deshaun Watson served a lengthy suspension.

The Eagles will put their faith in Jalen Hurts as their future at the quarterback position, likely with a lucrative contract extension. However, the 24-year-old has missed games in each of the last two seasons.

In 2021, an ankle injury kept him out of a win against the New York Jets in Week 13. His mobility was noticeably limited for the remainder of the season after his return.

Hurts injured his shoulder in Chicago in Week 15 in 2022. The Eagles lost their next two games without their star quarterback.

Minshew performed well in his only meaningful start of the 2021 season, but he left a lot to be desired in 2022. Although he threw for 355 yards against the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve, he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble on a miscommunication.

His performance against the New Orleans Saints should convince the Eagles that he isn’t worth a new contract. While his final numbers for the day weren’t terrible, he failed to do the bare minimum by getting the ball in the hands of the talented playmakers on the Philadelphia offense to establish any kind of rhythm.

His interception in the fourth quarter put the nail in the coffin on a forgettable afternoon and forced Hurts back into action sooner than the Eagles planned.

The reliability of a player like Brissett with substantial starting experience could provide a more suitable backup option for an aggressive player like Hurts who is no stranger to injury problems.

Relationship with Nick Sirianni

Sirianni and Brissett developed a personal relationship on and off the field when they were together in Indianapolis. They both spoke about their friendship when the Eagles and the Browns faced each other in joint practices in August 2022.

“He’s (Brissett is) the best,” Sirianni said. “My kids still ask, ‘How’s Jacoby doing?’ My wife still asks about him,” Sirianni said.

“I don’t really want to talk about other people’s teams, but Jacoby and I are close. Jacoby is special to me so I don’t mind doing this with him, and so I always thought of him as such a good leader, such a good teammate, such a great guy to be around every day.”

Brissett spoke the same way about Sirianni, calling him a “great coach” and a “great friend” before sharing a funny story about his former offensive coordinator trying to fight fans for booing his players.

“That’s an instinct that you have. That’s just how I was raised. This is our family, and I just have that protective instinct to defend. It’s been like that with every team I’ve ever coached,” Sirianni said lightheartedly about his friend’s story.

Sirianni has implemented connect and trust as part of his core values for the Eagles in two incredibly successful seasons. He’s hired coaches he knew during his time with the Colts and the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. He also pushed to bring in Zach Pascal last offseason because of his fundamental strengths (another core value) as a depth player.

Eagles Prioritize Backup QBs

Howie Roseman doesn’t mind paying big money for backup quarterbacks. The front office even considers the roster spot more important than some starting positions.

The Eagles famously brought back Nick Foles ahead of the 2017 season. They wouldn’t have won their first Lombardi Trophy without a top-tier backup quarterback.

Foles earned some extra money through incentives and ultimately made about $16 million in two seasons in Philadelphia in 2017 and 2018. The significant financial investment for an insurance policy ultimately turned out to be one of the biggest bargains in the NFL.

Nick Foles replaced Chase Daniel, who signed a three-year, $21 million contract in 2016. The journeyman made $7 million to throw one regular-season pass in Philadelphia and mentor Carson Wentz.

The Eagles also signed South Jersey native Joe Flacco to a one-year, $3.5 million deal entering the 2021 season before trading a conditional sixth-round pick for a cheaper option in Minshew.

The history of the organization also points to another reason why Brissett could make his way to Philadelphia. Andy Reid took over the Eagles in 1999 with Doug Pederson, a backup during Reid’s tenure with the Green Bay Packers, as the mentor to Donovan McNabb.

When Pederson himself became the head coach 17 years later, the move to bring in Daniel had a lot to do with previous chemistry and familiarity with the offensive system from their time together with the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Eagles also signed Dennis Dixon in 2013 shortly after Reid’s successor Chip Kelly took over. Dixon had previous experience running Kelly’s offensive scheme at the University of Oregon.

An Easy Decision

Eight current free-agent quarterbacks earned more money than Brissett in 2022. Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Daniel Jones, and Lamar Jackson will all command starters’ money.

Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum, and Teddy Bridgewater will be closer to Brissett’s contract tier. Spotrac estimates that Brissett’s potential contract would be in the realm of $5.49 million in average annual value.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are also rumored to have interest in the 30-year-old signal-caller.

The Eagles did not get an adequate performance from Minshew in 2022. They haven’t been afraid to make sizable investments in veteran backups in the past, and they won’t be afraid to do it for someone their head coach values so highly.

Jacoby Brissett will come to Philadelphia in 2023.

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire