The Philadelphia Eagles currently have two quarterbacks in the NFL Hall of Fame, Norm Van Brocklin, and Sonny Jurgenson. The latter of the two played his last game for the Eagles in 1963. It’s fair to say that the Eagles haven’t found a great deal of success at the position. Of course, players such as Ron Jaworski, Randell Cunningham, and Donavan McNabb are the more recent examples of fruitful quarterbacks for the Eagles.
Although, from the names I mentioned, none of them were the “future of football”. McNabb, having the best case to argue, didn’t even seem possible to overthrow Peyton Manning, and certainly not Tom Brady as the best player in the league. Yet, only a few distant years ago the Eagles, fans, and the league thought there might be one coming out of Philadelphia.
Carson Wentz, the former second-round pick, former MVP contender, was thought at the start of the 2020 season to be fighting to reclaim his rank at the top of the NFL. Noone thought that within ten games he would be fighting to keep his job. Yet, that is where we currently stand, the future of Philadelphia football is at a critical standpoint as the team faces the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
Rumors from this past week have foreshadowed a potential change coming at the quarterback position, as Jalen Hurts, the team’s second-round pick, is waiting in the wings. Tonight could be the conclusion of an era that was believed to last decades. The stark reality of the Eagle’s current starting quarterback is in the most danger that it’s been since his arrival.
Of course, the looming change doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched the Eagles play this season. The team’s putrid 3-6-1 record speaks volumes of the struggles that the team, and it’s quarterback, has faced this year. With errant passes, poor decision-making, and lack of consistency, Carson Wentz has become more of the problem than the solution.
As mentioned, reports leading up to the game have drawn in the idea that Jalen Hurts will receive more playing time, potentially without Wentz on the field. When the Eagles drafted Hurts in last year’s draft, many assumed that this was merely an expensive insurance policy, few imagined he could be the future. When I state “many assumed” of course those set on the demise of Carson Wentz saw the draft pick as an easy decision to dump the former second overall pick.
When it comes to replacing a quarterback, especially one that was deemed the future of the franchise last year, it isn’t easy. Considering that the Eagles tied themselves to Wentz by signing him to a 4 year, $128,000,000 contract, averaging $32,000,000 per year, they made it almost impossible to move on. But why would they? Wentz at the time was one of the best QB’s in the league, if anything the concerns of his health were the cause for concern. Never was his performance brought into question, when evaluating the contract when he initially signed.
Wentz’s contract goes through the 2024 season, and it isn’t until next year, and the years after that his annual salary jumps even higher.
The takeaway is, the Eagles crash if Wentz does. This isn’t an explanatory piece on how the Eagles can break or buffer the blow if the Eagles move on. Simply, I’m stating the implications of moving on.
Further, bringing in Jalen Hurts draws into question of whether this decision would work for a team that doesn’t just have quarterback issues. If Doug Pederson truly believes that Hurts is the heir apparent, or at this point, the next best thing, to take over, the Eagles, is this the way to go at it?
Assuming in the next couple of games, Wentz is benched; throwing in a rookie quarterback to a dumpster fire, doesn’t scream great outcomes. Although, this is one of the reasons he was drafted for, right? Of course, the question that has yet to be fully examined is if Jalen Hurts is even good? When the Eagles drafted him, the conversation was more about the implication of the pick rather than the value of it.
From evaluation, Hurts was deemed as second to third-round pick, so with that, this is the talent that the Eagles should expect. It doesn’t take a genius to review the history of second-round quarterbacks. They usually don’t work out.
Mahomes, Jackson, Allen, Murray, the names have become synonymous with the future of the NFL, all of them were first-round draft picks. Again, this also isn’t an article breaking down if Hurts can succeed with the Eagles. But just showing the other aspects of a move as major as the one being considered, is needed to understand the full matter at hand.
If the constant rain, and thunderstorms today is any sign for how the Eagles will fare tonight, it won’t be great. Yet, as the saying goes, “after every rain comes a rainbow”. The question is, will the sun have already set before the rainbow can reach across the sky?