Just three years removed from winning a Super Bowl, and the Philadelphia Eagles are in the midst of reshaping their entire roster. With the release of veteran players such as Desean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Jason Peters, the team has zeroed in on making its roster younger and cheaper.
None of those previous releases highlights that plan more than the trade which sent quarterback Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz, who spent five seasons with the team, is coming off of the worst statistical year of his career and led the Eagles to a record of 3-8-1 as the starter.
During a Week 12 game against the Green Bay Packers, then head coach Doug Pederson opted to bench Wentz in favor of rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts who energized the team as the season concluded.
Now that the offseason is underway and Wentz is in a new city, there are still a few lingering questions surrounding the future of the Eagles.
On Monday, ESPN’s NFL insider Chris Mortensen shared some information that answered one of those questions as he reported that the team’s owner Jeffrey Lorie wants Jalen Hurts to be the starting quarterback without competition.
“Jalen Hurts is the guy. Lurie wants to do everything he can to help him be successful. They don’t want to bring in competition for him.”
— Word On The Birds (@WordOnTheBirds) March 8, 2021
“Yes, Jalen Hurts is the guy,” Mortensen said during his appearance on ESPN. “Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the Eagles, has basically sent the message to his personnel department and Howie Roseman that he wants to do everything he can to help Jalen Hurts be successful and NOT bring in somebody to compete for the job. Now, they have a new head coach in Nick Sirianni, he understands what the owner wants, the owner gets. And I might remind people on this one: last year, the owner was in favor of drafting Jalen Hurts. That created a ripple effect.”
Time will tell as to whether the Eagles will totally hand over the keys to Hurts, but one thing that’s for sure is that he had a distinct effect on the offense when he was in the game. Throughout his four starts in 2020, Philadelphia became a much more competitive football team and was able to score on some solid defenses.
One example of Hurts’ impact came in his first career start against one of the best teams in the NFC in the New Orleans Saints. Sean Payton’s team entered the game with the top-ranked defense in the league and Hurts was able to lead the last-place Eagles to a 24-21 win ending a four-game losing streak.
Although Hurts would go on to suffer three straight losses to end the season, he passed for over 300 yards in two of those games which was a feat Wentz was only able to eclipse once in 12 games during the 2020 campaign. The other loss was a one-possession game where Hurts was controversially benched against the Washington Football team in Week 17.
Now, as the Eagles continue to create cap space and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, the franchise could have multiple moves in play in order to generate the best from their young quarterback.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77