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April 20, 2023

Jalen Hurts' new contract won't change who he is, nor how the Eagles use him

The Eagles signed QB Jalen Hurts to a massive contract extension, but they don't expect the money to change who their star quarterback is, nor how he plays.

The Eagles are placing a whole lot of trust in Jalen Hurts with his five-year, $255 million contract extension, but they've probably never felt more confident in that big of a signing, especially once the ink dried on it. 

"My first conversation with him after he signed that contract, he was just telling me how determined he was," general manager Howie Roseman said during a pre-draft press conference Thursday, his first time speaking since Hurts signed the mega deal earlier this week. "I know how hard he's working in the offseason. I know how much football matters to him. I know how much improving at football matters to him. I know how much he wants to be coached. I know how important it is [for him] to try and deliver a championship to this city, obviously, all of us are disappointed we fell short this year. 

"So I don't have any doubt in my mind that giving Jalen this contract will not change the person that Jalen is."

Nor will it make the Eagles any less aggressive in their offensive playcalling now that a lot more money is at stake. 

"We didn't pay him more to do less, I'll say that," head coach Nick Sirianni said, who added he was "juiced" about Hurts' contract. "Will we still think about how to protect him? Yeah, because that's our job to protect our quarterback. But Jalen does a lot of things really well and we want to utilize the skills that he has so he can continue to play at a high level. 

"To me, we'll continue to go about our business the same way we went about our business. We'll always think about protecting him first. But we didn't pay him more to do less."

And Hurts likely wouldn't have it any other way. 

Through the air and on the ground, the 24-year-old quarterback was the focal point of the Eagles' offense last season on the way to a massive breakout, an MVP-caliber campaign, and a run that was stopped just a field goal short of a Super Bowl title. 

And though he has dealt with injuries since becoming the starting quarterback – an ankle sprain in 2021 and a shoulder sprain in 2022 – the Eagles have confidence in his durability, their ability to keep him protected, and – so long as they can keep building and developing around him – his ability to keep improving.

"Nobody knows what Jalen Hurts' ceiling is," Sirianni said. Why? Because he loves football, he's tough, he has high football IQ, and he's competitive. The guys that have those things tend to reach their ceiling, so he's going to continue to rise."

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