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August 17, 2023

Jalen Hurts has been in touch with Michael Jordan, calls him 'a great mentor'

The Eagles' franchise QB and the Jordan brand's newest athlete sounds like he's gotten some pointers from basketball's greatest ever.

Eagles NFL
Jalen-Hurts-Air-Jordans-Joint-Practice-Eagles-Browns-NFL-8.15.23.jpeg Nick Tricome/PhillyVoice

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts with fresh Jordan 1 cleats in red to match the no-contact jersey during the joint practice with the Browns on Tuesday.

Jalen Hurts is the Jordan brand's newest athlete, and while he hasn't met Michael Jordan himself yet, he has been in touch with basketball's greatest ever. 

"It's an honor to be a part of that family and be able to rep that," the Eagles quarterback told CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones from training camp on Monday of his new brand deal and his interactions with "His Airness" so far.

 "Have not met Mike, but I've been in touch with him. He's a great person, a great mentor...Very helpful."

Hurts' Jordan deal was officially announced on Monday, but had signs of it brewing long before that. 

Throughout last season, Hurts regularly wore Jordan branded cleats on the way to an MVP-caliber campaign and the Eagles' run to the Super Bowl, and when he returned from a sprained shoulder late in the year to push the Birds to the NFC East title, he did so showing up to the stadium in a T-shirt bearing imagery of Jordan and the words of his iconic press release announcing his 1995 return from retirement – "I'm back."

Hurts fully lived up to that message too. Still ailing from the shoulder sprain, he did just enough in Week 18 to help the Eagles beat the Giants for the division crown and the NFC's No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Then, with extra time to rest, Hurts fully went off on New York back at the Linc again two weeks later in a 38-7 route that kickstarted a tear straight to the Super Bowl – all with a competitive drive and determination that had head coach Nick Sirianni making that comparison.

"To have him out there is like – I know this is high praise – but to have him out there...It's having like Michael Jordan out there," Sirianni said after that divisional playoff blowout of the Giants. "He's your leader, he's your guy. 

"Hopefully that's the biggest respect I can pay to him, comparing his ability to being on the field to a Michael Jordan type. This guy leads. He brings this calmness to the entire team. He plays great football. He's tough as they come...Yeah, to me, nobody has played any better football than him this year."

And even though the run fell just short to Kansas City, at some point down the line, the folks at Nike clearly took notice. 

All things considered, Hurts' leadership and resolve to continually improve in pursuit of a title – after putting numerous doubts that followed him into last season to rest – make him a perfect fit for the Jordan brand, and upon announcement of his endorsement deal, he wasted no time putting it to work. 

On Tuesday, in the Eagles' second joint practice with the Cleveland Browns down at the NovaCare Complex, Hurts took the field in Chicago colorway Jordan 1 cleats that matched perfectly with the QBs' red no-contact jerseys. It was an effortlessly clean look. 

Hurts and the Eagles' first-team offense then proceeded to pick Cleveland's defense apart in the day's run of red zone drills. 

A meeting between Jordan and Hurts still awaits, but the upcoming NFL season and ambitions of a climb back to the Super Bowl are the priority. 

But if and when that meeting happens, Hurts hardly seems like he'll be starstruck.

"Just whatever comes," Hurts told Jones. "Just have a conversation with him."

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