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February 15, 2023

Eagles stay or go: Quarterback

Eagles NFL
021523JalenHurtsGardnerMinshew Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts emerging from the Lincoln Financial Field tunnel.

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles' 2022 season is over (a little later than usual), we'll be taking a position-by-position look at which players will likely be back with the team in 2022, and which ones likely won't. Today we'll start off the series at quarterback.

Regarding the polls below, they are your votes on what you think the Eagles should do, not necessarily what you think they will do. Please think of them more as approval polls for each player.

Jalen Hurts

This time last year, Hurts was viewed as an intelligent, hard-working quarterback with leadership qualities who could make plays with his legs, but had serious flaws as a passer, most notably inaccuracy as well as a lack of refinement within the pocket. His status as the Eagles' starting quarterback in 2022 wasn't a given until after the Eagles struck out on trades for Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson.

To say that he made drastic improvements in Year 3 would be a wild understatement, as he was the MVP runner-up to Patrick Mahomes, with the Eagles going 14-1 (plus 2-1 in the playoffs) in games he started. Including the playoffs, he threw 25 TDs vs. 6 INTs as a passer, and he rushed for 903 yards and 18 TDs, cementing his status as a star player and the face of the franchise.

#JimmyVerdict: The Eagles are almost certainly going to sign Hurts to a long-term contract extension this offseason, and it is going to be in the neighborhood of $50 million per year. The more important detail, however, is the length of the deal. The Eagles will want as long a deal as possible. Hurts' camp will aim for it to be shorter. 

Why? Well, the salary cap jumped from $208.2 million in 2022 to $224.8 million in 2023, an eight percent increase. has a projected the NFL's salary cap to spike to something in the ballpark of $256 million in 2024, which if correct would be an increase of around 14 percent. As the salary cap rises, so too will the values of player contracts around the league. $50 million per year might sound like a lot right now, but it will seem much more reasonable in a few years. The longer the Eagles can delay a new top of the market deal, the better for their future cap health. Stay (duh).

Eagles stay or go: Jalen Hurts

Gardner Minshew

The Eagles went 0-2 with Minshew as the starter in 2022.

Against the Cowboys Week 16, he was 24 of 40 for 355 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. He mostly made good decisions, throwing with anticipation and subtly sidestepping the Cowboys' pass rush to extend plays and find receivers down the field, but the Birds would fall in a shootout.

Against the Saints Week 17, Minshew completed 18 of 32 passes for 274 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT, which doesn't look that bad in print, but the eye test showed quite clearly that there is very sizable difference between what Hurts is capable of on a football field, and Minshew's limitations.

In Week 18, with a 1-seed on the line, the Eagles showed what they thought of Minshew's starting performances when they put an obviously hurt Hurts back out on the field against the Giants' backups to secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

#JimmyVerdict: Minshew will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He thinks that he is a starter in the NFL and he wants to play. That will only be possible in Philly if Hurts goes down with an injury. As such, he is likely to pursue opportunities around the league where there is a path to starting, and it's likely that the Eagles will be looking for a new backup in 2023. Go.

Eagles stay or go: Gardner Minshew

Ian Book

Book was a New Orleans Saints fourth-round draft pick out of Notre Dame in 2021. He appeared in one game in 2021 as a rookie, a 20-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins in which he completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 135 yards, with 2 INTs. He was waived at final cutdowns in 2022, and claimed by the Eagles.

The Eagles entered 2022 training camp with four quarterbacks — Hurts, Minshew, Reid Sinnett, and undrafted rookie Carson Strong. They have exhibited that they prefer employing three quarterbacks on the active roster during the regular season, and in Book they now have a cheap quarterback with two years left on his rookie contract.

#JimmyVerdict: Because media is not allowed to watch practice in full after training camp has concluded, I have not seen Book play in person, but he has some mobility and could theoretically run the Eagles' RPO concepts. He'll likely be back in camp, but his roster spot is not guaranteed, obviously.

Eagles stay or go: Ian Book

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