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March 16, 2021

NFL free agency recap: Eagles miss out on backup QB options on Day 2

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UPDATE [5:30 p.m.] — Minutes after it was reported that Tyrod Taylor had found a new home with the Texans, a second potential Eagles quarterback target was also taken off the free agency board:

Brissett had obvious ties to the Eagles new coaching staff, led by Nick Sirianni, who coached him with the Colts. The Birds will now have to move forward without one of the top options (Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick also signed contracts this week) to work alongside Jalen Hurts in the quarterback room. 

The best remaining free agent veterans are Mitch Trubisky, Joe Flacco tier. Not great news for the Eagles, but probably good news for Hurts, who will only need to dodge a potential rookie draft pick for the starting role — or an even less likely trade. 

UPDATE [5:12 p.m.] — The Eagles only have one quarterback on their roster and it is expected by many that the team will add at least one via free agency, likely as a backup to Jalen Hurts, who is the presumed starter after reports that Jeffrey Lurie would prefer the team work on developing the second-year QB rather than create a competition. And it appears one candidate is off the market:

In a move with similar implications to that of Ertz (which we discuss below), the Texans snatching one of the best available backup quarterbacks is a bad development for the Eagles, who will be trying to convince a signal-caller to ink in Philly instead of elsewhere.

Regardless, someone will eventually sign here to sit in Brian Johnson's QB room alongside Hurts. We'll let you know when that happens.

UPDATE [3:14 p.m.] —While it's been extremely quiet for the last 36 hours with regard to the Eagles and free agency, there is a little bit of news trickling around. According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, trade candidate Zach Ertz looks to have some perspective on what his value might be.

The Eagles are in no rush and, as Garafolo says, they are not looking to either force a deal or to cut the potential future Hall of Famer just to make cap space. But the team does think that with Ertz committing to finishing out his contract in what is ultimately a one-year "prove it" deal, he may have more teams interested than he would if he were demanding an extension upon being moved.

It also could help the Birds yield more in a Ertz trade, as a team will be getting a motivated player with some real financial flexibility with his $8.5 million salary in 2021 a relatively reasonable number that becomes zero in 2022. 

We'll keep an eye on the Ertz front, as well as everywhere else in the NFL as free agency continues.

UPDATE [10:10 a.m.] — It appears there may be a market for Zach Ertz after all. Earlier this morning, we mused that due to the abundance of tight ends on the open market, there may not be a team willing to part with a draft pick to acquire Philly's veteran pass-catcher.

But it appears that the Chargers now become a team in need, without another team in need leaving the list of possible suitors:

We'll keep our eye on the tight end landscape, as Ertz is the Eagles most likely player to be traded this week.

From earlier...

The biggest piece of news for Eagles fans Monday, the first day of the NFL's "legal tampering" period, is that there really was no news.

But what do fans reasonably expect? Aside from making minor free agent acquisitions on the margins and addressing their salary cap issues, there really isn't a ton on the menu for the Birds this week, who will more than likely look for good value on leftover free agents who remain unsigned after the first few days of the new league year.

Sure, there is buzz that Zach Ertz could be traded, but Jonnu Smith's deal with the Patriots likely hurts their leverage a bit. Hunter Henry, Gerald Everett, Robert Tonyan, Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph and others remain on the free agent market and while Ertz may have the best track record, why spend a mid round draft pick if you are a tight end needy team?

On Day 1, the Eagles did not sign anyone, but they did see some familiar faces ink contracts elsewhere (like Rudy Ford and Jalen Mills), free agents they were connected to sign elsewhere (like John Johnson), and the NFC East make some interesting signings (like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Devantae Booker).

One has to think Philly will do something on Tuesday, and that's the beauty and fun of free agency. Out of nowhere, with no warning, a team can make a big splash.

MORE: NFL free agency: Day 1 NFC East recap | Report: Former Eagles DB Jalen Mills to sign with Patriots | McMullen: Eagles lack the political capital to go after Trey Lance (or any other QB) in NFL Draft

Don't miss out today, as the Eagles have a bevy of free agent needs, trade candidates and other transactions they could unleash at a moment's notice. Follow along below:

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