When the Eagles traded down from 6 to 12, it was widely perceived as a sure sign that Jalen Hurts would be the Eagles’ quarterback in 2021.
Because any team that wants one of the top QBs in this year’s draft isn't going to get him at No. 12.
Not so fast.
If you were looking for a vote of confidence for Hurts it wasn't coming Wednesday from Eagles GM Howie Roseman or head coach Nick Sirianni.
Both shot down the notion that a decision has been made about who’ll start the season as the Eagles’ quarterback.
The 22-year-old Hurts and 36-year-old Joe Flacco are the only quarterbacks on the roster, but a lot can happen in the five months before opening day.
“To name any starters at this particular time? We’ve been working with these guys for two days, right?” Sirianni said Wednesday. “We’ve been working with these guys for two days. My biggest thing is competition. We’ve talked a little bit about my core values, it’s my second score value, it’s this team’s second core value. Competition’s a huge thing and we’re going to have competition at every position.”
By two days, Sirianni was referring to the first phase of the NFL’s offseason program, which began on Monday.
Hurts started the last four games of last season after Carson Wentz was benched, and in his three full games passed for 847 yards and ran for 238, the second-most combined rushing and passing yards ever by a rookie QB in his first three starts.
Flacco, the South Jersey native, led the Ravens to the Super Bowl championship eight years ago but has won just 6 of 21 starts since 2018 with the Ravens, Broncos and Jets.
It’s been reported that the Eagles have considered trying to trade for a veteran like Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson, although it sure doesn’t look like the Seahawks will be moving Wilson, and Watson’s off-the-field issues seem to make him untradeable at the moment.
It’s still possible that the Eagles could trade back up and take a QB and who knows, maybe one will slide down to No. 12, although that’s hard to imagine. Or they could take a longshot in the later rounds.
The Eagles have used five different opening-day quarterbacks since Donovan McNabb made his 10th straight opening-day start in 2009: Kevin Kolb in 2010, Michael Vick 2011 through 2013, Nick Foles in 2014 and 2018, Sam Bradford in 2015 and Carson Wentz in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020.
All that's certain is that it will be someone different in 2021.
“We’re going to evaluate every player,” Roseman said. “Nothing is off the table.”
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: