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Why Carson Strong isn’t a shoo-in to be Eagles’ No. 3 quarterback

August 07, 2022

When the Eagles signed undrafted quarterback Carson Strong and gave him a contract that included a whopping 0,000, it looked like the rookie had an inside track to be the team’s third-string quarterback.

Not so fast. Don’t forget about Reid Sinnett.

Through the first couple weeks of training camp, the Eagles’ 25-year-old incumbent No. 3 quarterback has looked very good. Much better, in fact, than Strong.

“You can tell Reid’s just been here,” quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson said on Saturday. “He’s much more comfortable in what we’re doing. He’s done an excellent job just in terms of working on what we wanted to work on.”

Of course, it’s still early. Strong was once thought of as a high-round draft pick and he likely fell completely out of the draft because of concerns about his knee, not his play. In his final year at Nevada, Strong threw for 4,175 yards with 36 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

There’s no question that Strong is talented. But there’s no substitute for experience. And Sinnett has him there.

The Eagles brought in Sinnett on Oct. 25 during last season after he was waived by the Dolphins. Miami wanted to sneak him through to their practice squad, but the Eagles pounced. They claimed Sinnett and kept him on their 53-man roster for the rest of the season.

While Sinnett didn’t get a single snap — he was inactive for eight games — he was the Eagles’ backup quarterback against the Jets in Week 13 and against the Cowboys in Week 18. No. 2 quarterback Gardner Minshew played every snap in those two games.

But behind the scenes, the Eagles liked what they saw from Sinnett. At 6-4, 220 pounds, Sinnett is the tallest of the Eagles’ four quarterbacks and has a decently strong arm. During this training camp, he’s been getting most of the third-team snaps ahead of Strong and has looked better than his rookie teammate.

Sinnett went undrafted out of San Diego back in 2020. He initially signed with the Buccaneers and spent his first training camp in Tampa. He joined the Dolphins’ practice squad that season and was with them through October of 2021, when he ended up in Philadelphia.

The Eagles have liked what they’ve seen from Sinnett this summer.

“I just can’t say enough about how much he’s progressed in terms of footwork, timing, things of that nature,” Johnson said. “Once he got the reps, I think he’s starting to show. He’s done a nice job so far this camp.”

It’s pretty clear that Jalen Hurts is the Eagles’ starter and Minshew is their backup. But Minshew is in a contract season so perhaps one of the other two quarterbacks in camp this summer could eventually grow into the backup role in Philly.

There’s no guarantee the Eagles even keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster this season. But if they do, Sinnett is definitely making his case.

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