Just when the Eagles' QB situation seemed to have reached a level of stability, Howie Roseman threw a wrench into the works and traded a conditional sixth-round pick for Gardner Minshew.
And suddenly the quarterback room was once again a breeding ground for hot takes and spicy what-if scenarios.
Like... what if Hurts gets off to a rough start after an unorthodox preseason, and Minshew is just sitting there with his solid career TD-to-INT ratio? Will fans start clamoring for change? Will the coaches entertain the idea?
The 25-year-old has shown he can start in the NFL, and he's a firebrand of a personality, which is why former NFL QB Chris Simms wondered aloud on Monday's edition of ProFootballTalk Live whether the Eagles' trade for Minshew might start weighing on Hurts this year:
"He's that type of personality where, fans are going to like Gardner Minshew just because of his answers, on social media, the way he looks. I mean, he's just got a care-free, charismatic attitude towards the game that's kind of infectious. You just go, 'Man, the guy loves football, this is cool, he seems cool, I like it.' He is that type of backup quarterback where you go, 'Man, I don't want to let this guy on the field,' if I'm the starting quarterback. Because if he has a few good plays, the fans are going to rally around this dude.
"It's weird mixed signals out of there. ... That whole situation is a little odd to me. I'm not going to lie, when they traded for Gardner Minshew the other day, I thought, 'Wait, is this a precursor to where now they might trade away Hurts and maybe Flacco for a Deshaun Watson and some picks?' That was one of the things that percolated through my brain a little bit. Obviously that didn't happen, but I am a little stumped."
Hmm. A backup QB move potentially making the starter look over his shoulder? Where have we heard this before?
Oh, right. Last year. On the Eagles' roster.
Now, Simms is making a logical argument but I think Hurts is not that guy.
Hurts has been replaced as a starter before, back at Alabama, and he seems to have a healthy approach towards his current role as presumptive QB1. The Eagles built everything around Carson Wentz, so when his job was taken away due to poor play he felt like he'd been betrayed. The Eagles... kind of haven't promised Hurts anything, and have almost been demonstrative in not calling him The Guy, so I can't imagine he thinks he's owed anything around here. I don't think Hurts believes starting all 17 games this year is a guarantee unless he plays good football.
The Minshew factor will be certainly be floating around both the fanbase and the NovaCare Complex, but I don't think Hurts will be affected much at all by the trade. He's been training all offseason like he has to prove himself to land the QB1 job, and that's still the case.
It's on Hurts to show us he deserves the QB job, and just like Joe Flacco, Minshew is a guy who can take that job if Hurts makes it available.
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