When the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round last month, the first person many people thought about was Carson Wentz, and understandably so.
But the signing was also significant for backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who returned to the Eagles this offseason on a one-year deal as a free agent.
On the team’s Eagles Insider podcast, Sudfeld said the Eagles told him there was a chance they would bring in another quarterback, whether it was a veteran or a rookie, so it at least wasn’t a total shock. And he doesn’t expect a bunch of drama once the team is back together either.
Everyone kind of makes it dramatic or a big deal,” Sudfeld said. “But once you’re kind of in that quarterback room, it’s a lot of helping each other out and everyone just getting better. It’s never really weird at all. Just looking forward to getting back into the room together with guys and getting to work.
Sudfeld, 26, said that since he’s been in Philadelphia since 2017, the quarterback room has been a positive and productive place where all the QBs help each other. They’ve had guys like Nick Foles and Josh McCown in that room over the last few years as backups. He expects that same vibe to continue with the addition of Hurts, who was the 53rd pick in the draft.
This spring, the Eagles have been forced to conduct their offseason program virtually.
“I’m just looking forward to when all this stuff dies down with the COVID and I can just get back to work,” Sudfeld said. “Because I’m excited about the guy we got. I think Jalen is an incredible teammate and player and I think he’s going to have a great, long career.”
Ultimately, though, the addition of Hurts will most likely mean the end of Sudfeld’s time in Philadelphia after the 2020 season. Because Sudfeld has been with Doug Pederson and in this offense for three years, he’s the backup right now. But the Eagles didn’t use the 53rd overall pick on a third-string quarterback. The plan is likely to have Sudfeld as the backup in 2020, at least to start, and then have Hurts assume that role next year.
On the night the Eagles drafted Hurts, general manager Howie Roseman was asked if Sudfeld still figured into their plans.
Nate has been very clear that he wants an opportunity to go start somewhere,” Roseman said. “So we felt like a year from now, we'd be throwing resources at this position. We wanted to get out in front of it a little bit and make sure that that room was a really strong room and the player mattered.
Sudfeld will turn 27 in October and he has attempted just 25 career passes. The former Redskins’ sixth-round pick out of Indiana might end up being a good NFL quarterback, but we just haven’t seen him play much yet. Had Sudfeld not broken his left wrist last summer, then the Eagles probably wouldn’t have signed McCown and it would’ve been Sudfeld finishing off the playoff game in January.
Sudfeld, barring extended playing time here in 2020, won’t just be handed a starting job in 2021 but maybe he’ll go somewhere where he can at least compete. But either way, the Eagles added Hurts, which means Sudfeld’s time here probably won’t last past this season.
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