The Eagles have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld, the team announced Tuesday morning.
This means Sudfeld will return in a backup role to Carson Wentz for 2020, which will be his fourth season with the Eagles.
“We’re very comfortable with Nate,” head coach Doug Pederson said at the combine last month. “Obviously he has an opportunity (as a free agent). We’ll see what happens this spring when we get down the road with him, But he’s put himself in position to compete and possibly be the No. 2.”
The real question is whether or not Sudfeld will be handed the No. 2 job or if the Eagles will bring in some competition for him.
The top two backup quarterback candidates on the market — Case Keenum and Marcus Mariota — went elsewhere on Monday. So the Eagles could sign a lower-level free agent or use one of their 10 draft picks next month on a developmental quarterback who would hopefully last longer than Clayton Thorson last year. (The Eagles used a fifth-round pick on Thorson and he ended up on the Cowboys’ practice squad.)
Sudfeld, 26, was supposed to be the Eagles’ second-string quarterback in 2019 but he broke his non-throwing wrist in the preseason opener against the Titans. That injury forced the Eagles to go out and sign 40-year-old Josh McCown to back up Wentz. And once they signed McCown, Sudfeld never got his second-string job back.
The Eagles really like Sudfeld and they’ve shown that for years now. First, they brought him to Philly after Sudfeld spent one year in Washington (the Redskins drafted him in the sixth round in 2016 out of Indiana), then they promoted him to the active roster when the Colts tried to sign him and then they left him as the backup during the Super Bowl run in 2017 after Wentz went down.
And Sudfeld certainly seems to have some ability. The 6-foot-6 quarterback has a strong arm and is pretty athletic. But we just don’t really know his upside yet.
Sudfeld was drafted in 2016 but he’s played in just three NFL games. In those three games, Sudfeld has completed 20 of 25 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.
At the very least, this move will ensure a level of stability in the Eagles’ quarterback room. Sudfeld and Wentz are very close and, even though he’ll have some added responsibility this season as the passing game coordinator, they’ll have quarterbacks coach Press Taylor back for 2020 as well.
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