Eagles

What the Josh McCown signing means for Nate Sudfeld

What the Josh McCown signing means for Nate Sudfeld

Let’s be clear about one thing.

Josh McCown has nothing to do with Nate Sudfeld.

The Eagles didn’t sign McCown because they don’t have faith in Sudfeld. They didn’t sign him because they’re concerned with Sudfeld’s ability to be their No. 2. They didn’t sign him in case Sudfeld doesn’t work out.

They signed him simply because Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson believe the Eagles are a better team with McCown on the roster than without him.

If anything, the move is a sign the Eagles are not too pleased with Cody Kessler, who's been uneven in practice and has done nothing in his two brief preseason appearances to inspire confidence.

Kessler has consistently shown a disturbing habit of holding onto the football too long, and that’s what got him hurt Thursday night in Jacksonville, hanging onto the ball and suffering a concussion. It was eye-opening — and out of character — to hear Pederson after the game directly blame Kessler for the injury. That speaks volumes about the Eagles' confidence in the former Browns third-round pick. 

The guess here is that Kessler’s days in Philly are numbered. Has he shown you a reason to keep him? 

Think about where that would leave the Eagles at quarterback.

Sudfeld is out into the regular season with a broken left (non-throwing) wrist, and rookie Clayton Thorson has followed a poor debut with a much more impressive second game. But he’s not ready to be a No. 2. 

There’s still no guarantee he’ll make the 53 (see roster prediction), although if he follows his encouraging performance against the Jaguars with solid outings against the Ravens and Jets, it might be tough to clear him through waivers. But I doubt it.

We knew as soon as Kessler got hurt, the Eagles had to go out and get a quarterback. But it makes sense that they were interested in McCown even before that, since Kessler has struggled since camp opened.

McCown brings nearly two decades of experience playing quarterback in the NFL, and when you have 26-year-old Carson Wentz, 25-year-old Sudfeld and 23-year-old Thorson in your quarterback room, there’s tremendous value in a guy who’s been around since before the Linc was built.

But the Eagles also desperately needed somebody who can be effective as soon as the opener on Sept. 8 — just 21 days away — if he has to play, and McCown fits perfectly. He played as recently as last December and has 37 TDs, 23 interceptions, a 63 percent completion percentage and a respectable 85.9 passer rating over the last four years.

He’s smart, he’s athletic and most importantly he’s at a point in his career and in his life where he’s OK being a temporary No. 2 and a No. 3 for the rest of the year.

It’s not easy finding a guy who’s capable of playing in a meaningful game now but also content to be a No. 3 most of the year. The Eagles found him.

As for Sudfeld, you have to remember this is a guy who the Eagles believed in strongly enough that they went into a stretch run, a playoff run, a Super Bowl, with him as their No. 2. They never even thought about bringing in a veteran then with only Nick Foles and Sudfeld available.

And Suds hasn’t done anything since then to change anybody's minds.

He hasn’t played much in the regular season, but when he has? He’s been sharp — 20 for 25 for 156 yards, a TD, no interceptions and a 106.0 passer rating in parts of two games.

And then he obviously was very good in the preseason opener against the Titans before he got hurt.

There’s a reason the Eagles gave Sudfeld a second-round tender, which pays him just over $3 million this year.

Who would you rather have? Wentz, Sudfeld and Kessler or Wentz, Sudfeld and McCown?

Exactly.

This isn’t about Sudfeld at all.

It’s about being as prepared as possible for whatever happens next.

That’s what Roseman does.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles injury report: A few key players miss another day of practice

Eagles injury report: A few key players miss another day of practice

Updated: 4:27 p.m.

For the second straight day, the Eagles were without three of their most important skill position players as they prepare to face the Lions on Sunday afternoon. 

Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert, who were all listed as “day to day” by Doug Pederson on Wednesday, did not practice Thursday. The Eagles actually held a real practice Thursday after a walkthrough the day before. 

It doesn’t seem likely that any of those three will play against the Lions. 

Because the Eagles had a walkthrough on Wednesday, yesterday’s injury report was an estimation. Here's today's: 

Did not practice: 

Alshon Jeffery (calf), DeSean Jackson (abdomen), Dallas Goedert (calf), Corey Clement (shoulder), Tim Jernigan (foot), Jordan Mailata (back), Johnathan Cyprien (knee) 

Limited: 

Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee), Rudy Ford (hamstring) 

Full: 

Nate Sudfeld (wrist), Derek Barnett (shoulder), Fletcher Cox (toe), Nathan Gerry (knee, calf)

Good news for Grugier-Hill, who is taking part in his first real practice since spraining his MCL in August. It’s probably more realistic to expect him to return to action next Thursday night in Green Bay. 

More good news that Barnett, Cox and Gerry were full participants today after being limited to begin the week. 

Cyprien was the only player who was limited to begin the week and didn’t practice Thursday. 

Mailata worked out on a side field today, as did Jalen Mills (foot), who is still on the PUP. Mills won’t be eligible to return until Week 7. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

NFL trade rumors: Eagles definitely in the mix for Jalen Ramsey

NFL trade rumors: Eagles definitely in the mix for Jalen Ramsey

The Jalen Ramsey trade winds are blowing strong and the Philadelphia Eagles appear to be in the mix.

Our very own Dave Zangaro wrote about why the Eagles should absolutely kick the tires on Ramsey earlier in the week and not a lot has changed there.

A number of national NFL writers continue to toss the Eagles' name around as a team that could be a landing spot for Ramsey if Howie Roseman chooses to engage. Here's a quick roundup of the latest rumblings regarding the talented but often irksome corner.

Ramsey is expected to play this evening on Thursday Night Football for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said today that, "tomorrow is a more likely target date for a Jalen Ramsey trade."

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora said yesterday that the Friday report is "the most artificial deadline in the history of artificial deadlines. There's one deadline, it's Week 9, the trade deadline."

La Canfora points to three teams, "The sense that I'm getting from GMs and personal directors are the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seattle Seahawks, and Philadelphia."

He goes on to say that Jacksonville wants two first-round picks but whether they get that sort of return remains to be seen given their cards are all already on the table and their hand is somewhat forced. Still, Ramsey is an incredible talent that will come at a very steep price.

NBC Sports' Peter King echoed some of those sentiments in a tweet today which again puts Philly right in the hunt for Ramsey. "Roseman unafraid, can offer 1+3+SJones," he wrote in a tweet.

I assume that's a first, a third, and Sidney Jones to get the deal done. Would the Philly fanbase be OK "giving up" on Jones so early in his career when he hasn't had a ton of time to show what he's capable of when healthy? If it lands Ramsey, I'd guess so.

Finally, King adds that inquiring teams would want to talk to Ramsey's agent about a new deal which makes total sense if landing him would come at such a big price.

Thursday Night Football should be interesting this evening when Ramsey's Jags take on the Tennessee Titans on national TV. You know Birds fans will be watching for any drama. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles