Updated: 5:08 p.m.
The Eagles are basically taking out a new insurance policy.
With injuries at the QB position, the Eagles have signed veteran Josh McCown out of retirement.
According to a league source, McCown’s deal includes $2 million fully guaranteed and could be worth up to $5.4 million, as ESPN first reported. The Eagles paid him enough to lure him out of retirement.
To make room for McCown, the Eagles released WR Braxton Miller.
McCown announced his retirement in June, but his stay away from the NFL was short-lived.
With Nate Sudfeld set to miss the beginning of the season with a fractured wrist and after Cody Kessler suffered a concussion early in Thursday night’s preseason game, the Eagles needed to sign another quarterback to back up Carson Wentz. This signing is bad news for Kessler, who might have been able to secure a roster spot with a solid preseason. It might also change the outlook for rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Thorson, who might not be on the roster at the start of the season.
Over the last few seasons, the Eagles have been committed to putting resources into the quarterback position. That hasn’t changed. Sudfeld will still return this season and the Eagles are still high on him, but they also added a quality veteran who will at the very least hold down the backup position until Sudfeld returns and then possibly after.
As much as the Eagles like Sudfeld, he has 25 career passing attempts. McCown has 76 career starts. Sudfeld has upside, but McCown is a proven commodity in the NFL.
McCown is expected to be at practice on Sunday at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles begin preparations to face the Ravens for two practice days and in Thursday’s preseason game.
After entering the NFL in 2002, McCown has started 76 career games. The Eagles will be his 11th NFL team and this will be his 17th NFL season. And at 40, McCown will be the Eagles’ oldest player, taking that title from Jason Peters. He’ll also be the fifth-oldest player in the league in the 2019 season.
The #Eagles youngest player, OL Nate Herbig, was 4 years old when Josh McCown made his NFL debut in 2002.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) August 17, 2019
McCown last played for the Jets in 2017-18. In his long career, McCown has completed 60.2 percent of his passes with 98 touchdowns and 82 interceptions and a passer rating of 79.7.
The Eagles are hoping to never see McCown play this season. If Wentz stays healthy, they’ll never have to use this new insurance policy. But since Nate Sudfeld will be out until possibly October with a fractured left wrist, the Eagles will at least go into the season with a competent backup.
Miller, 26, joined the Eagles’ practice squad last September and remained there for the rest of the season, signing a futures deal after the season was over. Miller was a third-round pick back in 2016, but the Texans cut him after just two seasons. Still, it had to be a little disappointing for the Eagles to not get more out of him this spring and summer. Miller was clearly behind Mack Hollins, Greg Ward, Marken Michel and Charles Johnson on the depth chart, so while he’s a recognizable name, his release shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
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