The draft is finished, the schedule is out, Nick Sirianni has overseen a practice and training camp is approaching. What’s on your mind? Let’s go to your questions …
How good does Hurts need to be this year to keep his job? League-average QB? Better? — Brad R.
Jalen Hurts will keep his job beyond 2021 only if he’s better than the realistic alternatives. Teams are often as loyal as their options. I frame it that way because I don’t know if Hurts must reach a certain bar to keep his job beyond 2021 — unless he’s so good that the Eagles cannot replace him. Rather, he must be better than the potential replacements.
If Hurts is better than league average but the Eagles are interested and able to acquire Deshaun Watson or if Russell Wilson becomes available — and I present those two options because those are names that already have been discussed — then my guess is the Eagles would still go for an upgrade. If Sam Howell or Malik Willis or Desmond Ridder or J.T. Daniels or another college quarterback emerges as a player that management deems to be better than Hurts, then the Eagles could replace Hurts. But if the Eagles think another year of Hurts at quarterback and using their picks and cap space to upgrade the roster around him is the best option, then he’s the quarterback. Think back to after the 2014 season when the Eagles traded Nick Foles in a deal for Sam Bradford. It wasn’t that Foles didn’t play to a certain standard. Yes, he was injury-prone, but they acquired Bradford! They just thought Bradford was the better quarterback.
I know there will be much discussion during the season about whether Hurts has proven he should remain the quarterback, and I’ll undoubtedly be contributing to that discussion. But the Eagles aren’t committing to Hurts in 2021 as much as they are committing to keeping their options open. Hurts must be better than the other options. It’s that simple.
Would you rather:
(1) have the Eagles’ top 5 picks or
(2) OT Slater (12) WR Marshall (37), CB Adebo (70), CB/S Melifonwu (84), DT Nixon (123), RB Gainwell (150)? — Brian M.
Put another way, would I rather have stayed at No. 12 than have traded up to No. 10? In your example, is the deal from the Bears on the table? I’d prefer that haul over the play you presented.