Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie reportedly has a message for general manager Howie Roseman and rookie head coach Nick Sirianni.
There will be no quarterback competition this fall. That is according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who reported on Monday that Lurie wants the football staff “to prioritize making (Jalen) Hurts successful in 2021 as opposed to creating a true competition.”
Mortensen also stopped short of reporting that “the Eagles have internal unanimity on Hurts as QB1,” implying that not everybody in Philadelphia is sold on the second-year quarterback. But in a power dynamic featuring featuring a first-year NFL head coach and a team owner, it’s not hard to predict how this plays out — regardless of whether Lurie is qualified to make football decisions.
It sounds like Hurts will be the starter this fall whether or not Sirianni or Roseman agree with the call.
Judging by the the current roster, there’s no other choice. Carson Wentz is gone to the Indianapolis Colts, and Nate Sudfeld will be a free agent — not that he was a threat to Hurts’ hold on the starting position to begin with.
Monday’s report likely says more about the Eagles’ plans during the offseason than whatever happens in training camp. The free agency and trade markets are primed for significant quarterback movement this offseason in addition to a draft that’s expected to be top-heavy at the position.
The reported message from Lurie indicates that Philadelphia won’t be a player in those markets. The Eagles will need to fill out the depth chart, but it sounds like they won’t seek a starting-caliber quarterback to challenge Hurts. They want to find out what they have in the former Oklahoma quarterback who was one of the surprises of the 2020 draft when the Eagles selected him in the second round.
The Eagles got a brief look at Hurts when former head coach Doug Pederson started him in favor a benched Wentz late last season. Hurts started four games in addition to spot appearances throughout the season, completing 52 percent of his passes for 1,061 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions on 6.8 yards per attempt. He also rushed for 354 yards and three touchdowns on 5.6 yards per carry.
He led the Eagles to surprising wins against the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints in Week 14 and threw for more than 300 yards in each of his next two starts, losses to the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys.
He flashed enough potential for Lurie to seek a fuller look with the added benefit of Hurts going through training camp as the No. 1 quarterback. Roseman clearly wants to find out what he has in Hurts after investing so much draft capital.
As for Hurts, he’s ready to take the starting mantle.
“I think it was just an opportunity for me,” Hurts told the Adam Schefter podcast of Philadelphia’s decision to trade Wentz. “I think it shows the trust and what they think I can be as a player, so I wanna prove them right.”
It sounds like he’ll have the full opportunity to prove himself as a starter or add Lurie to the long list of meddling owners making bad football decisions.
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