What a difference a year makes. This time last year, we were asking if Howie Roseman deserved his job, whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles could take the next step following an embarrassing Wild Card Round loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and how big of a leap Jalen Hurts could make in his second full season as a starter. Some even asked if Hurts could be ‘the guy’ and become a legitimate franchise quarterback. Remember that?
Fast forward to the present. No one houses any of those concerns anymore.
Howie doesn’t just deserve his job. He should be allowed to keep it for as long as he’d like. He’s earned our trust.
The Eagles are the defending NFC champions. They didn’t just learn from the loss in Tampa. They taught all of us a ton about their mettle as well. Now the questions are about how long this championship window can stay open. That brings us to QB1.
Jalen Hurts would have won the NFL’s MVP trophy had it not been for a two-game absence and some guy named Patrick Mahomes. Arguments can also be made that suggest Jalen’s absence proved his ‘value’. He can now also add another title to his name… master recruiter.
A.J. Brown came to Philadelphia because he wanted to play with Jalen. Brandon Graham decided to return to Philly for a 14th season and give the franchise a discounted price tag for his services because he wanted to play with Jalen. His teammates love him. So does much of the rest of the NFL who have been looking from the outside in. The affinity for him is only going to grow from here.
There are cap constraints (even though Howie Roseman will probably wave his magic wand and free up a lot of money by Tuesday), but Jalen Hurts remains one of the better recruiting pieces Philadelphia has.
Guys want to play with him, and that might lead to a few surprise signings, not just this offseason but for years to come.
Impending free agent Kelvin Beachum’s comments about Kyler Murray and the drama we see around the NFL make us appreciate Jalen Hurts even more.
No one knows what transpires in the minds of NFL stars when their number comes up except for in one area. All are normally looking to win, or get paid, or both if there’s an opportunity to make that happen. That’s true of stars and the bargain free agents.
We all know that consistent winning doesn’t happen in the NFL unless an organization has figured out who their franchise quarterback is. The Philadelphia Eagles have found themselves a great one.
The work ethic is there. So is the maturity, and when you look around the rest of the NFL’s landscape, what we’re seeing in other franchises makes us appreciate Jalen more.
Would you want Lamar Jackson or Deshaun Watson to be your quarterback? Look at what’s going on with Russell Wilson in Denver. Who wants to join that circus? What in the world is going on with Aaron Rodgers?
We could also mention what we’re seeing with Jonathan Gannon’s Arizona Cardinals and use that as an example. Have you heard what Kelvin Beachum said?
Beachum, a five-time NFLPA Community MVP, is well respected around the league and by the guys in his locker room. He’s also made waves as of late as he decided to challenge his quarterback, Kyler Murray, publicly by stating Arizona’s franchise signal-caller needs to “grow up”.
While much has been made of that last statement, it must be mentioned that Beachum’s statements weren’t meant to be derogatory. They were more along the lines of tough love. He mentioned Kyler has what it takes to lead, but teammates still want to see him take it a step further. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. You aren’t hearing these complaints with Hurts.
It doesn’t seem like Arizona’s drama would have anything to do with the Eagles or benefit Philly in some way, but frustrations like these are more common than you might imagine. They also make organizations like Philadelphia destination cities for free agents and interested veterans, especially potential value pickups like Beachum who haven’t done a lot of winning recently and are looking for a fresh start and corresponding payday.
Beachum racked up somewhere around $3.9 million with the Cards over the past two seasons, and his story is more common than the mega-deal that you see stars sign. If you watched HBO’s Hard Knocks, you also know it was quite a frustrating season in Glendale and a frustrating ride for Beahum in general.
Four years in Pittsburgh with the Steelers weren’t bad. The Black and Gold went 37-27 from 2012 to 2015, Beachum’s first four seasons in the league, but he’s enjoyed a 23-58 run as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals since leaving the Steel City.
We’re not saying Beachum is on Philly’s radar. We’ve never heard him state he was interested, but as Philly looks to extend Jalen and navigate the salary cap, it’s guys like Beachum who will be the value signings that keep the Eagles in the hunt. Keep in mind the fact that DeVonta Smith and Landon Dickerson have to get paid next season.
Philly will be okay. They’re going to sign some talent, and when you place your heads on the pillow this evening, remember your quarterback, Jalen Hurts, is a big reason why that’s the case.