Jalen Hurts' first year as a full-time starting quarterback has been, by most any measurement, a success for a second-year QB who was picked in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Hurts has completed 61.7% of his passes, averaged 7.3 yards per attempt, scored 26 total touchdowns, kept his interceptions to single digits, and has piloted his team to a playoff spot.
And fan sentiment around Philadelphia has seemingly shifted towards feeling good enough about the young QB's future to give him another go-around in 2022 as he's proven to be a good, efficient, dynamic quarterback.
But ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter tossed a tiny, flammable hint out into the ether on Wednesday morning:
Has Hurts played so well this season... that he's actually become more valuable as a trade chip for the Eagles than as a quarterback?
Schefter, the most plugged-in football insider out there, joined 97.5 The Fanatic's John Kincade show on Wednesday to talk all things Eagles, and one particular part of his conversation with Kincade and the crew really stood out to me:
"If the Eagles still want to go out and get a quarterback this offseason - and I still think they might, we'll see how it unfolds, if they want to go out and get Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, you name the guy - somebody will be very happy to take Jalen Hurts off their hands.
"I think that they have themselves right now somebody who has value around the league."
I hadn't even thought about it until Schefter brought it up, but Hurts' success this season is two-fold.
He's made himself attractive to the Eagles as a low-cost QB option who would seem to have even more room for improvement, but is already able to get you to the playoffs. That's insanely valuable.
But he's also shown that value to the 31 other teams around the league, and you can bet Eagles general manager Howie Roseman knows that Hurts' stock is rising.
Would Roseman really take all the good will that Hurts has built up this season and ship him out after the year's over in an attempt to get not just a pretty good quarterback, but a legitimately great one?
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Hoooo boy, the takes would be flowing that week if Roseman really pulled the trigger on such a deal.
Including Hurts in a trade for a top-tier QB like Wilson, Watson, or Rodgers would certainly lower what else Roseman and the Eagles would have to give up. It's been widely assumed that the cost for any of those guys in a trade would begin at two first-round picks, and likely escalate to three if the bidding wars dictated it.
With Hurts, are we talking just one first-rounder? That's pretty big when the Eagles have three. Getting an elite QB and still being able to spend draft capital on first-round talent for the future is basically the best of both worlds.
It's a crazy idea, one that will probably drive Eagles fans nuts. I personally have pulled a full 180 from "do what you can to get a star QB" to "let Hurts ride in 2022 and use those picks" but we'll see how the Eagles feel when things get rolling this offseason.