What Eagles' offseason QB pursuit means for Hurts


Is Jalen Hurts your guy? "There's no doubt about it."

(Unless it's Russell Wilson.)

Is Jalen Hurts your guy? "There's no doubt about it."

(Unless it's Aaron Rodgers.)

Is Jalen Hurts your guy? "There's no doubt about it."

(Unless it's Deshaun Watson.)

The real answer when Howie Roseman was asked at the Combine if Jalen Hurts was definitely the Eagles' quarterback moving forward should have been ... "Yeah, definitely. Unless we can find someone better."

And that's fine. 

Nothing wrong with trying to upgrade at every position, including quarterback. And Roseman wouldn't have been doing his job if he didn't explore every imaginable quarterback option during the offseason.

And just because the Eagles poked around the quarterback market the last month doesn't mean they don't value Hurts. They do. They look at him as a 23-year-old with an unparalleled work ethic and peerless athleticism and tremendous character who took a mediocre team to the playoffs in his first year as a starter and showed significant growth over his rookie year and should keep improving.

But Wilson, Rodgers and Watson are three of the best to ever play the game. Matter of fact, along with Patrick Mahomes, they are the only four QBs with a career passer rating over 100.

Rodgers, Watson and Wilson were all longshots. Rodgers was either going to retire or go back to the Packers. The Eagles were never on Watson's radar. Wilson seemed at least possible, especially with the Eagles' draft capital. But honestly, the odds that the Eagles were going to land one of those guys was remote when the offseason started. But Roseman had to do his due diligence.

I believe Roseman and Nick Sirianni when they say how much they like Hurts. There's a lot to like about him as a person and as a young quarterback. If you're in the "HE CAN'T PLAY" camp, you're just a hater. If you're in the "HE'S DEFINITELY THE ANSWER" camp, you're just not being realistic. 

The truth is I don't know how much better he'll get. I don't know if he'll ever be accurate enough to lead a team on a deep playoff run. I don't know what his ceiling is. And neither do the Eagles.

Which is why they were willing to ship every 1st-round pick they could scrounge up and presumably some other assets to land a Hall of Fame-caliber QB.

But don't kid yourself. The Eagles' quarterback search isn't over.

What we've learned over the past couple months isn't how committed the Eagles are to Hurts, it's how committed they are to finding the best possible quarterback to lead this team.

They're not going to suddenly stop looking for a quarterback because Watson, Rodgers and Watson are no longer options. That's not how Howie thinks. That's not how he operates.

And if they were willing to trade a bunch of picks for a veteran, there's no question they'd be willing to draft a quarterback in the 1st round -- if they're convinced he's an upgrade.

The only real options where they're sitting are Pitt's Kenny Pickett and Liberty's Malik Willis, but it's easy to see the Eagles being enamored of Willis's arm strength, off-schedule throws and field vision. 

Would you really be shocked if the Eagles take him? No way. That "Quarterback Factory" line wasn't just a quote, it was a philosophy. Roseman wouldn't have said it if he didn't truly think that way.

With three 1st-round picks, the Eagles have a tremendous amount of flexibility on Day 1 of the draft. And it's easy to imagine them letting Willis sit behind Hurts for a year and letting this all sort itself out. 

Now, we've all seen what can happen when a team with an established starting QB starts looking for another one. It can get ugly. Look at the Browns. They dipped their toes in the Watson waters and Baker Mayfield immediately wanted out. Heck, look how Carson Wentz reacted when the Eagles drafted Hurts. He hasn't been the same since.

So there's a lot to weigh. A lot to consider. But Hurts is about the last guy I'd worry about reacting negatively to the Eagles' quarterback search. He's just not wired that way. He'll use it as positive motivation and continue trying to prove people wrong. Which is what he's always done.

None of this means the Eagles have given up on Hurts. They like him. They're just never going to shut the door on finding someone they like more.

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