Philadelphia Eagles

Why ex-Eagle is wrong to call Sirianni a ‘dumb liar'


Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni made waves more than once in Wednesday's wild press conference. The actual football reason people were talking about Sirianni after the presser: he didn't name Jalen Hurts the Eagles' starting quarterback for 2021.

Sirianni was asked point-blank to do so, and here's what he had to say:

“To name any starters at this particular time? We’ve been working with these guys for two days, right?” Sirianni said Wednesday. “We’ve been working with these guys for two days. My biggest thing is competition. We’ve talked a little bit about my core values, it’s my second score value, it’s this team’s second core value. Competition’s a huge thing and we’re going to have competition at every position.”

Kind of a non-answer, basically coach speak for "I'm not saying anything." Not inflammatory, but I suppose it's something to talk about.

And boy did former Eagles linebacker and current NFL analyst Emmanuel Acho talk about it Thursday. Here's what Acho had to say about Sirianni not naming Hurts the starter:

"I am going to land on the fact that it is a completely idiotic lie. 

"You just traded your $130 million quarterback Carson Wentz away to go all-in on Jalen Hurts. You hire a QB coach who Jalen Hurts has known since Jalen Hurts was a pre-adolescent. You've signed a backup quarterback who is way over the hill, and is without a doubt a backup quarterback, so that it can be Jalen Hurts's job. You trade out of the sixth overall spot in a heavily-loaded quarterback draft, and you move back to the 12 spot, now not allowing you to draft one of the talented quarterbacks in a heavily-loaded quarterback draft.

"And you do all of this to go to the podium and say, it's a quarterback competition? Nick Sirianni: either dumb, a liar, or a dumb liar."

Hmm. Is it really fair to call Sirianni either dumb or a liar for not naming a starting quarterback on April 21?

I at least understand where Acho is coming from. In 99 scenarios out of 100, Hurts is going to be the Eagles' starting quarterback for Week 1. Howie Roseman, Jeffrey Lurie, Nick Sirianni - they all know this, and they're approaching the offseason this way.

However! The team doesn't stand to benefit, at all, from declaring Hurts the starter one week before the NFL Draft, for specifically the reason Acho mentioned: this is a heavily-loaded quarterback draft.

What if one of Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or Mac Jones has a bit of a fall on Draft night and a team like the Patriots at No. 15 wants to trade up to grab their next franchise QB? 

By trading out of No. 6, the Eagles basically signaled that they don't value the quarterbacks outside of the Top 3, because there was a chance they could've taken one at No. 6. But the Eagles do value adding picks right now. Roseman has less leverage in this hypothetical Patriots trade if the Eagles have already declared Hurts their starter, rather than having the starting job be a question mark - could they maybe pick Fields at No. 12 if he's there? - and ask for more capital in return for that No. 12 pick and a shot at a QB.

This kind of lips-sealed stuff isn't going to land the Eagles some unprecedented major haul, but it's the way Roseman & Co. should be approaching the week before the draft. They're not telling you anything, and if you want to know something, it's going to cost you.

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