Eagles’ NFL Draft investment in Jalen Hurts an inexpensive Carson Wentz insurance policy

14 Aug 2020 admin

first_imgMORE 2020 NFL DRAFT:Live grades | Pick tracker | Top 100 big boardChecking the Spotrac page devoted to Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz reminds us that last summer he agreed to a four-year extension for at least $128 million, with $66 million guaranteed. So the Eagles are not drafting his replacement. They’ve made a massive investment in Wentz.And even if Hurts were to come into whatever passes for training camp this summer and dazzle everyone in South Philly, there’s no way this was designed to be a selection of his successor, either. Wentz would consume more than $30 million of the Eagles’ 2021 salary cap if he were traded before next June or released afterward.The Eagles are in the Carson Wentz business, for the long haul.They took a bit of a risk in investing so much in Wentz after he’d missed a combined eight games in 2016 and 2017, the former because of a torn ACL that cost him the chance to quarterback the Eagles in the Super Bowl. But they knew what they saw, and they believed.BENDER: Interesting scenarios emerge from Hurts selectionThen what were they doing taking a quarterback in the second round?Well, there might have been better players out there at particular positions, but the Eagles also know they’ve had to call for their backup QB twice during Wentz’s first four seasons. Insurance, as so many have learned during the pandemic, can be extremely useful. Prior to Friday, the Eagles’ “insurance” at QB consisted of Nate Sudfeld and Kyle Lauletta, with a combined 20 NFL completions between them (all Sudfeld’s, by the way).Hurts might not just be any backup quarterback. He ran a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash. That’s not DeAndre Hopkins speed, but at 6-1 and 222 pounds, that might lead to opportunities as a receiver. He also could be deployed in the way the Saints did Taysom Hill, who played in all 16 games last year and rushed 27 times for 156 yards, an average of 5.8 yards per carry.Were Wentz to be injured again, Hurts will be available as a far less expensive option, although obviously less experienced, than a free agent such as former Tampa Bay top pick Jameis Winston. If your immediate reaction to the Eagles selecting Jalen Hurts with their second-round pick in the NFL Draft was to figure they were in for a quarterback controversy, and that was a common response, then you need to know about a website called Spotrac.This is a wonderful resource for researching the salaries in various major league sports, but it’s particularly handy in regard to the NFL because of the salary-cap ramifications of every player release, every trade, every free-agent signing and, indeed, every draft choice. The Eagles did not blindside Wentz with this pick. GM Howie Roseman made him aware, with Hurts still on the board as the day began, this selection was a possibility. “For better or worse, we’re quarterback developers,” Roseman told reporters. “We want to be a quarterback factory.“He’s more valuable than the pick we took him at… When he gets experience and coaching, he’s going to be a valuable player. That’s our job: to acquire as many assets as we can.”This is a curious statement, as was the selection of Hurts with the more pressing positional needs apparent and plenty of prospects there to fill them. The job should be to build a football team capable of challenging, again, for a Super Bowl title. But this was not a signal that the Eagles might consider replacing Carson Wentz. He’s their quarterback. Jalen Hurts is something else, although it won’t be clear what that is until the NFL is back in business.last_img

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