For any other franchise, the curiosity of a new, highly drafted quarterback taking snaps under center is usually a hopeful venture. In this case, it is hard to feel any kind of excitement for the future, even with a new young quarterback, when it feels like the door closed shut on this current chapter of the Philadelphia Eagles.
In all honestly, that doesn’t sound fair to Jalen Hurts. The second-round draft pick is making his first-ever start in the National Football League this weekend, and it should be met with some optimism. The problem here is that Hurts will be tasked with putting out a forest fire with just a fire extinguisher. He’s ultimately all on his own here, with it being likely that the franchise’s key decision-makers won’t be making any decisions by the season’s conclusion.
The other reality to this is Hurts isn’t a blue-chip prospect. Instead, he is a project that will take time to become a viable starting quarterback in the NFL, if he ever does. There are just too many problems with Hurts, and the offense around him is so bad, that you likely won’t see an answer to the question of whether or not he is legitimately a franchise quarterback right now.
One thing this Eagles current roster doesn’t have is time. The core of this roster was built around Carson Wentz and basically was timestamped, giving the Eagles a two-to-three year window to win another Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the Eagles have no time for this. They don’t have time to fix Wentz and they certainly don’t have enough time to find out if Hurts can become their next franchise quarterback.
What this ultimately boils down to is that the Eagles are desperately in need of a rebuild. They need a top-to-bottom reconstruction of not only their roster, but the hierarchy, as well, and there doesn’t seem to be a place for Hurts in that case. By the time the roster is reconstructed, Hurts will likely be at the end of his rookie contract. At that point, even if Hurts proves to be a viable starting quarterback, he’d be looking at a big payday; this would effectively end any chance they could re-sign him around that reconstructed roster. That’s the risk you run into and one that doesn’t seem worth it. The Eagles have to decide in four games if Hurts will be their franchise quarterback and to build around him. There’s a very likely chance that answer won’t become clear, at all, in 2020.
It’s almost why the quarterback controversy doesn’t really feel like one. This isn’t a Hurts vs. Wentz thing. This is a Wentz or rebuild scenario. If you want to find the Eagles’ next franchise quarterback, start searching up the upcoming quarterback classes of the 2021 and 2022 NFL Drafts.
All of this is partly why it took until Week 14 to finally move on from a struggling Wentz and the irony that brings. Wentz’s failures fall on the responsibility of Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman. It doesn’t matter how you look at the situation, it was Pederson’s and Roseman’s job to nurture the Eagles franchise quarterback in Wentz. They both failed and should not have the authority or opportunity to do it again.
That second-round pick, which was the boldest decision made in this current chapter of the Eagles franchise, is also the first sign of the end of it.
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