PHILADELPHIA – Ah, it feels like just a year ago that the Eagles were opening this sparkling new quarterback factory, ready to develop passers at a breathtaking rate.
Look at them now.
They have two QBs on the roster after releasing undrafted free agent Jamie Newman on Wednesday evening.
Was there ever a time in June when the Eagles had just two quarterbacks on their roster?
This isn’t exactly what GM Howie Roseman had in mind when he pronounced that the Eagles wanted to be known as a quarterback factory, which Roseman later called a regrettable choice of words to justify the decision to take Jalen Hurts with the 53rd overall pick less than a year after rewarding incumbent Carson Wentz with a $128 million contract, which, oh by the way, also turned out to be a regrettable decision.
Now, it is widely known that coach Nick Sirianni can work with any quarterbacks, having done so with three different signal-callers in each of his three seasons as the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis, but giving him two to work with, well, that’s a bit absurd.
I know, the Eagles will sign another passer between now and the start of training camp. They simply cannot wait for one to shake loose from another team, as that won’t happen until the end of August.
But the free-agent market isn’t exactly teeming with Montanas or Bradys.
Here’s a sample of what’s out there, and please, try to contain your enthusiasm:
- Nick Mullens
- Robert Griffin III
- Matt Barkley
- Sean Mannion
- A.J. McCarron
What's out there is nothing but camp arms at a minimum. At most, they are gameday inactives.
But hey, at this point, the Eagles could use camp arms unless Hurts and Joe Flacco have arms made of rubber and at last check, that wasn’t the case.
Somebody else is going to have to make some throws.
The Eagles typically go into training camp with four quarterbacks.
In Andy Reid’s final season of 2012, the Eagles had four in camp: Mike Vick, Nick Foles, Mike Kafka, and Trent Edwards.
In Chip Kelly’s first season of 2013, there were five: Vick, Foles, Barkley, Dennis Dixon, and G.J. Kinne.
In the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning season of 2017, they went into camp with Carson Wentz, Foles, Nate Sudfeld, and Matt McGloin.
Right now, the Eagles may have just two passers at camp and, given the lackluster of passers that are available, will be fortunate to have three when they go camping at the end of July.
Maybe there will be a trade.
There was a time this offseason when the Eagles reportedly inquired about Foles, but a recent report indicated that he did not want to return to Philadelphia, and who can blame him?
Foles is a legend. He already has a statue outside the stadium. Why mess with that legacy?
That brings us to—yes, I’m going there—Aaron Rodgers. Wouldn’t that be something?
He’s no camp arm, that’s for sure. He’s not cheap, either. The Eagles can’t afford him.
Same with Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson is still trying to straighten some bowed legal angles.
A deal would have to involve a probable third-stringer, somebody like, maybe, Josh Rosen, who is on his third team already, this one the 49ers, and is on the last year of his rookie deal at a cost of $850,000. The 49ers signed Sudfeld, drafted Trey Lance, and already have Jimmy Garoppolo, so it might be worth a phone call.
Perhaps the Eagles could tap their Vikings connections for someone like Jake Browning or Nate Stanley, with Minnesota already having Kirk Cousins and drafting Kellen Mond.
Everything feels like a reach at this point, and it is because it’s late in the offseason and the QB factory is belching ugly, smelly puffs of smoke.
With a summer full of questions already about this Eagles team—the LT battle and who will play CB2, to name two—just add the QB conundrum to the pile.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.