Eagles Expected to be Players in Backup QB Market
There are plenty of quarterbacks who will be free agents this offseason, and wouldn’t you know it, the Eagles could be in the market for one or wo.
Carson Wentz, of course, is the lead dog, so forget about the really big names who may or may to hit the market, such as Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Teddy Bridgewater Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota aren’t happening, either.
The Eagles will shop in the off-brand aisles, and they will do so because it is unlikely that Josh McCown will return and perhaps Nate Sudfeld, too.
They will also be on the hunt for a deveopmental prospect, one of whom may already be on the team.
McCown, who was the top backup to Wentz this season even after the broken wrist Sudfeld had during the preseason was healed, will need time to rehab from recent surgery to repair a torn hamstring suffered in the first half of the Eagles’ wildcard playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Plus, McCown will 41 and has family in Charlotte, N.C., that includes two athletic teen-age sons that he wants to see participate in sports and help coach.
Sudfeld is a restricted free agent, who nobody still knows much about since he hasn’t played a whole lot since he arrived here in 2017.
He’s 26 and may want to seek a situation where he can contend to be a starter, and that won’t happen with Wentz entrenched. Besides, if he couldn’t beat out McCown what are the odds he would win a battle for the No. 2 job in 2020?
The Eagles have Kyle Lauletta stashed on the practice squad, after getting him there earlier this season after the New York Giants, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, released him.
“He had the opportunity to learn our system and to really grow this year,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “That room is made up of great professionals and I think for him, it will help his development and his growth and he'll have opportunity in the offseason and next year in the preseason to get some experience and show where that led off.”
Lauletta is a developmental prospect that could face competition from someone the Eagles will take with one of their expected 10 draft picks.
Just how high they go with that selection is the question.
It’s no secret the Eagles like big, tall quarterbacks.
They must be careful this year after last year’s debacle of taking Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson only to watch him struggle and get cut before the season even began.
Here are some who could interest the Eagles in this draft:
- K.J. Costello, Stanford, 6-5, 215. He struggled with a concussion last year and didn’t play much, and he can be too mechanical at times, but might be worth a flyer.
- James Morgan, Florida International, 6-4, 213. Stock may rise prior to draft. He threw just 12 interceptions the last two years combined.
- Jordan Love, Utah State, 6-4, 225. Has good tools to work with and may go higher than some project.
- Steven Montez, Colorado, 6-5. 235. Streaky and inconsistent but could possibly be developed.
- Kellen Mond, Texas A&M, 6-4, 225. Accuracy can be an issue, but has good mobility with 500 yards and eight touchdowns rushing this season.
From a free agency standpoint, there are a few veteran names that could pique the Eagles’ interest, though it’s not a great group.
The two Redskins backups from this past season come to mind: Case Keenum and Colt McCoy. Blake Bortles also has experience, leading the Jaguars to the AFC title game in 2017, but has gone downhill since.
Houston’s A.J. McCarron doesn’t have as much experience as Keenum or McCoy, but he’s just 29.
Another way to address the backup position is via a trade, though unlikely.
Andy Dalton would be an interesting candidate.
Dalton, who is now 32, is due to make $17.5 million this season, which is way more than the Eagles want to pay a backup, but Dalton may be willing to restructure his deal knowing that LSU’s Joe Burrow will be the first pick of the draft, which happens to belong to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Either way, the Eagles will be on the hunt for some backups this offseason.