Examining the Gardner Minshew Deal

The Eagles value the QB room but adding talent in a vacuum doesn't always work
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Howie Roseman regrets introducing the term "quarterback factory" to Philadelphia but giving fodder to his critics doesn't change the fact that the Eagles are always trying to upgrade their QB room.

The latest stamp on that thesis came Friday when the Eagles sent a conditional sixth-round pick to Jacksonville for Gardner Minshew, who has started 20 games over his first two professional seasons and put up decent numbers for a bad football team, completing 501 of 797 passes for 5,530 yards with 37 TDs and 11 interceptions and a solid 93.1 passer rating.

That draft pick could turn into a fifth-rounder in 2022 if Minshew plays 50 percent of the snaps this season, a very unlikely end game.

For now, Minshew slots in as QB3 behind Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco, and is a significant upgrade over Nick Mullens, who hadn't looked like himself this summer after offseason elbow surgery and was released once the Minshew deal was made.

Minshew also has two years left on his rookie contract and is very cost-effective through 2022, set to make just $850,000 this season and less than $1M in 2022.

In a best-case scenario, Hurts puts a stranglehold on the QB1 job in Philly this season, and Minshew turns into the backup next year to replace the 36-year-old Flacco, who is under a one-year deal with $3.5M guaranteed in 2021.

There are the conspiracy theorists, though.

The lighter ones have Roseman spinning off Flacco to a backup QB desperate team like Indianapolis or Minnesota and the full-blown QB-Anon folks thinking this is a signal the Eagles will be moving hard to Deshaun Watson with Hurts, a Houston-area native, being part of the package going back to the Texans and Minshew serving as a potential placeholder during a Watson suspension.

The problem there, however, is that as trade talks for Watson heat up, the talented but disgraced QB has a no-trade clause and seems willing to use it to stay out of Philadelphia.

RELATED: Eagles Trade for Gardner Minshew, Cut Nick Mullens

Roseman is always open for business and if the GM can strongarm leverage, he's willing to move anyone but, at its core, this trade is simply about Minshew being better than Mullens.

If that sentiment spawns future opportunities elsewhere, so be it.

Valuing the most important position in sports might seem trite but the Eagles do take it to a level few, if any other franchises, do.

There's also potential hiccups to that philosophy as evidenced by Hurts himself, who was originally drafted to be a cost-effective backup for Carson Wentz, something that blew up on the Eagles.

In Minshew's case, he felt he should have been in legitimate competition with ultra-talented No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville.

Knowing that, do you really believe Minshew is going to be happy as a third-string QB?

Add in the dynamic Minshew personality to potential Hurts' early-season struggles and the Eagles are courting controversy that simply doesn't need to exist.

Hurts seems better equipped to handle any potential issues than Wentz it but it's at least interesting that the Eagles are taking a similar path that turned things toxic the last time they tried it.

Adding talent in a vacuum always looks good but team-building doesn't take place in that vacuum.

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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 or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.