Skip to main content

Months after trading Gardner Minshew to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Jacksonville Jaguars are getting their first potential glimpse at just how the arranged deal could pay off -- all thanks to Joe Flacco and the New York Jets.

Lost in the shocked reactions to the Jets making a move for Flacco -- who just left the team as a free agent this past offseason -- is the fact that the Eagles were able to use the deal to offset what they sent the Jaguars for Minshew before Week 1. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Jets sent the Eagles their 2022 sixth-round selection for Flacco, with the chance of that pick moving into the fifth-round based on Flacco's playing time in the wake of Zach Wilson's injury. Flacco has to play 50% of the snaps in just four games to elevate the draft pick. 

If that sounds familiar, it is because it is. It is virtually the exact same deal the Jaguars and Eagles made for Minshew at the end of August, with the Eagles sending the Jaguars' a conditional 2022 sixth-round pick that will become a fifth-round selection if Minshew plays in 50% of the offensive snaps in three games for the Eagles in 2021.

Beyond the fact that Minshew and Flacco netted the exact same compensation is the fact that, now, the Jaguars have a clear path to seeing their own pick upgraded. 

The Eagles no longer have to worry about Minshew's potential playtime in 2021 impacting their draft capital. While the difference in importance between a fifth- and a sixth-round pick is marginal, it does at least eliminate any reasons for the Eagles to keep Minshew off the field as it relates to the draft.

Read More

And Minshew hitting the field is exactly what that Jaguars should hope for. For a team like the Jaguars, who are 2-20 over the last two seasons and have holes throughout the roster, getting a fifth-round selection as opposed to a sixth-round is a win worth celebrating, no matter how minor.

When Flacco was in the fold, there was zero path for Minshew to the field, and thus zero path for the Jaguars to potentially get a boost in their compensation. Flacco was firmly the Eagles' No. 2 quarterback, with Minshew acting as a healthy scratch in every single game to this point. 

With Flacco eliminated from the depth chart, though, Minshew and the Jaguars both have a chance. Minshew doesn't have a clear and obvious chance to replace Jalen Hurts, but he is just one snap away from potentially becoming a starting quarterback in the event of potential injuries. This wasn't the case before the trade. 

"No, I got a ton of faith in — obviously, I really like Gardner and I think he’s a good backup. But I got a ton of faith in Jalen. He will be our starting quarterback," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said on Monday. 

"We feel really good about Gardner being our number two." 

There is no guarantee the Jaguars will get a boost in the draft because there is no guarantee Minshew will play at all in 2021. But if the Eagles' season continues to circle the drain as the offense struggles, Minshew will at least now be available in the wings to potentially take the reins of the offense. 

For now, the Jaguars' return on Minshew is minimal. But that could change to a notable degree in the coming months, all thanks to Joe Flacco and the Jets.