Despite trading for Gardner Minshew in August, the Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2021 NFL season hoping Jalen Hurts could be their quarterback of the future. With the team slipping further down the NFL standings and the offense getting worse, that might no longer be the case.
Hurts entered training camp as the starting quarterback and never faced any real competition for the position. Coming off a rookie season with 1,061 passing yards, 354 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns, Philadelphia was excited to see how he would perform under first-year coach Nick Sirianni.
Things started on a positive note. Hurts threw three touchdowns and racked up 326 total yards on offense in a victory over the Atlanta Falcons. But the second-year quarterback’s production since the season-opening victory has deteriorated.
- Jalen Hurts stats (Week 2-7): 58.4% completion rate, 7-4 TD INT ratio, 83.2 passer rating, 1-5 record
Across Hurts’ last three games, he has completed just 53.6% of his 97 pass attempts, averaged just 4.2 yards per carry and holds a concerning 72.1 passer rating. The Eagles never turned to Joe Flacco, who was just traded to the New York Jets, but it seems Minshew might have a shot at seeing the field.
- Gardner Minshew stats (career): 62.9% completion rate, 37-11 TD-INT ratio, 93.1 passer rating
Reviewing the Eagles’ quarterback situation, The Athletic’s Bo Wulf explained why he wouldn’t be surprised if Minshew receives at least one start before the season ends.
“If the Eagles continue on this trajectory, then I believe we’ll see Minshew start this season. And that’s not necessarily to form a better evaluation of Minshew, but it could also help form an evaluation of Sirianni. If the Eagles offense remains inconsistent (and inefficient) and the team continues losing games, how much of a sample size would one need to know that that the Sirianni-Hurts combination isn’t working? Twelve games, 14 games? If that were to happen, it would behoove Sirianni to see if the offense looks different with a different quarterback.”The Athletic’s Bo Wulf on why Philadelphia Eagles QB Gardner Minshew could start
While Minshew certainly isn’t viewed as a long-term starter in the NFL, his performance across 23 games with the Jacksonville Jaguars demonstrated his ability to execute an offense. If Sirianni doesn’t believe Hurts can execute the passing plays that were designed, it’s reasonable to think he’d experiment with another quarterback.
The Eagles are widely expected to be in the 2022 quarterback market in 2022, with it quickly becoming apparent Hurts isn’t a starting-caliber quarterback. While Minshew isn’t viewed that highly either, he might at least allow Sirianni a better opportunity to prove his play-calling can work.
- Gardner Minshew contract: $850,000 salary (2021), $965,000 salary (2022)
If Minshew plays relatively well and the Eagles find their next franchise quarterback via the draft or trade, he could be turned into a trade asset when another team gets desperate at the position.