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Philadelphia Eagles refuse to commit to Jalen Hurts as starting QB for 2021 season

The Philadelphia Eagles are just a couple days into their offseason program under new head coach Nick Sirianni and are already making waves.

Sirianni met with the media via Zoom on Wednesday, seemingly breaking some pretty big news in the process. The head coach indicated that it’s too early to name second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts the Eagles’ starter.

“To name a starter at this particular timeā€¦ we’ve been working with these guys for two days,” Sirianni said.

For a while now, the assumption has been that Hurts would take over the starting job after he replaced an ineffective Carson Wentz under center for the since-fired Doug Pederson late last season. Once the Eagles traded Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts a couple months back, this was magnified further.

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Jalen Hurts will be the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 1 starting QB

Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Hurts
Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts before a game against the Washington Football Team at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sirianni’s comments on Wednesday don’t change the dynamics too much in Philadelphia. Rather, the young head coach simply wants to build competition throughout the roster and is not going to hand anyone a starting job.

Right now, there’s not another realistic option on the Eagles’ roster. They signed former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco to a one-year contract during NFL free agency. The 36-year-old quarterback has started 21 games over the past three seasons, throwing a combined 24 touchdown passes during that span. He’s nothing more than a veteran backup option.

The Eagles also lost Nate Sudfeld to the San Francisco 49ers in free agency and only roster Khalil Tate behind Hurts and Flacco. Heck, there’s a chance Tate transitions to wide receiver.

A second-round pick out of Oklahoma last year, the 22-year-old Hurts played pretty well in four starts as a rookie in 2020. He put up nine total touchdowns against four interceptions while accumulating north of 1,400 total yards in the process.

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Will the Philadelphia Eagles draft a quarterback?

Philadelphia Eagles draft Justin Fields
Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) reacts after being defeated by the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This is another interesting backdrop. Once Philadelphia moved down from the sixth overall selection to No. 12 in the 2021 NFL Draft, the assumption was that general manager Howie Roseman and Co. were going to avoid quarterback.

That might no longer be the case. Reports now indicate that the Eagles could very well look to move back into the top 10. The potential target here could be North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance or Justin Fields from Ohio State. That would change everything in Philadelphia.

It’s also important to note that the Eagles continue to keep an eye on the Deshaun Watson situation after he requested a trade from the Houston Texans earlier in the offseason. Watson is facing allegations of sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct from north of 20 women. How that situation plays out could be telling for the Philadelphia Eagles moving forward.

Right now, the best bet is on Hurts starting Week 1. However, this doesn’t appear to be etched in stone at the moment. Nick Sirianni’s comments on Wednesday add another layer to that.