The Philadelphia Eagles need to find a backup quarterback to hold Jalen Hurts’ clipboard. It really doesn’t matter whether they do it through free agency or in the draft. They need to find someone, preferably of the dual-threat variety, to do the job.
Jacoby Brissett has been the leading name being thrown out there to fill the role. He has already been “drawing interest” from the Eagles, according to reports. He’s arguably the best backup quarterback option on the market, plus he has experience running Nick Sirianni’s system from their time together in Indianapolis.
Brissett, who started 11 games for Cleveland in 2022, went on record saying he and Sirianni remain tight. He’s the logical choice. The 30-year-old threw for 2,608 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for the Browns while completing 64% of his passes.
He is a very good fill-in starter, too. Remember, Brissett was a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2016 and saw action in three games there. Here is what head coach Bill Belichick said about Brissett (via NESN): “He’s a big kid with a strong arm. He’s tough and he’s smart.”
Eagles Exploing Veteran QB in Free Agency
Brissett might be the odds-on choice to back up Hurts in Philly, but he’s not the only competent quarterback available. Guys like Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock, and Cooper Rush remain unsigned. Any one of those signal-callers would look great in midnight green.
One more name to watch in free agency is Matt Ryan who is expected to be released at 4 p.m. on March 15. The four-time Pro Bowler went 4-7-1 as the starter in Indianapolis last season before getting benched in favor of Sam Ehlinger and eventually Nick Foles. It was a weird year for the Colts. He would make a lot of sense in Philly, according to The Athletic’s Bo Wulf.
Wulf wrote: “Ryan has yet to commit to retirement and would offer relevant experience as a franchise quarterback to Hurts and a quarterback room set to be led by the inexperienced [Eagles QB coach Alex] Tanney.”
Zach Wilson Available in Trade Scenario?
General manager Howie Roseman could decide to orchestrate a trade for a backup quarterback. If he did that, Zach Wilson would be an intriguing name to monitor. The New York Jets are in the final stages of finalizing a trade for Aaron Rodgers — the four-time MVP confirmed the news to Pat McAfee — so Wilson might be angling for a trade out of the Big Apple.
The former No. 2 overall pick has largely been a bust over his first two NFL seasons but the s0-called QB Factory is where people go to rebuild their reputations. The Eagles would be wise to at least make a phone call — remember, Roseman is good friends with Jets GM Joe Douglas — to find out the asking price. The Eagles pried Gardner Minshew (also an unsigned free agent) away from Jacksonville for a sixth-rounder in 2021.
Wilson would likely cost a higher draft pick than that; however, his price tag is palatable: $940,000 base salary in 2023, although the Jets would have to be willing to incur a dead cap hit of $20.7 million. Wilson is only 23 years old — one year younger than Hurts — so taking a flier on a backup quarterback with upside might be appealing.