It wasn’t quite the bold statement that some fans have been waiting for, but for the first time all offseason, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has made it clear what he wants to see happen at the quarterback position in 2021.
Roseman wants to see Jalen Hurts go out and win the job.
Speaking on Sirius XM Radio, Roseman did’t mention competition when discussing Hurts, instead saying the team was going to do their best to set the second-year player up to succeed as the starter.
“You are judging him off of four NFL starts in a tough situation with all the injuries we had. We want to see him grab the job and kinda run with it, and see what you do over a period of time. I remember you told me this a long time ago…the more you can see a player play, the more you can make decisions on that player,” Roseman said. “I remember we talked about this when we were talking about even extending players early vs. getting the full body of work and I think that applies here to Jalen. We want to be in a situation where we get as much information as possible, give him the best opportunity, build the offensive line, get him the right weapons, put him in a system that really maximizes his ability and go from there.”
The answer is noticeably different than most the team has been giving this offseason, with no mention of a competition or Joe Flacco anywhere to be seen. Head coach Nick Sirianni has been hesitant to name Hurts the starter during multiple press conferences since being hired, instead insisting there would be competition at every spot for every job.
The idea of there being a true competition between Hurts and Flacco was always far fetched, considering the Eagles use a second-round pick on Hurts in the 2020 NFL Draft, and Flacco is a 36-year old backup. Giving Flacco the job over Hurts, even if Hurts did struggle in training camp, would be a terrible decision by an organization that is in the first year of what they have been calling a retooling after a 4-11-1 season.
In some ways the real competition for Hurts, however, is not against Flacco. Hurts has to play well enough in 2021 to make the team confident he can be the starter moving forward. If he doesn't, the team is set up to go out and acquire another, high-caliber quarterback, whether that be at the top of the 2021 NFL Draft or via a trade.
If the Sirianni continues to insist there will be a competition between Hurts and Flacco, however, we now know who Roseman -- and almost certainly by extension Jeffrey Lurie -- will be rooting for to win the job.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!