2021 Eagles free agency: 5 possible Eagles quarterback targets

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Dave Zangaro
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5 quarterbacks for Eagles to target in free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles are in a tricky salary cap situation as free agency approaches, so don’t expect them to make any big splashes.

With that in mind, for this series we’ll look at some cheaper options as the Eagles try to fill out their first roster under Nick Sirianni. Free agency begins on March 17 and the legal tampering window opens March 15.

Let’s start with quarterback:

The Eagles will bring back Jalen Hurts for his second season and whether or not they use a first-round pick on a quarterback, they will be in the market for a veteran backup. Here are five options:

Tyrod Taylor

We’re going to start off this list with the 31-year-old who entered the 2020 season as the Chargers’ starting QB before Justin Herbert filled in and never gave it up. In LA, Taylor worked under Shane Steichen, who was the QBs coach and then the offensive coordinator. Steichen is the new OC under Sirianni in Philly. Taylor played in just two games in2020 and hasn’t been a full-time starter in the NFL since the 2017 season in Buffalo. Taylor was the primary starter in Buffalo from 2015-17 and was even a Pro Bowler in 2015. At his best, Taylor was a true dual threat quarterback so he might be a logical backup for Hurts, who is also a threat to run the ball. That way if the starter goes down, the offense doesn’t have to change completely. Taylor was in LA on a two-year, $11 million so if he’s looking for the same type of deal, he won’t be cheap. But the Eagles haven't had a problem with investing in the QB position before.

Jacoby Brissett

There’s obvious familiarity between Brissett and Sirianni, who was Brissett’s offensive coordinator in Indy. Brissett had two full seasons as the Colts starter. He played in place of an injured Andrew Luck in 2017 and then replaced Luck again in 2019 after Luck retired. Brissett was just OK in those two years. He doesn’t run as much as Hurts or Taylor but he is mobile and can take off. He has a career record of 12-20; in 2019, the Colts were 7-8 in his 15 starts. During 2019, Brissett completed 61% of his passes for just under 3,000 yards with 18 touchdowns and 6 picks and also ran for 228 yards and four more scores. Brissett is still just 28, so we’ll see what the market looks like for him.

Brian Hoyer

The 35-year-old journeyman spent his 2020 season with the Patriots backing up Cam Newton, but in 2019 was actually the backup in Indy behind Brissett. So there’s that connection to the Sirianni staff. Hoyer is older but he’d also likely be a cheaper option than the first two on this list. The Eagles might be able to find a better player but Hoyer has plenty of experience; he’s been in the league for 12 seasons and has been with seven different teams.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

The 38-year-old began the 2020 season as the starter in Miami until Tua Tagovailoa took over. Fitzpatrick was a 7th-round pick out of Harvard back in 2005 and has put together a long career as a journeyman. But Fitzpatrick has played really well at times in his career. His best statistical season came in 2015 with the Jets, when they went 10-6 and he threw for 3,905 yards with 31 touchdowns and 15 picks. Fitzmagic has played for eight different teams in his NFL career and was playing OK in Miami last year before getting benched for the rookie. In 2020, Fitzpatrick completed 68.5% of his passes for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in nine games (7 starts). He’s also been a favorite in the locker room and would be a good fit in that sense too.

Andy Dalton

Now 33, Dalton is coming off a season as the backup in Dallas. He wasn’t great in Dallas but he’s still a serviceable backup. And it just so happens that Dalton had his best game of his 2020 season against the Eagles. In Week 16, he threw for 377 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Believe it or not, that was one of three starts from Dalton in 2020 where he had a passer rating over 100. Dalton was once a three-time Pro Bowler but I doubt he gets a real chance to be a starter in 2021. As a backup, he’s a pretty intriguing option. Dalton made $3 million last year, which was a steal compared to Nate Sudfeld’s $2 million deal in Philly.

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