Eagles Stay or Go 2023: Quarterbacks
Eagles Stay or Go 2023: Should Minshew be the backup again? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro bring back Stay or Go in 2023, trying to figure out the futures of every Eagles player on the roster.
We already looked at cornerbacks, receivers, linebackers, running backs, defensive tackles, interior offensive linemen, edge rushers, offensive tackles, tight ends and safeties.
Up today: Quarterbacks
Roob: There've been certain Eagles backup quarterbacks over the years – Tee Martin, Mike Kafka, Thad Lewis, Matt Nagy, G.J. Kinne and Josh McCown come to mind – that you knew would eventually become successful coaches. Martin is now Ravens quarterbacks coach, Kafka isGiants’ offensive coordinator, Lewis Bucs quarterbacks coach, Nagy Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach and a former Bears head coach, Kinne head coach at Texas State and McCown Panthers QBs coach. I look at Book the same way. He’s 6-0 and he's never going to be a big-time NFL quarterback, although he’s a smart kid and a terrific competitor. But he will be a successful coach one day. As for 2023, depending who the Eagles add as a backup, Book could very well be back for another year as the Eagles’ No. 3.
Dave: Book didn’t arrive in Philadelphia until just before the season started when the Eagles claimed him off waivers from the Saints. Book was drafted by the Saints in the fourth round out of Notre Dame in 2021 and appeared in just one game for the Saints as a rookie. It didn’t go well. Book completed 12 of 20 passes for 135 yards and 2 INTs in the Saints’ 20-3 loss to the Dolphins that year. But the Eagles liked enough about him that when Book became available, they pounced to find their third-string quarterback and kept him on the active roster all year even though he didn’t play and was active just twice. But the Eagles have already put in a year’s worth of developing Book and he’s under contract, so I think they will keep him around as their third-string quarterback and will be replacing just one of their three quarterbacks from 2022.
Roob: He can’t see the field. He can’t throw. He’s a running back. He can’t read defenses. He has a rag arm. He can’t throw the deep ball. He’s too small. He takes too many hits. He locks in on his first read. He’ll never be anything more than a novelty. Career backup. One-dimensional. Will never get any better.
Dave: Coming into the 2022 season, the biggest question surrounding the Eagles was this: Is Jalen Hurts the franchise quarterback? He answered that pretty quickly. The jump we saw from Hurts last season was incredible and he was a legitimate MVP candidate in his second season as a starter. Not only did Hurts perform well in the regular season but he performed extremely well in the Super Bowl aside from one major blunder. But the most impressive thing about Hurts was how he responded to his fumble in the first half. That’s the type of temperament you want from a quarterback. He’s already one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and he won’t turn 25 until August.
Roob: The Cowboys loss wasn’t his fault. He threw for 355 yards and put up 27 points – second-most of any QB in Dallas this year - and the two interceptions were more on Quez Watkins than Minshew. He wasn’t great vs. the Saints but wasn’t awful. I think he’s still one of the better backups in the league, but I'm not sure he’s a full-time starter. But he wants to go somewhere where he has at least a chance to compete for a starting spot and more power to him. I’d rather look elsewhere for a backup for Hurts than overpay Minshew to stay here.
Dave: Hurts missed just two games all season: In Dallas in Week 16 and against the Saints in Week 17. Minshew had one good game and one bad game in those two starts and the Eagles lost both, forcing Hurts back into action for the regular season finale to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Not great. The reason the Eagles kept Minshew all season was that in case they needed him to pull out a win, much like he did against the Jets in 2021, he’d do it. And it just didn’t happen. Not sure what the market will hold for Minshew or if there are any teams that would bring him in to at least compete for a starting job. But he clearly has that ambition and that’s obviously not going to happen in Philadelphia as long as Hurts is here. If there are literally no other offers, then maybe Minshew comes back. But knowing what we know about his desire to get another shot at being a starter, I’d anticipate him taking a deal in a city where the quarterback position is a little less defined.
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