The Philadelphia Eagles are replacing Gardner Minshew II with Marcus Mariota as Jalen Hurts’ backup quarterback.
Although this move is not one that really moves the needle, the Philadelphia Eagles have acquired decent Jalen Hurts insurance in the form of Marcus Mariota.
The former Heisman Trophy winner out of Oregon and No. 2 pick by the Tennessee Titans spent last season with the Atlanta Falcons where he went 5-8 as the starter. His reunion with former Titans coach Arthur Smith went well for a while, but it reached its expiration date as the weather started to change. He got benched for Desmond Ridder and now will only be viewed as a backup.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday morning that it will be a one-year deal with the Eagles worth $5 million and up to $8 million incentives for Mariota to back up Hurts over in Philadelphia.
While we all love Gardner Minshew II, Mariota is an ideal candidate to back up a player like Hurts.
Philadelphia Eagles sign Marcus Mariota to back up Jalen Hurts in free agency
From a talent standpoint, Mariota is more than capable of being a spot-starter in the NFL at this point in his career. Yes, the team probably needs to be horrific, but he can still run and throw a bit. Where it gets a little dicey with him is he is too inherently reckless abandon. Factor in his injury-proned nature and he is a slightly older version of Carson Wentz, although infinitely more likable.
Even though he quit on my team a year ago, I will accept that this is a good move for the Eagles. Fate would have it that he would end up in Philadelphia at some point. Former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly recruited him to Oregon and had an opportunity to trade up for him in the 2015 NFL Draft. He did not and was ousted by the end of the season. Eight years later, Mariota has arrived.
In an ideal situation, Mariota does not play a snap for the 2023 Eagles. This would require Hurts to back up his breakout season with another MVP-level performance. Of course, football is a game of injuries and even the most nimble guys like Hurts will get banged up from time to time. Mariota is not a player you can go the distance with, but he can win you a game or two if his name is called.
Minshew is a cult icon, but to be totally transparent, Mariota is a better fit to back up Hurts here.