BACK in June, I said that Nate Sudfeld would be our back-up QB for 2020, and rookie Jalen Hurts wouldn’t challenge for that spot. Actually, to quote myself verbatim, what I said was:
“if Wentz goes down, Sudfeld is our only QB who is well versed in the Offense. If Wentz goes down for the year (knock wood), and we’re already out of the playoff picture, sure, start Hurts. If we’re still in the playoff hunt however, Sudfeld has to be the guy. He has to be.”
Again, I said that back in June. So of course, when Head Coach Doug Pederson said on Wednesday that “Nate is our No. 2, and obviously Jalen is still learning”, it felt like Doug put an official stamp on my statement. Yet people still want to have the debate about whether or not Hurts should be our back-up. Fine. Let’s do it.
Let me be clear about this first. I’m counting on QB Carson Wentz starting 14 regular season games, and winning in the playoffs this year. So for me, this is a moot discussion. It’s just an exercise in debate for debate’s sake. BUT, since we are talking about the #2 spot, we have to start the discussion from a point of Wentz being out again. So folks…
The Eagles will be a projected 84 – 87M$ over the salary cap in 2021. That means names like DT Fletcher Cox, DE Brandon Graham, TE Zach Ertz, WR Alshon Jeffery, WR DeSean Jackson, and G Brandon Brooks, could all be potential trade candidates to help clear cap space. Not all, but any three or four of them, could be traded for chicken feed, just to get a team to take their contract.
Would you waste what may be their last season, as well as the possible swan songs of G Jason Peters, C Jason Kelce, and DE Vinny Curry, just to develop a kid that will still be Wentz’s back-up in 2021? Or would you rather we try to ride this roster to one more deep playoff run?
While it’s not impossible to win a SB with a rookie QB, it’s also never been done. So if you picked the deep playoff run, then you’re picking Sudfeld. And you’re bullshitting yourself, to tell yourself anything else.
This time next year, we’ll be having a stupid debate over whether Hurts should be the starter. (The local media will see to that.) So obviously I’m sure that Hurts is the #2 next season. Sudfeld’s deal is one year, his body of work is unimpressive, and Hurts has gifts that cannot be ignored. So the handwriting is clearly on the wall, regarding next year’s pecking order.
That being said, do not be surprised to see Sudfeld back in 2021. Most teams have a starter, we could use the depth, and he knows it here. And it’s not like he’ll get a better shake elsewhere. He lacks the resume for that. Especially if Wentz stays healthy and Sudfeld doesn’t play in 2020.