PHILADELPHIA – Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said he is going into the offseason with the mindset that Jalen Hurts will be the starting quarterback in 2022.
“We’ve got to do whatever we can to continue to help him develop. And how do we do that? By surrounding him with really good players,” Roseman said. “Players continue to grow – that’s a huge part of developing. They grow. How they are in their second year is not how they’re going to be in Year 4,5,6,7, and they’re also products of the people around them. That’s on us to continue to build this team.”
The Eagles have three first-round picks in April’s draft (Nos. 15, 16 and 19 overall). That draft capital, coupled with the interest they showed in Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans heading into this season, fueled speculation that Philadelphia might try to acquire an established veteran quarterback in a trade like Watson, Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers.
Roseman did not discount that possibility entirely, saying their job is to “look at everything, evaluate every position and every player,” but the messaging from both Roseman and coach Nick Sirianni Wednesday was centered on supporting Hurts rather than supplanting him.
“Jalen knows where he stands with us. He knows he’s our quarterback,” Sirianni said. “I thought he did a great job of getting better throughout the year. There’s no secrets there. He knows he’s our guy.”
In his first year as a starter, the 23-year-old Hurts completed 61.3% of his passes for 3,144 yards with 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions while leading all quarterbacks with 784 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. The Eagles finished with a 9-8 regular-season record to secure the seventh and final playoff seed.
Hurts, who was dealing with a high left-ankle sprain since late November, became the youngest quarterback in franchise history to start a playoff game. He struggled in Sunday’s 31-15 NFC wild-card loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs, going 23-of-43 for 258 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
But Roseman and Sirianni saw enough from him overall to feel comfortable with him being the starter next season.
“When we talk about Jalen and the growth he had, first-year starter, second-year player, leading this team to the playoffs. I’m tremendously impressed by his work ethic, his leadership,” Roseman said. “The last time we talked [to the media] was during training camp and we said we wanted to see him take the bull by the horn, and he certainly did that.”