For only being in the league for one season, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has already been put through the wringer more than some five-year veterans. He dealt with a lifetime's worth of quarterback debate surrounding Carson Wentz in 2020 and the tenuous employment status of former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who didn't really support Hurts much last year. Then his first offseason gets off to a cracking start with multiple rumors about the Eagles trading for or drafting his replacement.
According to long-time Denver columnist Woody Paige, "The Panthers and the Eagles have focused fully on obtaining [Deshaun] Watson." This is the second time a respected NFL writer has connected Watson to the Eagles, with local beat reporter Jeff McLane recently claiming a source told him Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, "will give up everything he has for Watson.” Throw in the fact that Roseman was non-committal about Hurts being the starter a few weeks ago and you could understand why Hurts wouldn't be thrilled about his situation in Philly.
Hurts already dealt with a quarterback controversy last year when he replaced Wentz as the starter and instantly injected some life into the Eagles' anemic offense. Pederson refused to name him the starter after that and eventually benched him in favor of Nate Sudfeld in Week 17. Hurts openly admitted being frustrated about that decision, but after the Eagles traded Wentz to the Eagles, his path toward starting seemed clear.
Turns out, not so much.
Beyond not getting the kind of support you'd assume a franchise would give a player it drafted in the second round a year prior, it seems the Eagles are hellbent on replacing Hurts four starts into his NFL career. Outside of the trade rumors, the Eagles have also been linked to drafting a quarterback with the sixth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It would be shocking for them draft two quarterbacks in the first two rounds in back-to-back years, but that shows you how much the Eagles want someone else under center in 2021.
Hurts wasn't especially efficient when he played this year. He completed only 52 percent of his passes, threw six touchdowns against four interceptions and fumbled the ball nine times. He did rush for three touchdowns and threw for more than 300 yards in consecutive games. But he won only one game against three losses and his turnovers plagued the Eagles in an ugly loss against the Cowboys in Week 16.
Usually a franchise will give someone like that more time to develop, or at least fight for the starting job. If the Eagles do draft a quarterback this year, that's likely the scenario. But if they trade for Watson, Hurts will hit the bench again and likely wouldn't see the field barring injury. Trade rumors would likely surface soon after and Hurts will have to deal with another year of headache.
It's been a long career for Hurts already and things aren't trending in his favor this offseason. What comes next is anyone's guess, but you can't imagine he's happy about the way he's been treated by the franchise that drafted him.