Eagles GM Howie Roseman finally addresses Jalen Hurts contract

Howie Roseman and jalen hurts


Roseman finally addresses Hurts contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia  It wasn’t even four years ago.  On June 6, 2019, the Eagles signed Carson Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract that included the largest guarantee ever given to an NFL player.  It was the sort of rare blockbuster deal teams give to their franchise quarterbacks.  Did not go well.  Wentz only won 12 of his next 28 starts as an Eagle before he was shipped to the Colts after the 2020 season.

Howie Roseman said Thursday the Eagles hope to sign Jalen Hurts as soon as possible. Hurts, who replaced Wentz late in 2020, is expected to get a deal worth $45 to $50 million that will once again give the Eagles one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.  If Roseman is reticent about breaking the bank again with a potential franchise quarterback after his third season, he’s not letting on.

“I think each example is on its own,” he said. “And you’ve got to look at the individual player, and that’s not to be critical to anyone we’ve given a contract to that hasn’t worked out.  “But I think when we talk about Jalen, we’re talking about a guy we have tremendous confidence in, a guy that we want to be here for a long time. And so, it will be something that will be a priority for us.”

When the Eagles signed Wentz, he was coming off his second straight season that ended prematurely with an injury. But he was only one season removed from a 2017 MVP-caliber season, when he went 11-2 and put the Eagles in position for their Super Bowl run.  Things started to go bad once the Eagles drafted Hurts, and now it’s Hurts who’s about to get the same kind of contract.

But it feels totally different. There are no lingering questions with Hurts like there were with Wentz.  Just excitement about the future.  Hurts is three years younger than Wentz was when he got his blockbuster contract, and he’s already taken two teams to the playoffs and reached a Super Bowl.

He was a 2nd-team all-pro, first-time Pro Bowler and MVP runner-up this year. And he’s the second quarterback in history – along with Dan Marino in 1984 – to win 14 regular-season games before his 25th birthday.  His performance Sunday in the Super Bowl was breathtaking.

“Obviously we want to keep our best players here for the long term,” Roseman said. “And he’s certainly one of our best players. So … we’ll keep all the contract talks internal, but we’d definitely like to keep Jalen Hurts here long term.”

Hurts has one year left on his four-year rookie deal, and that pays him a $4.303 million base salary in 2023.  His market value is a bit higher. Something in the $45 to $50 million ballpark per year – or $270 to $300 million total – seems inevitable.  The Eagles weren’t allowed to negotiate with Hurts until his third NFL season ended – that happened Sunday – so look for the process to go fairly quickly here.

The sooner the Hurts deal is finalized, the sooner Roseman will know how much cap space he has to try and keep as many of the Eagles’ key free agents as possible so Hurts has a competitive team around him.  Free agency is scheduled to begin March 13 with the legal tampering period, so Roseman has about a month to get this done before things get a lot more complicated.

“I think we have a good sense of what we need to do here,” he said. “We have a little bit of time here, too, to kind of figure it out and get away and discuss that. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is keeping our best players here. And Jalen’s certainly one of our best players.”

The Eagles’ lengthy list of unrestricted free agents include Javon Hargrave, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, James Bradberry, Isaac Seumalo, Miles Sanders, T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Boston Scott, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Marcus Epps, Linval Joseph, Ndamukong Suh and Andre Dillard.  Jason Kelce is in a separate category because he’ll be here as long as he wants. He just has to let the Eagles know his plans.

Roseman said one of the reasons he worked so hard to get additional draft picks in 2023 and 2024 is because he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep all the players he wants to keep.  “I think we have obviously a large number of free agents that we knew going in,” he said. “I think when we looked at this team – and we always look at this team over not just this year but over a period of time – we knew we needed to get additional picks.

“And even though maybe we don’t have the amount of picks this year, we have a bunch of high picks. And then next year, we’re going to have a tremendous amount of picks. We already have two additional picks from two trades that we made.”  In the upcoming 2023 draft, the Eagles currently have four of the first 94 picks – No. 10 and 30 in the first round, No. 62 in the second round and No. 94 in the third round – on top of two 7th-round picks.

Next year, they have their own 1st-round pick, two selections in the second round, their own picks in the third and fourth rounds, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.  Roseman knows he needs to continue nailing a high percentage of the picks to make up for the lack of cap space and ability to sign free agents with the Hurts deal in place.

“And just by the sheer number of the free agents, we’re going to have comp picks next year,” he said. “Even if we signed a bunch of guys, we are going to have comp picks next year. So I think we go into it with that understanding that it’s going to be impossible to keep every single person on this team. But we’re here to compete.”


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