National Football League

Brotherly Shove

December 9, 2020

The Jalen Hurts Era is set to officially begin in Philadelphia ⁠– kind of.

While the Eagles did bench franchise quarterback Carson Wentz in favor of Hurts midway through last weekend's game ⁠— and subsequently named the rookie the starting QB for this weekend ⁠— head coach Doug Pederson wouldn't commit beyond that.

And so the world turns in Philadelphia. 

Mired at 3-8-1, Pederson has stated he wants to see if Hurts can continue to provide a "spark" for the Eagles.

The second-round pick out of Oklahoma provided a shot of life in his audition against Green Bay this past Sunday, but is this franchise-altering decision the right one?

Wentz has been dismal this season. He leads the NFL in interceptions (15) and times sacked (50). His passer rating of 72.8 registers dead last for quarterbacks that have started 12 games, and he's second in the league with 10 fumbles. 

You get the picture.

Carson Wentz's numbers this season look eerily similar to his rookie campaign.

Amid Wentz's struggles, Pederson has opted to roll with the largely unproven quantity ⁠— at least at the professional level ⁠— for the time being. 

For First Things First co-host Brandon Marshall, Pederson can ill afford to backtrack on the choice.

Shannon Sharpe sees the move as a watershed moment for the Eagles franchise, laying out an ultimatum on Wednesday's episode of Undisputed

"It does you no good to bench him for two games and then bring him back for two games. I believe in order for you to move forward ... somebody needs to go. Either you trade Wentz, or you cut him and eat $60 million, or you move Doug Pederson. But I don't believe they can coexist."

Sharpe brings up an important point: even if Hurts comes in and locks down the position, Wentz's massive contract remains a key factor in determining his future. 

The four-year, $128 million extension the Eagles signed Wentz to in 2019 still hasn't officially kicked in.

In a salary-cap league, that is a big hurdle to try and clear off your books. 

Nick Wright laid out all the scenarios for the Eagles regarding Wentz's contract, and none are particularly palatable. 

How Hurts plays this Sunday, and perhaps beyond, in 'Eagles green' will go a long way to deciding what course Philly takes going forward.

He's getting thrown right into the fire with a matchup against the NFC's best defense in the New Orleans Saints this weekend.

Come Sunday, it's sink-or-swim time for Hurts.

Welcome to Philadelphia, kid. 

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