The Philadelphia Eagles have acquired QB Gardner Minshew in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars just days after Jacksonville announced Trevor Lawrence as their starting quarterback. The Jaguars are sending Minshew to Philadelphia in exchange for a conditional 2022 sixth-round pick. That conditional pick can become a fifth-round pick if Minshew were to play in 50% of three games this season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
What does Gardner Minshew bring to Philadelphia?
Minshew heads to Philadelphia following an intriguing two seasons worth of work in Jacksonville. This, of course, followed him as a polarizing figure in the offseason. Minshew played college at Washington State for a single season after transferring from ECU.
Minshew was drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the 178th overall selection. He played two seasons in Jacksonville, starting eight games in 2020 and 12 in 2019, his rookie season.
Bringing an accurate arm with few turnovers with him to Philadelphia, the fan base in Jacksonville likely fell “out of love” with Minshew on the field following a paltry yards-per-attempt average. He has never been a quarterback to test the limits downfield, averaging just 6.9 yards per pass attempt in his career.
He’s thrown for 5,530 passing yards on 797 career attempts. That includes an impressive 37 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions.
There’s also the fact that he won just one game last year as the starting quarterback for the Jaguars. His off-field persona was only going to carry him so far. There’s not much fruit in those skinny, ripped jean short loins on the field for Minshew.
Gardner Minshew traded to compete with Jalen Hurts?
“Not so fast my friend” to Minshew’s potential of pushing Jalen Hurts out of his QB1 spot for the Eagles. It is being reported that Minshew was acquired to be the third-string quarterback, placing him behind Hurts and veteran Joe Flacco.
Although his “elite days” are behind him, Flacco still served as the primary quarterback this preseason for Philadelphia. He outperformed Nick Mullens, and in the move to acquire Minshew, the Eagles subsequently released Mullens. Though in the twilight of his career, Flacco still stands to serve as the team’s No. 2 quarterback from initial reports.
Yes, he outplayed Mullens, but if the preseason is any indication of what Flacco has left in the tank, the decision to not have Minshew as Hurts’ primary backup would be unwise for Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.
Flacco looked out of place against backup players, slow to react to even the simplest reads in the Philadelphia offense. If Minshew provides even the slightest glimpse of grasping the Eagles’ playbook, he offers much more upside than Flacco.
Competing with Hurts is another story, however. The Eagles are clearly more than a few pieces away from winning much in 2021. Hurts is the player at quarterback that gives them at least a few more chances to win. Given how porous this aging offensive line may become this season, Hurts’ athleticism and ability to buy time in the pocket at least gives them a shot.
Bottom line for Minshew
As polarizing as he may be off the field, Minshew’s football career may be nearing its penultimate season. This may be it for Minshew in the NFL unless he can provide a serviceable backup option for teams in the future. This trade to Philadelphia is the first step to proving that.
Otherwise, he’ll always be able to rely on his Derek Zoolander-esque, off-field male-modeling career. Good thing for him, even Mugatu himself would have to agree, he’s a much better(-looking) figure off the field than he proved to be on it.