Howie Roseman looks to build Eagles around QB Jalen Hurts and set up team for long-term success

After Jalen Hurts helped lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the playoffs in 2021. GM Howie Roseman is set to build around the young QB.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t flinching when it comes to Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback, at least not publicly. Speaking to the media during the NFL Combine on Tuesday, Eagles GM Howie Roseman made it clear that Hurts, who led the team to the playoffs in his first full season as a starter, was still the leader of the locker room.

Howie Roseman views QB Jalen Hurts as potential Eagles franchise quarterback

“Yeah, there’s no doubt about it,” Roseman said at the NFL Combine, regarding Hurts’ status as the Eagles starting quarterback. “I think when you talk about all of the things we talked about at the end of the season, nothing’s changed. I think what really has changed for us is the opportunity to add.

“This is a great time of year for the Philadelphia Eagles, for us, for our staff, in being here and getting everyone involved in the draft process – the start of free agency is up and coming. We’ve got to continue to add good players, we’ve got to continue to make sure that we do everything we can to maximize our players’ abilities to be successful and that certainly starts at the quarterback position with Jalen.”

Roseman and the Eagles’ front office view Hurts as an ascending player. At just 23 years old, he’s already led a playoff run and produced over 5,300 all-purpose yards and 35 total touchdowns in 30 games (19 starts). Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni want to build on that performance instead of quitting on a potential franchise quarterback — playing on a cheap second-round pick rookie deal — too soon.

With 10 draft picks — including three first-round selections in the top 20 — the Eagles believe they can let Hurts grow even more next season while building around the quarterback.

Could the Eagles look to trade for a quarterback?

While veteran star quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson have their names thrown in regular rumor mill chatter, the reality is that the QB trade market is more likely to be a buzzkill than a buzzworthy saga. Roseman ikely knows this, as teams don’t just trade away franchise fixtures like Wilson, especially not for anything less than a treasure trove of assets, which in turn, weakens the rest of the roster.

So, instead, the Eagles will try to make their roster better around Hurts, who despite his hiccups as a passer, is still a dynamic offensive weapon. Hurts has a history of improvement through his entire life on the football field. Hurts is a creature of progression. He simply can’t stay static, as his career from high school to Alabama to Oklahoma to Philadelphia has shown. And Sirianni is bought in on him because they’re like-minded.

When a head coach, general manager, and quarterback are on the same page, progress is attainable. And when significant talent surrounds a quarterback, improvement isn’t typically just an aspiration but a near-guarantee.

Eagles have a number of holes to fill this offseason

The Eagles have tons of holes to fill. They have two open starting safety spots, an open outside cornerback spot, and question marks at linebacker, defensive end, and wide receiver. Improving those positions with five picks in the first three rounds is ideal.

While trading multiple first-round picks for Wilson or Watson seems intriguing on the surface, Roseman would be hoping that those quarterbacks suddenly improve the fortunes of the franchise without upgrades at all of those aforementioned spots, taking up salary cap space and taking away notable draft capital.

With premium talent surrounding Hurts, Roseman can build an impressive base around the QB position. If he improves and justifies the title of franchise quarterback, then Roseman and Sirianni made a shrewd decision that sets them up for long-term, homegrown success.

If Hurts falters, even with an improved supporting cast, the Eagles won’t be deterred financially from moving on, as he would cost nothing significant in a parting of ways. The Eagles could then look to draft a long-term franchise QB in 2023 with other premium players already in place.

While most teams choose to get the quarterback situation figured out immediately, Hurts’ young age and cheap salary give the Eagles the uncommon ability to slowplay the QB position and make everything around it better. That approach provides long-term insurance for the Eagles, who can ride with Hurts or plug in a rookie or veteran in the near future to steer the ship.

That decision might not be popular with Hurts’ critics. Yet, it’s a sensible outlook for Roseman and an Eagles team that is often reliant on overcorrecting their dilemmas.

Mike Kaye is the Lead NFL Reporter for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_e_kaye.

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