Eagles Looking Down The Road With Hackenberg Signing

When the Eagles signed Christian Hackenberg, it caused some raised eyebrows across the Delaware Valley. After all, the Eagles were already carrying four quarterbacks on their preseason roster. Of those four, one happens to be the franchise QB, one is the reigning Super Bowl MVP, and another is a guy that some coaches believe could get a chance to start in the NFL one day. So why add a guy who hasn’t attempted a regular season pass to a quarterback position that is basically set in stone?

The immediate assumption was that there was another move in the works. Perhaps the Eagles had found a trade partner for Nick Foles, or maybe Nate Sudfeld was headed somewhere where he would get an opportunity to win the backup job. So far, no additional move has been announced, and with questions still surrounding Carson Wentz’s health, it seems unlikely that the Eagles would want to take a position of strength and turn it into an uncertainty on the eve of kicking off their title defense.

But if Foles and Sudfeld are staying put, then why Hackenberg? ESPN’s Adam Caplan has some insight.

While the Eagles are set at QB in 2018, the situation gets murky in 2019. $20 million is an awful lot of money to be paying your backup quarterback. And Sudfeld could get an offer to battle for a backup job that would be untenable for the Eagles to match. Suddenly the Eagles could find themselves with an incredibly expensive backup or with Carson Wentz and…who?

It’s not out of the question that the Eagles make a move before the season starts, but as we mentioned earlier, it seems unlikely. What’s more likely is that the Eagles are simply doing their due diligence in preparation for the situation they could find themselves in come next year.

Hackenberg has been the butt of a lot of jokes in his young NFL career, but the reality is he’s had limited opportunities and wasn’t in the best of positions to thrive. Jon Gruden, who briefly coached Hackenberg this spring, believes the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement has further stifled Hackenberg’s chance at development. The kid is only 23-years old.

While people laughed, scoffed, or shrugged at the Hackenberg signing, it was actually a very smart move. The Eagles are simply getting a risk-free look at a 23-year old, third-year player who was drafted in the second round as they attempt to get out ahead of a potential future problem.

Barring an unexpected change, Christian Hackenberg will not be on the 2018 Eagles roster. If he performs well over the next few weeks, maybe he is brought back next summer to compete for an open second or third-string job. If not, the Eagles send him on his way with nothing lost.

I don’t know about you, but this is exactly the kind of planning, risk/reward, and asset management I want from the front office of my favorite team.



One thought on “Eagles Looking Down The Road With Hackenberg Signing

  1. Jimbo99 says:

    Well, let me tell you about a QB named Pederson, wasn’t all that in the limited action he got as an Eagles QB, but what a coach he turned out to be ? Another guy, Scott Frost played for Tom Osbourne at Nebraska. He wasn’t all that as an NFL QB either, but last season he coached UCF to an undefeated season and National Championship. And now he will coach Nebraska. Football has a lot of jobs out there, not everyone can be the starting QB.

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