The Philadelphia Eagles came close to reaching the NFL mountaintop this past season; they ended up losing by just three to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Thus, there is a lot of work for the Eagles front office to do to steer the team over the hump. They may not need to pull off major moves, given the presence of quarterback Jalen Hurts on the roster, but improvement on the margins will be critical to their chances of avenging their Super Bowl LVII defeat.
On Thursday, that’s exactly what the Eagles did — add crucial depth. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Eagles have agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal (that could rise to $8 million due to incentives) with quarterback Marcus Mariota in free agency. As expected, Mariota will serve as Hurts’ primary backup for the 2023 campaign.
Last season, the Eagles had Gardner Minshew act as Jalen Hurts’ understudy. In fact, Minshew made two crucial starts last year for the Eagles with Hurts on the mend due to injury. However, the Eagles saw it fit to improve upon their former backup, especially after Minshew ended up losing both of his starts at a critical juncture of the season.
With Minshew on his way to the Indianapolis Colts after signing a one-year, $3.5 million deal with them earlier today, the Eagles wasted no time filling their depth chart with Marcus Mariota, someone who once was one of the most promising quarterbacks in the NFL.
During the 2022 season, Mariota started 13 games for the Atlanta Falcons, going 5-8 in those games. Mariota’s Falcons stint came to an unceremonious end in December after head coach Arthur Smith decided to roll with Desmond Ridder as his new starting QB. The 29-year old quarterback then decided to step away from the team to end the campaign.
Despite being a starter for the majority of his career, the second overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft has some experience backing up a more accomplished quarterback. Back in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the new Eagles QB2 filled the same role with the Las Vegas Raiders, playing in 11 total games off the bench behind Derek Carr.