Eagles and Jaguars receive high marks for their 53-man roster deadline trade, according to Gardner Minshew.
The Philadelphia Eagles made one of the most surprising trades of the season on Saturday afternoon, just days before the team’s 53-man roster cutdown day this week. In exchange for Gardner Minshew, the Philadelphia Eagles sent a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2022 to the Jacksonville Jaguars, hours after the team’s preseason finale against the New York Jets. If Minshew plays at least 50 percent of the snaps in three games this season, Jacksonville will be able to trade up to a fifth-round pick in 2022 for their selection.
What was the outcome of this transaction for the Eagles and Jaguars? It turns out that both of them were successful in their mission just as the deadline for the 53-man roster approached.
A team of eagles
This preseason was a nightmare to watch as Philadelphia’s backup quarterback situation deteriorated. In the exhibition portion of the schedule, Joe Flacco did not appear to be a good fit in the offense, and Nick Mullens struggled throughout the season. Despite having Mullens on the roster, the Eagles were unable to keep him because the veteran quarterback was unable to generate enough zip on his throws following elbow surgery earlier this offseason. Mullens appeared to require additional time to regain his arm strength and fastball velocity, which is why the Eagles released him as soon as the Minshew trade was finalized.
Despite the fact that the Eagles guaranteed Flacco $3.5 million in guaranteed money, the future of the former Super Bowl MVP is in doubt. Prior to the Minshew trade, the veteran quarterback appeared to be in line for the Eagles backup quarterback job. However, the Eagles gave him the opportunity to play the entire first half of the preseason finale against the Jets, giving him a chance to impress other teams in need of a backup quarterback. It is possible that Flacco will still be on this roster as the No. 3 quarterback, despite the fact that $3.5 million is a lot of money for a player who would be inactive on the majority of Sundays (barring injury).
To get to Minshew, who should be the No. 2 quarterback on this roster, let’s go over his stats. The curriculum vitae is self-explanatory.
Minshew completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards and 16 touchdowns against five interceptions last season, finishing with a quarterback rating of 95.9. He finished with a passer rating of 95.9. Over the course of his two NFL seasons, he has appeared in 20 games for the Jaguars, completing 62.9 percent of his passes while scoring 37 touchdowns and throwing 11 interceptions (93.1 rating). When it comes to completion percentage, touchdowns, and interception percentage, Minshew ranks 25th in the league, 20th in touchdowns, and fourth in interception percentage (1.38) since joining the league in 2019. His 93.1 passer rating ranks him 12th among quarterbacks who have completed their first two seasons in the league (minimum 500 attempts).
The Eagles traded a sixth-round pick (potentially a fifth) in exchange for a quarterback who can step in if Hurts is sidelined for an extended period of time. Minshew’s skill set is a better fit for this offense than Flacco’s, and he is familiar with a key member of this organization’s front office. Dave Caldwell, the former Jaguars general manager, joined the Philadelphia Eagles as a personnel executive this offseason after serving as the team’s front office for eight years in Jacksonville. Caldwell selected Minshew in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and played a key role in bringing him to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Increased depth in the quarterback room has been a goal of the Eagles under general manager Howie Roseman since taking over in 2013. They were able to accomplish this through the Minshew trade, which included a proven quarterback who can start in this league if necessary in exchange for a third-round pick.
Jaguars: A- No matter how much head coach Urban Meyer tried to spin the quarterback competition this offseason, the Jaguars were never going to start Minshew over Trevor Lawrence. Once Lawrence was officially announced as the starting quarterback, Minshew was no longer considered a viable option. The Jaguars also signed C.J. Beathard during the offseason, elevating him to the position of No. 2 quarterback in the NFL. They also have Jake Luton on the roster, so they have a full complement of quarterbacks.
This move was made to protect Lawrence, ensuring that he will be the starting quarterback and will not have to look over his shoulder (which he shouldn’t have to do anyway) during his rookie season, during which he will learn how to play in the NFL. The Jaguars are still in the process of reshaping their roster, and they are evaluating which pieces will work best around Lawrence, who will play in all 17 games during his rookie season (barring injury). Lawrence’s development will be hampered by the absence of Travis Etienne, but he will continue to develop throughout the first year of the season. Minshew did a good job of providing Lawrence with adequate competition before the formality of the No. 1 overall pick being awarded the starting job was completed in his favor.
Give Jacksonville credit where credit is due. They selected a quarterback in the sixth round, developed him, and were able to trade him for a higher draft pick two years later in exchange for a more promising quarterback. Minshew has been the most productive quarterback among the 41 quarterbacks who have been drafted in the sixth round or later since 2010, aside from Tyrod Taylor. In the grand scheme of things, getting any draft compensation for Minshew is a victory, but could they have gotten better compensation for him if they had waited a couple of extra days? It didn’t help that Minshew’s status as a trade target was well-known throughout the league, but Jacksonville was still able to secure a respectable Day 3 pick in exchange for him.
Jacksonville suffers a setback at backup quarterback, but Lawrence is the franchise quarterback on a team in the midst of a rebuilding process. The Jaguars didn’t require a high-caliber backup quarterback on their current roster.