Philadelphia Eagles: Gardner Minshew Mania is coming to South Philly

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Welp, Dan Orlovsky, you officially got your man.

On an unsuspecting Saturday morning, surely still basking in the glow of his team’s first preseason non-loss, Howie Roseman decided to inject some of his patented brand of chaotic energy into the Philadelphia Eagles fandom by trading for former Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback Gardner Minshew.

If you complained about either Joe Flacco or Nick Mullens this summer, this might just be the best news imaginable.

The deal, which centers around a 2022 sixth-round pick that could become a five if Minshew plays 50 percent of the team’s snaps in three or more games, is a pretty remarkable value for a player who completed 62.9 percent of his passes over the last two seasons for 5,530 yards and 37 touchdowns, and could just serve as a season-saving backup plan depending on how things shake out this fall.

So Philadelphia, a city notorious for loving backup quarterbacks more than almost any other, you just got one heck of a new object of your affection.

Acquiring Minshew has (almost) no downside for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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From Jeff Garcia to Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Nick Foles (again), and eventually Jalen Hurts, fans of the Philadelphia Eagles love to call for a backup quarterback when their team’s top offensive option starts to struggle.

Is such a situation understandable? Sure. With only a finite number of games in any given season, teams have a vested interest to secure a W whenever possible, even if it means benching a well-tenured starter for a bit of change-of-pace magic.

It works in hockey. Basketball too. Heck, baseball literally has pitchers designated for relief and/or closing situations because few expect a starter to roll through nine innings every five games.

If Drew Brees is fine with surrendering snaps to Taysom Hill, this really shouldn’t be an issue, right?

Well, for the umpteenth time in Philadelphia sports history, the Eagles now have another backup quarterback of note who will surely receive cheers, praise, and a ton of action on the sports talk radio market, and for good reason. In Jacksonville, Minshew was an incredibly efficient offensive player who threw a lot of touchdowns, not nearly as many interceptions, and had a knack for finding ways to keep his team in plays.

Minshew is a grappler, a gritter, a grinder. He has a quirky personality, an even more unique fashion sense, and once even tried to break his hand to extend his college eligibility before transferring to play for Mike Leach’s air raid offense at Washington State.

Despite throwing for more yards in his lone season in Pullman, 4,779, than he did in either of his first two seasons at East Carolina, Minshew was the 10th quarterback selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, going 11 spots after one-time Eagle Clayton Thorson.

Sidebar: Hmm, I wonder what ever happened to that guy? Eh, it’s probably not important.

Still, his meager draft position didn’t hold Minshew down, and when he eventually entered the starting lineup in place of Nick Foles, he dazzled as a rookie, and just like that, “Minshew Mania” descended on the home of All Elite Wrestling and captivated the hearts and minds of Jags fans the world over, if such a thing exists.

Had Minshew not suffered through an injury-riddled season in 2020, maybe the Jaguars wouldn’t have finished out the season with the worst record in the league. Maybe they wouldn’t have been afforded an opportunity to draft Trevor Lawrence first overall, and the “mulleted one” would still be a member of the Jaguars today. Instead, Lawrence predictably won the quarterback battle, the team signed C.J. Beathard to a two-year, $5 million deal to be his backup, and Minshew was shipped off to the City of Brotherly Love, where he will back up Hurts through the duration of his four-year, rookie-scale contract.

Assuming this doesn’t send Hurts into a tailspin, it really is a good move by Howie Roseman. Minshew is a better quarterback today than Joe Flacco and, at 25, will be in the NFL for a very long time if he so chooses. If Hurts suffers an injury, he’ll surely be able to keep the offense rolling with ease, and if something horrible happens and the team needs to look elsewhere to fill their quarterback needs, Minshew could be an incredibly intriguing starting option in a league where dudes like Ryan Fitzpatrick seemingly will be starting well into his 50s.

If the team can block out any external chatter about starting Minshew over Hurts or playing some sort of bizarre platoon situation that worked so well in 2020, this should work out nicely.

dark. Next. Andre Dillard is heating up his own trade market

So good for you, Dan Orlovsky. You got your wish, got your guy, and surely have a few jerseys you need to get for your three sons once Gardner Minshew’s new number is announced in the not-too-distant future. While his addition may create some potentially maddening chatter on the field, this is a home run for the Philadelphia Eagles, especially since the asking price was so gosh darn low.