Philadelphia Eagles: To trade or not to trade Gardner Minshew

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Gardner Minshew (probably) isn’t the Philadelphia Eagles‘ franchise quarterback.

I know, I know, talk about a hot take, but it’s true; Minshew is a 6-foot-1, unathletic game manager who does the vast majority of his damage within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. Minshew will be 26 when the 2022 NFL season opens up and when his current contract expires next March, he will surely demand a whole lot more than $965,000 in compensation on a future deal.

In the right scheme, Minshew can be successful. With a good defense and a savvy head coach, Minshew could even lead a team to the playoffs, but it’s hard for most teams to justify building their entire scheme and thus staking their future on a quarterback who doesn’t do anything at an elite level.

If the Eagles retain Minshew heading into 2022, it’ll surely be as a one-year rental. He’ll play out the year – or won’t play, since he’s a backup quarterback – and look to the open market for a new opportunity in 2023. But on another team? One that believes itself “a quarterback away” from taking a vital step forward? Well, Minshew is an enticing trade chip, as he’s a cheap, young veteran with 22 starts under his belt and a galvanizing personality.

But if teams come calling, should the Philadelphia Eagles answer the phone? And if they do strike a deal, what options are on the table to replace “The Stache?” Let’s try to answer those questions.

Trading Gardner Minshew isn’t inherently a bad idea for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Having a fourth-year signal-caller backup one in his third year is weird.

Normally, when a team has a young quarterback, especially one who either needs more seasoning or could benefit from some competition, their front office will bring in a veteran signal-caller with a few successful stints on their resume to serve as both a mentor and rival, depending on how things are going.

In Joe Flacco, the Eagles had a perfect mentor, even though his successful days on the field are likely over. After developing a bit of a reputation for being hard to work with both in Baltimore and Denver, Flacco appears to have accepted where he falls in the NFL landscape and has been useful to both the Eagles’ and Jets’ quarterbacks room.

Minshew, by contrast, only has one more year of experience in the NFL than Jalen Hurts and thus only presents the rival part of the formula, not the mentor.

Simply put: If Gardner Minshew was a 21-year-old rookie sixth-round pick, that would be one thing, but when he’s a team’s 1B, it’s sort of a problem. If, by contrast, the Philadelphia Eagles can trade Minshew for a Day 3 pick and then use it on a developmental quarterback, it could be the move, but only if they secure the right backup quarterback.