Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Strong needs to be QB3

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Philadelphia Eagles secured the services of Carson Strong on the undrafted free agent market, it felt like a home run.

Initially expected to be a top-5, maybe top-6 quarterback off the board at worst, Strong’s throwback pocket passing style, when coupled with his extensive medical red flags, made all 32 teams wary of investing a pick, even just a seventh-rounder, to one the most impressive quarterbacks to call Nevada home since Colin Kaepernick.

And yet, despite drawing heavy interest from across the football world, Strong – and presumably his agent – chose to come to Philly for a reason. Camp Strong saw how the roster was constructed, how many years were left on Gardner Minshew’s contract, and how varied opinions were on Jalen Hurts and surmised that South Philly was the sport to set some roots.

Theoretically, this should make Strong a borderline lock to make the Eagles’ roster, right? Assuming Strong’s arm doesn’t, like, fall off, or his knees disintegrate to that of 70 year old who played catcher growing up, his upside alone should make him a lock to at least make the practice squad and probably the 53-man roster if Howie Roseman wants to avoid risking his 22-year-old QB hitting the waiver wire and being stolen away by another team.

So that’s that? The Philadelphia Eagles’ roster is more or less set, and their fourth contracted quarterback, Reid Sinnett, is basically just biding his time and drawing a nice paycheck before he looks for another opportunity elsewhere, right? Yes, unless a more intriguing option hits the waiver wires, keeping Carson Strong should 100 percent be the play.

Carson Strong deserves the benefit of the doubt with the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Sunday, NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that Reid Sinnett has been impressing quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson with his improvements from Year 1 in Nick Sirianni’s system to Year 2. Johnson complimented Sinnett’s improved footwork, his improved timing, and his general experience in the system.

Huh, so Sinnett has continued to work on the things the Eagles asked him to and looks better as a result? You don’t say?

While Strong doesn’t have that same experience in Sirianni’s scheme and is maybe still picking up on the intricacies of the playbook, his ceiling is just so much higher than that of Sinnett, as he has the biggest arm on the team and was lauded by Lance Zierlein for his “rare blend of power and finesse.” He threw with anticipation during his time with the Wolf Pack, and while he isn’t the fastest draw in the land, he got good at getting the ball out of his hands quickly to avoid taking unnecessary hits.

With at least one other quarterback going to change in the spring of 2023 at bare minimum, why not give the higher upside option a season to develop himself and see if he’s further along than Sinnett is today? Worst case scenario, one would assume the San Diego product will still be available next spring and could theoretically compete in this very same competition all over again then, too.

Next. T.J. Edwards’ path from UDFA to training camp star. dark

Look, outside of maybe the Carolina Panthers, who have a very weirdly constructed roster, pretty much every team in the NFL is going to struggle if they’re forced to give meaningful minutes to their third-string quarterback. That guy is almost always a developmental prospect, and even if they’re a high-ish profile prospect like Matt Coral or Sam Howell, the chances of a third-string Nick Foles-ian run are incredibly rare in NFL history. No, if the Philadelphia Eagles have to go with either Carson Strong or Reid Sinnett, they are probably going to give a free agent like Cam Newton a call instead, so why not retain the higher-upside player and hope he can be a solid backup in 2023? Makes perfect sense to me.