The Jaguars and Eagles got into an interesting trade early Saturday, when Jacksonville sent third-year quarterback Gardner Minshew to Philadelphia for a sixth-round conditional pick.
Minshew had 12 and eight starts for the Jaguars in 2019 and ’20, respectively, compiling an overall record of 7-13 (which helps explain why Jacksonville chose Trevor Lawrence as No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft. 2021). In his career, Minshew has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 5,530 yards and 37 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
So why would the Jaguars move it? Even if new coach Urban Meyer fully agrees with Lawrence as his starter, Minshew could have been a backup with valuable starting experience had he been called into action in a pinch. Also, why did the Eagles trade him considering Jalen Hurts is the supposed starter, while Joe Flacco looks impressive as a backup?
Sporting News breaks down the trade and how it makes sense for both teams:
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When the Eagles announced they had traded for Minshew, they also unofficially revealed why they made him the team’s third quarterback: They also released third quarterback Nick Mullens.
Mullens didn’t play particularly well in preseason for the Eagles, just two and a half months after signing a one-year contract with the team after entering free agency through the 49ers. (He was meant to be a restricted free agent, but San Francisco didn’t extend an offer to him, allowing him to sign with neither team.) His game clearly did not build confidence in coach Nick Sirianni.
With Flacco signing a one-year, $ 3.5 million deal for the 2020 season, Philadelphia would have needed to re-sign him or another quarterback for depth purposes in 2022. However, Minshew has two years left, which is why set up as a longer term backup in Philly.
According to NBC Sports Philly’s John Clark, the Eagles for Minshew trade was a profound move made with the knowledge that COVID-19 continues to be an ongoing problem for various teams, with an additional regular-season game to consider:
Source confirms Eagles has traded for QB Gardner Minshew
They told me Jalen Hurts is the starter, the Eagles like Joe Flacco, and they’ve made this change for depth at QB with a 17-game season and Covid times. pic.twitter.com/xuVtUWAQGm
– John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 28, 2021
The question then is, why did Jacksonville switch to Minshew? Meyer may not want to create a situation where some players were still in Minshew camp while Lawrence prepared more for the game (the Dolphins faced a similar situation in 2020 with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa). That said, it is clear that Lawrence’s ceiling is considerably higher and he would have surpassed Minshew at the starting position anyway.
Given that Meyer totally agrees with Lawrence, he likely traded Minshew, who couldn’t take advantage of the preseason “competition,” so he could use subsequent picks to further build his team with the players he selects. According to a Ian Rapoport reportThe sixth-round conditional pick could turn into a fifth round if Minshew participates in 50 percent of the plays in at least three games. While that is unlikely to happen with Hurts and Flacco in front of him, it still results in picks for Meyer and Co.