Roseman: Big Payday For Hurts Coming
INDIANAPOLIS – On top of nearly two dozen pending free agents to either re-sign or let walk, Howie Roseman knows that the Eagles are already locked into forking over big money to someone whose future is far less uncertain.
Roseman, the Eagles’ executive vice president of football operations, on Wednesday even joked about being careful to be too praiseworthy of Jalen Hurts, his controversial 2020 second-round pick that turned into an overnight MVP candidate and future cornerstone.
“You want me to get sentimental about how it was before we pay our quarterback?” Roseman cracked at his annual podium interview at the NFL Scouting Combine when asked about the benefits – financial, presumably – of building a roster around a quarterback with an extremely low cap figure.
“I think it’s the nature of the business. I think the better thing is when you have a quarterback that’s good enough that you want to pay him and that he has a chance to be a great player. Show him what kind of player he’s going to be.
“If you don’t have a quarterback, you’re searching for one, and you can’t win in this league without a great quarterback who plays at a high level. We saw how Jalen played in the Super Bowl, on the biggest stage, and that’s exciting for our team, for our fans, for all of us.”
Now we’ll see how quickly the Eagles can move to ink Hurts to the long-term extension Roseman mentioned.
The Eagles, under Roseman and his predecessor, Joe Banner, have typically wasted no time handing out extensions to productive, blossoming starting quarterbacks, going back to the $12-year, $115-million pact that Donovan McNabb signed in 2002 after his third season and, most recently, the four-year, $128-million deal signed by Carson Wentz in 2019 after his third season.
Roseman wouldn’t say if talks between he and Hurts’ agent, Nicole Lynn, have taken place, but extensions and contracts are typically a business priority during the Combine week, as meetings involving personnel executives, coaches and player agents take place all throughout the week.
One advantage the Eagles have is Hurts’ fourth-year cap figure of just under $4.8 million, a pittance compared to the NFL’s top-flight quarterbacks, many of which are making between $40-50 million annually.
The Eagles can sign Hurts to an extension that technically wouldn’t begin until 2024 but store a large chunk of the new, guaranteed money into Hurts’ 2023 salary, which would raise the quarterback’s 2023 cap salary but also lessen the number of guaranteed money that would be spread out over the future years of the deal, hence keeping his future cap charges a tad lower than some of the NFL’s other highest-paid quarterbacks.
“You want to find something that he feels really good about, and at the same time that we feel good about and surround him with good players,” Roseman said. “He knows that. He’s a smart guy. He understands that. That doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be a tremendous contract for him, because he deserves that, too.”
One potential obstacle to getting a deal done quickly is that Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are also eligible for extensions that could drastically reset the quarterback market. Hurts has already accomplished more than Herbert, and both he and Burrow have led their teams to Super Bowl losses.
Hurts might be looking to see those quarterbacks sign first before he puts pen to paper.
Either way, Roseman didn’t try to hide his appreciation for Hurts’ development in three seasons.
“I think the reasons we drafted Jalen are he’s an elite competitor, he is an elite worker, and he has elite talent,” Roseman said. “I think sometimes we use words like worker and competitive nature that kind of frame it in a way that the guy is not extremely talented. Jalen is an elite talent.
“He has elite arm strength. Anything you tell him to do, you saw his completion percentage, his accuracy jump. At the end of the day, he has a special talent, and you combine that with a special football mind and special work ethic, and it gives him a chance to be a special player.”
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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