The quarterback drama in Philadelphia is heating up.
Rookie Jalen Hurts made a strong case for why he should continue as the Philadelphia Eagles starter Sunday, tossing three touchdowns and running for another in a wild 33-26 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, on the same day that it became clear Carson Wentz isn’t interested in sticking around in Philadelphia if he remains the backup.
Hurts ended 24-for-44 for 338 yards and rushed for 63 yards in a near comeback bid that fell just short.
Wentz is not pleased with the way events have unfolded in the organization and would want to move on from the Eagles if the current situation continues, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, adding another pressure point to a quarterback situation that promises to dominate the offseason.
The Eagles are committed financially to Wentz after giving him a four-year, $128 million extension in the summer of 2019. They would face a dead-cap hit of around $60 million if they cut him and would take a cap hit of more than $30 million in a trade.
But Hurts is expected to hold onto the starting gig for the rest of the season and if his strong play continues, it would be a hard sell for management to hand the keys back over to Wentz for 2021 with no questions asked.
Hurts became the first Eagle with three passing touchdowns and a rushing score since Nick Foles in 2013. He caught fire in the second quarter, tossing three scoring passes to help erase a 16-0 deficit and bring the Eagles within six at halftime.
He tied the score with a 7-yard rushing touchdown late in the third quarter but the Eagles were unable to close the deal in the fourth despite knocking on the door several times, including at the end of the game when a pair of Hail Mary attempts in the end zone fell incomplete.
Hurts has thrown five touchdown passes to one interception and has rushed for 198 yards and a score in two-plus games since taking over for Wentz, who struggled through the first 12 games of the season.
If Philadelphia elects to move on from Wentz, it must act by the second day of the 2021 league year because his $22 million base salary for 2022 becomes fully guaranteed and his 2021 roster bonus of $10 million is paid out on the third day of the league year.