What Gardner Minshew trade means for Philadelphia Eagles and impact on Jalen Hurts

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles have changed the look of the quarterback room by acquiring Gardner Minshew II, a conditional sixth round pick from the Jacksonville Jaguars. And we don't just mean the mustache.
Is the Eagles making any statement about Jalen Hurts (second-year quarterback)? The Eagles made the move to make a statement about Hurts. He was expected to start Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons on September 12. Where does Minshew rank on the depth chart? Let's look closer at what this trade means.

What was the reason the Eagles accepted the trade?

Philadelphia is known for investing resources in the quarterback position even though the Eagles' top spot appears to be set. It worked beautifully in 2017, when backup Nick Foles was able to deliver the first Super Bowl title for Philadelphia. But it didn't work out as well when Hurts was selected in the second round in 2020 NFL draft. This further complicated the relationship between Carson Wentz, the team and the organization.

Minshew's move is risky. Minshew's compensation, which could increase to a sixth round pick if Minshew plays in at least 50% of the games this season according to sources telling ESPN's Adam Schefter, is roughly what the Eagles would pay for a developmental quarterback. They get a quarterback who has 20 NFL starts and can be used in a pinch when needed. This is especially valuable in a COVID-19 environment in which players are often unable to return to practice.

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Minshew still has two years on his rookie contract, and will be earning a fair $850,000 this season.

Nick Mullens, a former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller, was fired Saturday because he didn't have a strong preseason that allowed Philadelphia to trust him enough. Minshew was the better option, having completed 63% of his throws and thrown 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in two seasons.

Is this move related to Hurts?

Both yes and no.

This is not a reflection of how he performed this summer. As the Eagles hoped, Hurts has assumed the role of team leader and facilitator for the offense. He made steady progress through training camp and secured his position as the starting quarterback.

Hurts, 23 years old, has had four career starts. He has shown his teammates hope that he can be a pro-level player, but it is still up to him to show them how it looks on the field.

Two experienced quarterbacks are now available to the Eagles: the 36-year old Flacco (who has 175 league starts) and the 25-yearold Minshew. In the event that Hurts gets hurt or fails, both players will be a double-insurance policy.

Jalen Hurts is still projected to start Philadelphia's Week 1 match at Atlanta as a second-year quarterback. AP Photo/Chris Szagola

Minshew's depth chart for the Eagles is located where?

He is the No. He is the third quarterback behind Hurts, Flacco.

This could be a sign of change.

Yes, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni emphasizes competition. They don't want a ceiling to him but that's what they envision for the moment. Flacco has been solid this season. The Minshew Trade does not seem to have been a solution to performance problems for the veteran of 14 years.

Let's discuss trade risk. Let's talk about trade risk for Philly.

It is unclear how Minshew will interact with Hurts or Flacco. Preseason has shown a good chemistry between the quarterbacks. Minshew's addition could cause a disruption.

The Eagles' 2020 season taught them a lot. When building a room, it is important to consider the comfort of QB1. Communication is crucial and there must be a clear hierarchy. Minshew's contribution is only beneficial if Hurts or Flacco aren’t adversely affected.

We know that Hurts is not easily rattled. He's also good at not allowing outside forces or influences to affect his mind or process. To knock Hurts off his game, it would take more than Minshew being a third-stringer.