Nate’s Competition

Posted: March 3rd, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Nate’s Competition

Nick Foles is headed elsewhere so Nate Sudfeld will become the Eagles primary backup QB.


So the Eagles want veteran competition for Sudfeld. That makes some sense with Sudfeld having played so little.

At the same time, finding veteran competition for him won’t be easy.

Most people will say “Go sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tedy Bridgewater or Josh McCown”. The problem is that those players have plenty of experience and will command decent deals on the free agent market. You don’t sign them as competition. You sign them to be the backup.

If you want competition, you are looking for someone who is similar to Sudfeld, but obviously has more experience.

Now let’s talk about what the Eagles like in a QB.

Carson Wentz – 6’5, 237
Nick Foles – 6’5, 243
Nate Sudfeld – 6’6, 234

You could describe all three of them as pocket passers with some athletic ability. The key is that they are pocket passers.

The list of free agent QBs on is not a compelling group.

Teddy Bridgewater
Matt Cassel
David Fales
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Nick Foles
Robert Griffin III
Ryan Griffin
Brett Hundley
Josh Johnson
Sean Mannion
Josh McCown
Brock Osweiler
Tom Savage
Trevor Siemian
Geno Smith
Tyrod Taylor
Joe Webb
Brandon Weeden

So which members of that group fits what the Eagles like and actually has some experience?

Matt Cassel
Brock Osweiler
Tom Savage
Trevor Siemian
Geno Smith
Brandon Weeden

In a word, yikes. That isn’t a compelling group.

This is a confusing situation. The Eagles say all kinds of good things about Sudfeld. At the same time, actions speak louder than words. Are they going to bring in a high quality veteran like Fitzpatrick to be the backup or will they really bring in one of the guys from the short list to provide some competition?

There could be some other QBs available. Case Keenum could be cut by the Broncos. Ryan Tannehill could be cut by the Dolphins.

Tannehill would make a lot of sense for the Eagles. He has been a starter for his whole career so he’s got a lot of experience. Tannehill will turn 31 this summer. He’s never played in a playoff game. He’s only experienced one winning season. Tannehill might be willing to come to the Eagles to be a backup so he’d have a chance to win. He might look for a starting job elsewhere, but I’m not sure how many options he would have.

Tannehill has the size the Eagles like. He throws a good deep ball and he’s still a solid athlete. He caught a short TD pass this year so Philly Special would still be an option with him. He’s been an effective starter for Miami, but hasn’t panned out as a QB you build a franchise around. He does have the potential to be a good backup.

I know some of you will hate this idea. I get that to a certain extent, but I’m not sure what you want in a backup QB. Foles came to the Eagles after hitting rock bottom with the Rams and then starting a single game with the Chiefs. He was hardly considered some great QB when the Eagles signed him in 2017.

The Eagles can’t take backup QB lightly because of Wentz’s injuries over the past two years. Wentz might start the next 80 games in a row, but the Eagles have to be prepared in case he does get hurt. Can they trust Nate Sudfeld?

Jimmy Bama posted a video of Sudfeld’s throws vs PIT and NE from last August.

The physical ability is there.

Experience is not. There are times when Sudfeld is slow to make his reads. He makes some poor decisions. In his defense, he’s playing with Matt Jones at RB and that’s not a good thing. The protection wasn’t great. Sheldon Gibson was the best WR on the field. Think about what a scary statement that is.

Sudfeld has another year of practice under his belt. He got to throw two passes in the regular season. He should be ready to take another step forward this offseason.

Will that be enough?

It would be great to have a young, cheap backup like Sudfeld. That would allow you to spend your resources elsewhere. But the Eagles aren’t the kind of team to go light at QB. They overpaid Chase Daniel in 2016. They paid good money to Foles in 2017 and then again last year. QB is a major priority, even beyond Carson Wentz.

I’m really interested to see what the Eagles do.


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