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Jalen Hurts on Eagles Trading Carson Wentz: 'I Want to Prove Them Right'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, leaving Jalen Hurts in line to be the team's starting quarterback next season. 

And Hurts is ready for his chance.

"I think it was just an opportunity for me," he told ESPN's Adam Schefter on his podcast (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com). "It shows the trust in what (the Eagles) think I can be as a player. I want to prove them right."

Those comments come on the same day that ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie wants the Eagles to focus on building around Hurts in 2021, rather than fostering a quarterback competition:

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

@LesBowen I would not report the Eagles have internal unanimity on Hurts as QB1 but sources say the boss, Jeffrey Lurie, has instructed his group to prioritize making Hurts successful in 2021 as opposed to creating a true competition.

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie made it fairly clear after firing Doug Pederson he wanted franchise to re-embrace a long-range philosophy that resulted in a Lombardi Trophy. The roster had some age. DeSean Watson, Alshon Jeffery, Jason Peters, gone. Zach Ertz heading that way. https://t.co/6ZBo6noIS0

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

There's been some opinions expressed that the Eagles should draft BYU QB Zach Wilson. As of now, that would mean offering major compensation to get into the 2nd slot, using the type of draft capital that is necessary to replenish the roster.

The Eagles acquired a 2021 third-rounder pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick for Wentz, leaving Hurts atop the depth chart. But if Hurts is feeling the pressure, he isn't letting on.

"Kind of kept the same mentality that I've had this whole time in terms of what I can control and me being the best player I can be," he told Schefter regarding the Wentz trade. "It ain't too much of my business, so I don't get into that."

The Eagles could also use the No. 6 pick in this year's draft to select a young quarterback, with players like BYU's Zach Wilson, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance potentially on the board at that point.

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But the Eagles might be better served giving Hurts a season to prove himself. He played well in the 2020 season, though his numbers might suggest otherwise (1,061 passing yards, six touchdowns, four interceptions, 52.0 completion percentage, 354 rushing yards, three rushing scores). 

That dual-threat ability provided the Eagles with a spark on offense they lacked under Wentz, who struggled mightily in 2020 (2,620 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 57.4 completion percentage, 50 sacks taken). 

The question will be whether Hurts is the guy going forward. He believes so. Lurie reportedly wants a season to find out. 

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