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Gardner Minshew II Traded to Eagles from Jaguars for Conditional Draft Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew runs back to the sidelines after the coin toss before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars traded quarterback Gardner Minshew II to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.

The Eagles announced they sent a conditional sixth-round draft pick to the Jags in exchange for the quarterback and released fellow signal-caller Nick Mullens to make room for him.

Minshew is now likely to compete with veteran Joe Flacco for the top backup job behind starting quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Jacksonville selected Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and the former Clemson star was recently named the team's starting quarterback by head coach Urban Meyer.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported March 17 the Jaguars were getting outside interest in Minshew:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From Free Agency Frenzy: Teams have been calling the #Jaguars about QB Gardner Minshew, a possible trade target. https://t.co/TE4z5VnAV3

While keeping the 25-year-old as the backup for 2021 would have made sense, Lawrence's arrival gave the team some flexibility.

A sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft, the 6'1" signal-caller was immediately thrust into the starting role because of an injury to Nick Foles, and Minshew Mania swept the country.

Through his first nine appearances, Minshew threw for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions while maintaining a 92.8 passer rating. After getting benched for Foles, his performance tailed off a bit once he resumed running the offense.

Following Foles' trade to the Chicago Bears, Minshew opened 2020 as the starter. Limited to nine games, he finished with 2,259 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions through the air. He didn't excel under center but didn't look overmatched, either.

Perhaps a change of scenery will benefit the former Washington State star. 

The Jaguars were a complete mess, finishing 1-15. They didn't seem to have a true No. 1 wideout, either, with DJ Chark's 706 receiving yards the highest on the team. Broadly speaking, Jacksonville wasn't an ideal situation for a young quarterback, especially one who hadn't been drafted as the franchise guy.

Minshew had almost no path back to the starting job as well, barring an injury to Lawrence. The Clemson product will either be an immediate hit right out of the gate or he will struggle and take his lumps as Jacksonville builds its offense around him.

There probably isn't a breakout looming on the horizon.

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compared Minshew to Chase Daniel and noted he "could become a good QB3 in a timing-based passing attack that conceals his average arm talent."

There's still some time for him to prove that outlook wrong, though it seems to be his most likely career path.

Now that Minshew is out of the picture, it appears as though either C.J. Beathard or 2020 sixth-round pick Jake Luton will be Lawrence's backup in 2021.

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