NFL Insider Reveals Alarming ‘Leverage’ Issue in Contract Talks with Eagles’ Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is the subject of recent comments from former Dallas Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith.

Everyone has anxiously been waiting for news to leak out about a bank-breaking contract for franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts. Despite being under team control for the 2023 season, the tea leaves are reading like a deal is imminent.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that “initial conversations” are already underway, with the “floor” of a new deal in the $230.5 million range. Hurts — the runner-up for MVP, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance — would appear to have all the leverage at the negotiating table.

Not so fast. The Eagles could decide to let him play out his rookie contract, then slap the franchise tag on him in 2024. It would be a bold move, one that could leave a bad taste in Hurts’ mouth in future negotiations. Still, the franchise tag is an option in 2024 and again in 2025.

The more likely result is the Eagles throw a front-loaded offer at Hurts that ignites his bank account for the first two years before leveling off a bit. Former NFL front-office executive Andrew Brandt recently jumped on the “Crossing Broadcast” to provide insight on how the Eagles might approach contract discussions with Hurts. He believes general manager Howie Roseman will be looking to gain leverage by throwing a ton of money at him up front.

“So, what I think happens is Howie and the Eagles throw a ton of money at him and he takes it,” Brandt said. “And it becomes one of these typical big-time quarterback deals, where he’s making, pick a number — $40, $45, $50 million a year — but only the first two years, maybe the first two and a half [years], are secured. And everyone can say, of course, you don’t need later guarantees for Jalen Hurts, well, you do. I mean, that gives the team leverage if you don’t.”

Brandt’s advice for Hurts was to turn it down and wait another year, similar to what happened with Dak Prescott in Dallas. Remember, the Cowboys tagged Prescott twice before working out a shorter-term deal: $160 million over 4 years, with $126 million guaranteed. If Hurts takes a three- or four-year deal in 2024 or 2025, then the 24-year-old quarterback will be eligible for a second mega-contract at age 30.

“But I think if I’m Hurts, I want to think about, do I wait? Do I wait? Because he only gains leverage if he waits,” Brandt said. “You’re going to turn down a ton of money, so are you willing to do that? One thing, if I was advising Hurts is don’t take too long of a deal because you’re going to be up for another bite at the apple hopefully by age 30 to take a three- or four-year deal.”

No Fifth-Year Option for Jalen Hurts

The Eagles are already at a disadvantage in contract negotiations due to the fact Hurts was a second-round draft pick. That means they don’t own a fifth-year team option as would have been the case if he were a first-rounder. It would behoove the franchise to hammer out an extension now rather than risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano broke it down on SportsCenter, via Bleacher Report:

He was a second-round pick, so they do not hold a fifth-year option on him for 2024, so there’s a little more urgency with his negotiations than there is with some of these other guys. I’m told there have been initial conversations, and I would expect the Eagles and Jalen Hurts to find a path to a contract extension at some point this offseason.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson Keeps Running His Mouth

Former Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson has turned heel faster than anyone in recent memory. Following an awkward back and forth with the Eagles in free agency, the 25-year-old settled for a cheaper deal with the Detroit Lions. He has been taking shots at the Eagles for the better part of a week on social media, including throwing some subtle shade at Hurts on Twitter:

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