Eagles: 3 realistic options for backup quarterback

With 40-year-old Josh McCown probably preparing for retirement and Nate Sudfeld set to become a free agent, the Philadelphia Eagles will be in the market for a backup quarterback once free agency rolls around.

No. Nick Foles will not be the Eagles backup quarterback in 2020. It’s not going to happen. Let’s just leave it at that.

This list will be dedicated to some realistic options Howie Roseman could pursue during free agency. Some old, some with more potential than others, but each one would bring a solid track record to Philly and be a nice backup to turn to if Carson Wentz goes down with injury.

Let’s get into it.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos

Joe Flacco

With the emergence of Drew Lock at the end of last year, the writing is on the wall for Joe Flacco in Denver. Not many people around the league believe Flacco is in the future plans for the Broncos, but neither general manager John Elway nor head coach Vic Fangio have addressed the situation.

Flacco has voiced his opinion on possibly being a backup in Denver, or wherever he plays next, and he seemed to be open to it. He had this to say at the end of the season:

“. . . But if [being a backup is] what it has to be, I want to play football. If that’s what it has to be, whether it’s here or wherever, if that’s what it has to be for me to get back in and start playing again, then yeah, I’ll go that route.”

If Denver does elect to keep him as their backup behind Lock, they’ll have to overhaul his contract. He’s set to have the second-highest cap hit on the team, just behind pass rusher Von Miller. Cutting him would incur about a $3 million cap penalty.

Although, Flacco would need to be medically cleared from his neck injury before Denver released him, but everyone involved seems to think he’ll be cleared sooner rather than later.

Flacco obviously has the track record to be a very solid backup for the Eagles. He’s had immense success in the NFL and has been around for 12 years. He also played under senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello last season in Denver, so he could help Wentz with any nuances that Scangarello may bring to Philly’s offense.

If Flacco becomes available on the open market, expect the Eagles to pursue him.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Case Keenum

Although Case Keenum has had his opportunities to be a starting quarterback in this league, he’s best suited for a backup role. The Washington Redskins will likely let him hit the open market as well, with Dwayne Haskins set to become the full-time starter and Alex Smith slowly working his way back to full health.

Former Eagles backup QB Nick Foles used to praise Keenum every chance he got while he was in Philly. When Foles was asked about Keenum leading up to their NFC Championship matchup in 2018, Foles shined a light on what Keenum brings to the table.

“I think the big thing (is) you’ve just always got to believe, and you always have to prepare,” Foles said. “I know being around Case, I know he does an amazing job preparing and working and just being a great team player.”

Keenum won’t get much attention during free agency, so he won’t cost a ton to bring in. Having Keenum as Wentz’s backup would be a fine option.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers

This may not be a very likely scenario, but wouldn’t it be fun bringing Philip Rivers to Philly? His attitude and toughness fits this city perfectly.

At 35-years-old and coming off one of the worst years of his career, Rivers doesn’t seem primed to garner much attention from QB-needy teams this offseason. He’s probably best suited as a backup at this point in his career.

His experience would be great for Wentz, as Rivers has gone through his fair share of ups and downs throughout his time in the NFL.

Reports have suggested that the Las Vegas Raiders and Indianapolis Colts will likely be Rivers’ top pursuers in free agency, but that doesn’t mean the Eagles couldn’t swoop in if they’re unable to land another adequate backup.

The only question is whether Rivers is completely open to being a fortified backup. With the Raiders or Colts, he’d likely be competing for a starting spot. That obviously wouldn’t be the case with the Eagles.

If Rivers is open to playing behind Wentz and being a mentor figure, this would be a very interesting option for Roseman.

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