After Nick Foles joined the Jacksonville Jaguars to be a full-time starter, the Philadelphia Eagles needed to sign a known commodity at quarterback. They’ll hope that Josh McCown can be that guy, even if they also hope he won’t have to start any games.
There’s no doubt that the Philadelphia Eagles have an MVP-caliber quarterback in Carson Wentz when he’s healthy, and the former first-round pick will attempt to return to MVP form this season. But when he did go down with injuries, the Eagles had a perfect replacement in Nick Foles, who became a cult hero for leading the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2017-18 and then a last-gasp playoff appearance (and upset win over the Chicago Bears) in 2018-19.
But with Foles now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars as their essentially unquestioned starter, the Eagles have been looking for a new backup quarterback as a contingency plan for Wentz.
According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, the Eagles have signed McCown to a one-year deal, coaxing the journeyman signal-caller out of retirement. McCown was previously an analyst at ESPN and, per Schefter, will return to that role upon the conclusion of this one-year deal.
McCown has never been anything more than a good backup quarterback, but he did have an exceptional season in 2013 for the Bears in Jay Cutler’s stead. And in 2017, McCown completed 67.3 percent of his passes for the New York Jets in his 13 appearances, so he may have something left to give to the Eagles if called into action.
At the very least, the 40-year-old should be a better emergency option for the Eagles than either Cody Kessler or Nate Sudfeld. While Sudfeld has some potential, he is currently nursing an injury. Meanwhile, Kessler was dreadful last season for the Jaguars, so McCown is undoubtedly a better option than him, in addition to being “safer” than Sudfeld on account of his experience.
That being said, nobody in Philadelphia hopes that McCown, who has his own injury history due to his risky style of play, will have to take snaps under center. They hope that this will be Wentz’s year to return to the MVP race and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to the City of Brotherly Love. But it never hurts to have a better backup plan.