The 49ers turned to Nick Mullens as Jimmy Garoppolo‘s primary backup over the past three seasons but did not tender him as a restricted free agent. The three-year veteran suffered an elbow injury late last season and has spent much of this year recovering from offseason surgery.
Mullens landed a gig with the Eagles last month, joining the team after the Jets expressed interest. The former UDFA out of Southern Miss has made 16 career starts, but the Eagles are not planning a first- or second-string role for their recent addition.
The team will not hold a Mullens-Joe Flacco backup competition, with Bo Wulf of The Athletic noting the QB2 job will be Flacco’s (subscription required). This is assuming the Eagles go with Jalen Hurts, and not Flacco, as their starter. While this is the expectation, new HC Nick Sirianni has not anointed Hurts as such yet.
Flacco joined the Eagles — his fourth team in four years — on a one-year deal worth $3.5MM in March. The 36-year-old passer’s contract comes fully guaranteed. Philly gave Mullens a one-year, $920K deal that includes $200K guaranteed. Mullens arrived after the Eagles waived rookie UDFA Jamie Newman during their offseason program. The Eagles are not certain to carry three QBs this season, Wulf adds, injecting some uncertainty regarding Mullens’ roster spot.
Last season, Flacco completed a career-low 55% of his passes during a five-game Jets run (four starts). Granted, the veteran was helming one of the league’s worst offenses. The former Super Bowl MVP did stay healthy in 2020, after a neck injury ended his 2019 Broncos tenure and a 2018 hip injury ushered in the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson era. Despite the Eagles bringing in a rather experienced third-string QB, Flacco is on track to work unchallenged as the team’s backup.
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