Nate Sudfeld

QB Notes: Rodgers, Steelers, Broncos, Pats

While Aaron Rodgers is content to go year-to-year with the Packers, who have declined to restructure his contract to create cap space this offseason, the reigning MVP has made no secret of the fact he is gunning for the job Alex Trebek held for 36 years. The first week of the Jeopardy! episodes Rodgers previously taped wrapped Friday, and although the show’s run of guest hosts will continue after next week’s shows, the 37-year-old quarterback wants to become Trebek’s successor. With Jeopardy! filming five episodes per day two days a week — on Mondays and Tuesdays — Rodgers believes he can become the show’s next full-time host without retiring from the NFL.

I don’t think I’d need to give up football to do it. They film 46 days a year. I worked 187 this year in Green Bay. That gives me, eh, 178 days to do “Jeopardy!” So I feel like I could fit 46 into that 178 and make it work,” Rodgers said, via The Ringer’s Claire McNear. “It would be a dream job for sure, and I’m not shy at all about saying I want the job. That’s how I went into it. I want an opportunity to be in the mix.”

Jeopardy! films in Los Angeles, so it may create some issues if the show — in the event Rodgers landed the gig — filmed episodes during training camp, the regular season or the playoffs. Just ahead of his most recent contract agreement, in 2018, Rodgers said he would love to play until at least age 40. Four hosts, including Jeopardy! mainstay Ken Jennings, preceded Rodgers this year. Five more will take their turns after Rodgers’, creating a crowded mix to succeed Trebek, who died in November 2020. Shifting back to strictly NFL matters, here is the latest from the quarterback world:

  • Among QBs in his age range, Ben Roethlisberger stands alone. The other two 2004 first-round QBs — Eli Manning and Philip Rivers — retired. So did Drew Brees. Tom Brady relocated, and the Packers drafted Rodgers’ would-be heir apparent in Jordan Love. The Steelers, however, are still Roethlisberger-dependent. They will not trade up from No. 24 to draft a quarterback, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (subscription required), who notes that it would not be too surprising if Roethlisberger ended up staying on for his age-40 season in 2022 while the organization figures out its long-awaited plan.
  • Washington looms as a team that appears interested in trading up for a quarterback, but the team may have company. The Broncos and Patriots loom as other candidates to move up the board for a passer, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (video link). A trade-up maneuver would not cost the Broncos (No. 9) what the Patriots (No. 15) would have to pay. New England is usually big on trading back and accumulating picks, but the franchise zagged by splurging in free agency this offseason. And its QB situation is considerably different from what it was when Bill Belichick trade-downs were commonplace. Both teams would benefit from the run of quarterbacks pushing non-QB prospects down the board, but neither appears to have a viable long-term answer. The Broncos are planning to add to their Drew Lock-centered QB room and discussed Matthew Stafford and Sam Darnold. But Lock may remain unchallenged going into the draft.
  • Nate Sudfeld‘s 49ers contract is a one-year deal worth $990K, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The former Eagles third-stringer will receive $252K guaranteed, and $138K is available via incentives.

49ers Sign QB Nate Sudfeld

Nate Sudfeld finished out his Eagles contract in interesting fashion, seeing late-game action in Week 17. The veteran backup will vie for a roster spot elsewhere in 2021.

The 49ers signed Sudfeld on Wednesday, the team announced. A former Washington sixth-round pick, Sudfeld spent the past four seasons in Philadelphia. It’s a one-year deal.

With Carson Wentz unavailable for the 2017 and 2018 postseasons, the Eagles had Sudfeld slotted behind then-starter Nick Foles in each of those years. Sudfeld’s most notable NFL work came in January, when Doug Pederson surprised the football-following world by subbing in his backup late in a game that featured playoff ramifications (though not for the Eagles). Sudfeld fared poorly, helping Washington win the NFC East, and his exit will leave Jalen Hurts alone from Philly’s previous QB room. The Eagles have now moved on from Wentz and Sudfeld, whom they re-signed last year, this offseason.

The Indiana product, who will follow assistant Rich Scangarello from Philly to San Francisco, will head to a 49ers team in transition. The 49ers are set to draft a quarterback at No. 3 overall and are still planning to employ Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021. They have, however, seen four-year backup C.J. Beathard depart, and Nick Mullens is a free agent.

After the first night of the draft, the 49ers’ quarterback depth chart — which also houses Josh Johnson — will be quite crowded. Sudfeld may point Mullens elsewhere. The 2018 and 2020 spot starter is recovering from elbow surgery this offseason. Josh Rosen, though, is also under contract with the 49ers. While Rosen is eligible to be on San Francisco’s practice squad next season, the Sudfeld signing proves somewhat interesting for the former top-10 pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Active For Week 2

The Eagles’ surprising second-round selection, Jalen Hurts, is making his professional debut today. After being inactive last week, Hurts is active for today’s bout against the Rams and will serve as the backup to QB Carson Wentz. Fellow signal-caller Nate Sudfeld, meanwhile, finds himself on the inactive list.

As Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP observes, the fact that Hurts was activated the week after Wentz turned in a poor performance and is facing even more public scrutiny than usual is interesting (Twitter link). However, it will likely take at least a few weeks of disappointing play from Wentz to generate any sort of quarterback controversy. Head coach Doug Pederson said after this year’s draft that the club would use Hurts in the same way that the Saints have used Taysom Hill — as a gadget player who can provide a jolt to the offense — so look for Hurts to get his feet wet in that role before anything more dramatic happens.

After their lackluster offensive showing in their Week 1 loss to Washington, the Eagles could certainly use a jolt. But Pederson also said that he sees Hurts as a quarterback first, so it will be interesting to see if he remains Wentz’s QB2 moving forward. It wasn’t too ago that Sudfeld was seen as a potential starting signal-caller, but he missed all of the 2019 season with a wrist injury, and his stock has fallen considerably. Philadelphia re-signed Sudfeld this offseason, but the club hopes that Hurts will become, if nothing else, a capable backup.

Hurts was a good player for Alabama from 2016-18, but he was otherworldly after transferring to Oklahoma last season. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards and had 32 TD passes against just eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 TDs, so he clearly has enough talent to make a difference in special packages.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Sign Josh McCown To Practice Squad

Well this is an unusual arrangement we didn’t see coming. The Eagles are signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown to their practice squad, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Thanks to a new COVID-19 exception veterans will be able to serve on practice squads, making this possible. As Schefter notes, he’ll easily be the oldest practice squad player in NFL history. Making the situation even more unique, McCown won’t even be reporting to the team. Instead McCown will continue to live in Texas, earn a $12K weekly salary, and serve as Philly’s emergency quarterback remotely.

McCown’s lovable journeyman career has taken him all over the football world, so it feels right for him to blaze this unheard of trail. We had heard back in January the Eagles were talking about adding him to the coaching staff, and this is the next best thing.

After originally announcing his retirement in June of last year, he signed with Philly last August after they had a couple of injuries. After serving as Carson Wentz‘s backup and not starting a game he was suddenly thrown into the spotlight when Wentz went down in the Eagles’ first round playoff game against Seattle.

McCown came into the game cold off the bench and nearly led them to a miracle victory, tearing his hamstring in the process and playing through the injury.

The Eagles have Nate Sudfeld and Jalen Hurts behind Wentz now, but in these uncertain times it can’t hurt to have too much insurance. McCown has turned into a fan favorite over the course of his career that started in 2002 with the Cardinals, and this is a nice feather in his cap.

Here is Philly’s full practice squad:

* = international player

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Eyeing Quarterbacks In Draft?

During the pre-draft process, the Eagles have been doing some due diligence on a number of quarterbacks expected to be late-round selections in the upcoming draft, according to Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports, and he expects the team to come away with one. Mike Kaye of NJ.com examines four potential fits and what the fallout of their selections could mean for the other backup quarterbacks on the roster like Kyle Lauletta and Nate Sudfeld.

While no Day 3 pick would be expected to compete for the team’s starting job, held by Carson Wentz, his extensive injury history makes questions about the team’s backup a particular concern for the defending NFC East champs. Of course, Philly may be less focused on replacing Lauletta and Sudfeld and more so targeting a raw prospect who can develop next season on the team’s practice squad.

The 26-year old Sudfeld is entering his fourth NFL season but has only thrown 25 career passes. Just a 6th round pick out of Indiana in 2016, Sudfeld at one time, developed a decent reputation with some speculating he could be a starter elsewhere down the road. In fact, the Eagles applied a restricted-free agent tender on him just last offseason. However, this year as an unrestricted free agent his market was not quite as lively and he returned on a one-year, $2MM deal.

Lauletta was selected in the 4th round by the Giants in 2018, but general manager Dave Gettleman and co. waived him after just one season on the roster. The Eagles signed him to their practice squad last season, but their long-term vision for his role remains unknown. With such little proven talent behind the oft injured Wentz it makes sense that the team is looking at bringing in some competition.

Contract Details: JPP, Cousins, Weatherly

Deals are coming in quickly, so we’ve compiled some important contract details below:

Eagles Re-Sign Nate Sudfeld

The Eagles have re-signed Nate Sudfeld, per a team announcement. With that, the quarterback will return in 2020 to backstop starter Carson Wentz.

[RELATED: Eagles Sign NT Javon Hargrave]

Sudfeld missed all of 2019 thanks to a broken wrist. After that, they lured Josh McCown out of retirement late in the offseason. This time around, it’s not clear if McCown is interested in continuing his career, or if his surgically-repaired hamstring would allow to play. Sudfeld, who has appeared in four games (including playoff contests) for the Eagles, is now set to serve as the team’s QB2.

In light of Wentz‘s own injury history, the No. 2 QB spot in Philly is an important one. It stands to reason that the Eagles will still explore QBs in free agency and the draft, even after re-upping the former sixth-round pick.

NFC East Notes: McCown, Treadwell, Cowboys

The Eagles made a surprising decision to sign Josh McCown out of retirement on Saturday, and the fact that they gave McCown a $2MM guarantee suggests that he is a lock to make the roster. Indeed, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP reports that Philadelphia was trying to sign McCown even before presumptive QB2 Nate Sudfeld was sidelined with a wrist injury (Twitter link). Shorr-Parks notes in a separate tweet that HC Doug Pederson declined to say whether Sudfeld will remain the primary backup. Pederson said he will figure that out when Sudfeld heals.

Let’s round up a few more NFC East items:

  • Former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell is on the trade block, and Matt Lombardo of NJ.com believes the Giants could make a play for him. Treadwell played under New York head coach Pat Shurmur when the latter served as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, and Shurmur held the Ole Miss product in high regard not that long ago. Given the current state of the Giants’ WR depth chart, Lombardo suggests it would be reasonable for Big Blue to send a sixth- or seventh-round pick to Minnesota to see if a change of scenery can unlock some of Treadwell’s potential.
  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may not want to meet QB Dak Prescott‘s asking price — said to be at least $35MM per year — but he confirmed that Prescott’s eventual contract will put him in the top tier of quarterbacks. Jones said, “[a] lot of people question whether Dak is one of those guys that need to be in the top tier. I’ve never questioned that. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s in the top level of paid quarterbacks…Now, how do we make this all fit and what can we do to have the best team around him? That’s what we’re trying to work on” (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic).
  • Tony Pollard‘s performance in training camp and the preseason may be giving the Cowboys a little leverage in their contract talks with Ezekiel Elliott, and Jones said “Zeke who?” when asked if Pollard is becoming the team’s best negotiator with Elliott (Twitter link via Machota). Jones made it clear he was joking and said he believes Pollard will be an excellent complement to, and not a replacement for, Elliott (in case you missed it, we heard this morning that Elliott will not face criminal charges for the altercation between him and a security guard in May).
  • Despite spending the entire 2018 season out of football, Cowboys WR Devin Smith has a legitimate chance of cracking the team’s roster, as Machota tweets. Smith caught a TD pass in Dallas’ preseason contest on Saturday, and his play has been very strong over the past week. The former Jets second-rounder signed a reserve/futures deal with the Cowboys in January.

Eagles QB Nate Sudfeld Suffers Injury

Eagles backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld underwent surgery on Friday morning for a broken bone above his left wrist, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter) hears. The QB is expected to be out for six weeks, creative some uncertainty for the Eagles as they head into the season.

In light of Carson Wentz‘s own injury history, the No. 2 QB spot in Philly is an important one. Sudfeld was being counted upon as a quality safety net, but the club will be be forced to turn to the well-traveled Cody Kessler or potentially, undrafted rookie Clayton Thorson, if Sudfeld misses regular season games (then again, after Thorson’s awful performance last night in Sudfeld’s absence, he might not be long for the team.)

After signing his restricted free agent tender in April, Sudfeld is set to earn $3.095MM for the season. A 2016 sixth-round pick of the Redskins, the QB joined the Eagles via waiver claim in 2017. In two seasons with Philadelphia, the 25-year-old (26 in October) has appeared in four games, including playoff contests.

Sudfeld got an extended look during the 2017 regular season finale, completing 19 of his 23 pass attempts for 134 passing yards. Last season, however, he managed only two pass attempts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Rumors: Redskins, Eagles, Scherff

It was reported in February the Redskins and guard Brandon Scherff were discussing an extension but no news had trickled out since then. Scherff, however, confirmed earlier this week that talks were ongoing, NBC Sports’ JP Finlay writes.

“We’ve been talking, but I’m not really worried about that,” Scherff said. “I’m here for another year, so that’s all I’m worried about right now. Everything will take care of itself.”

Signed through 2019 via his fifth-year option, Scherff is set to make $12.5MM this season, but an extension could very well help lower Washington’s cap number heading into the season. An extension could see Scherff paid like Zack Martin and Andrew Norwell, who recently became the first guards to sign for $13MM-plus per year.

The fifth-overall pick in 2015, Scherff has justified the high-draft slot by earning two Pro Bowls in his first four seasons in the league. Though durable in his first three seasons, playing all but two possible games, the Iowa product suffered a torn pectoral in Week 8 of 2018 and was lost for the season.

Here’s more from around the NFC East:

  • Sticking with the Redskins, safety Montae Nicholson skipped the early sessions of the team’s OTAs, NBC Sports’ Peter Hailey writes. Though he showed up later, the safety’s absence turned some heads and coach Jay Gruden reportedly seemed annoyed by the situation. Nicholson is in a batter for the starting safety spot opposite the newly signed Landon Collins.
  • Though the Eagles added Cody Kessler and rookie Clayton Thorson, Nate Sudfeld is still expected to fill the No. 2 quarterback role, NBC Sports’ Andrew Kulp writes. Early in the offseason, Philadelphia gave Sudfeld a second-round tender as an RFA, which should indicate that the backup gig is his to lose despite the additions.
  • Remaining with the Eagles, it appears Jordan Mailata is ahead of Halapoulivaati Vaitai on the depth chart at tackle, NBC Sports’ Reuben Frank writes. Expected to enter 2019 as the team’s top backup tackle option, Mailata was thrown for a loop when the team took Andre Dillard in the first round. The former rugby player, however, is penciled in as the No. 2 at right tackle and Vaitai, a starter at left tackle in the Super Bowl just over a year ago, is now hoping to carve out a role at guard.