There was never a question of whether it would be done, because when you have a mutual desire to stay together as the Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts have had, it becomes just a matter of when a long-term contract would come together. Now, that's not even a question, as the Eagles announced on Monday morning that Hurts and the team have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension through the 2028 season.
A looming question from the moment the 2022 season ended, the agreement is telling for a number of reasons. Hurts and his team along with the Eagles prioritized the deal sooner rather than later, and now Philadelphia can focus entirely on the exciting 2023 NFL Draft Weekend ahead and Hurts can focus entirely on preparing for his fourth season here.
The players report to the NovaCare Complex next week as the offseason conditioning program begins knowing their star quarterback is happy with a five-year contract extension in place.
This, in every way, is a win-win scenario for both the Philadelphia Eagles and for Jalen Hurts, and it is a classic case of drafting a player, developing him and maximizing his abilities, and retaining him for the long term. Hurts joins a long list of core players on the roster who have long-term deals as the Eagles continue to build for sustained, championship-level success.
To borrow a Jalen-ism, both the Eagles and Hurts' negotiating team "kept the main thing, the main thing," and struck a deal that works for everyone.
"The thing with Jalen that I'm so optimistic about is he's just got this incredible – I'm not telling you anything you don't know here, but seeing him virtually every day, he's got an incredible passion for being phenomenal," Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said recently at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix. "You see that in the great ones. We all know in other sports and with certain quarterbacks in this league, you can define them by their obsession with detail and work ethic.
"We always knew Jalen was talented, had a very live arm that we thought was discounted in college because he was such a great runner, and his character was always considered great, but maybe the advantage we had was we really respected his ability to throw the football and that that would improve based on tremendous work ethic.
"I think the future is so great for him. He's 24 years old. Honestly, I don't know if I've ever met somebody that mature at age 24. I'd like to think I have – my son (Julian) is 27, he's very mature – no, Jalen is the most mature 24-year-old I've ever come across.
"It's different. Each franchise quarterback is different. But I've always said to you guys, quarterback, GM, coach, facilities, stadium, scouting, those kind of things, those are the keys. Once you can find it, that's when you're really excited. We'll be working with Jalen I'm sure for a long time."
That's now a certainty. Hurts has become one of the league's top quarterbacks through, as Lurie said, his devotion to the game and his obsession for being "phenomenal," and there is no doubt he has been just that in his seasons here. After starting four games late in his 2020 rookie season and gaining a taste of the NFL, Hurts accelerated his development in 2021 under new Head Coach Nick Sirianni and the offensive system in place, along with an upward-trajectory offensive supporting cast.
Hurts led the Eagles to the playoffs that season, throwing 16 touchdown passes against only nine interceptions, completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,144 yards. He also showed what a devastating dual-threat weapon he was, rushing for 784 yards (5.6 yards per attempt) and 10 touchdowns.
That was a stepping-stone season for what was next: A Most Valuable Player-level year in 2022 when Hurts was magnificent in every way taking the Eagles to the Super Bowl and, perhaps, one offensive possession away from winning. Hurts was brilliant in the regular season, tossing 22 touchdowns with only six interceptions, averaging 8.1 yards per passing attempt, dissecting defenses from the pocket, throwing the ball accurately down the field to star receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, opening up the middle with tight end Dallas Goedert, and beating teams that dared him to win throwing the football.
When he had chances to run, Hurts was dynamic with 760 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns and defenses, truly, had no answers for Hurts' combination of intelligence, in-the-pocket excellence, and his game-breaking abilities running the football. He was named to the Pro Bowl, was selected as an All-Pro player, and was one of three finalists for the league's MVP award.
After cruising to postseason wins over the Giants and 49ers, Hurts saved his best for the Super Bowl showdown against quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Hurts accumulated 374 total offensive yards in the game, completing 27 of 38 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown and adding 70 yards and three touchdowns (a Super Bowl record for a quarterback) on 15 carries. Hurts also bullied his way into the end zone to score a two-point conversion to tie the game at 35-35 with just over five minutes remaining in the contest.
Now, he's on to his fourth season, just entering the prime of his career, and the Eagles couldn't be more thrilled to have him continuing to strive for more greatness and team success.
"I have had the opportunity to watch it (the Super Bowl) and I think I'm going to move forward with all of those experiences in mind and try to use those things to better myself and grow and help the guys around me and we're going to definitely use that as an experience to take a step and move forward," Hurts said after the 2022 season ended. "You have to look yourself in the mirror and assess it for what it is and do the things that need to be done to grow from it. I think that's my mentality going on and I think that will be this whole entire team's mentality moving forward."
The Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts agreed to terms on a five-year extension through the 2028 season on Monday.