The deal itself is one worth celebrating because something as monumental as a contract extension for five more seasons doesn't happen without a lot of parties working together with a common goal in mind, and for that, the Philadelphia Eagles, quarterback Jalen Hurts and his representation team, and other factors worked into what the Eagles triumphed on Monday: Introducing Hurts to the world just moments after he signed the new deal.
With a full contingent of reporters on hand, Eagles executives in attendance, Hurts' agency with him, coaches and teammates gathered in the auditorium at One NovaCare Way, the tone was happy, with a heavy sense of purpose built in.
"It's an incredibly exciting day for the Philadelphia Eagles and our culture and our fans and with what we have to look forward to," Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said. "It's remarkable that somebody can combine the talent that Jalen has, the personal qualities, and the ability, at such a young age, to be a culture setter. Owning the team for all these years, it's very special to have a young player have the qualities of Jalen. Today is his day, but I could tell you this any day if you've talked to me about this, I could have told you this the last few years. To be able to have the dynamic playmaking ability and the maturity and the passion for his craft at age 24 – pretty remarkable. That's why we're sitting here today.
"I'm very proud of this young man. He's going to lead the way for many, many years to come in Philadelphia and for the Eagles and I couldn't be happier. None of us could be any happier. This is the beginning of a career arc for a remarkable person and a remarkable player. The future? We don't even know. The ceiling? There is no ceiling. It's all there if we continue to surround Jalen. The culture is set – he sets the culture as well. Great coaching. Superb general manager. It's all there for the taking, so with a little bit of luck, we'll have a lot of these get-togethers and talk about how exciting it all is."
Then Lurie stepped down off the stage and took his seat in the front row, with Hurts next at the microphone. And after thanking so many who had helped him along the way, Hurts got down to business.
He has football on his mind.
"I think about these moments and I think about these times ... he (Lurie) says it's an exciting moment. You know, it's an exciting moment. This moment right here. But I think I've set the precedent for what it is that I desire and I think for me it's so hard because my mind is everywhere and I really can't help but keep the main thing the main thing with what I set out to do, what this organization has set out to do.
"The only thing that I've ever wanted to do is be the best version of myself and that hasn't changed, that won't change. And I am fortunate to have a great opportunity, a great opportunity to do it in a special place. In the future I just strive to continue to grow, strive to continue to lead, strive to continue to be the best version of myself I can be and learn along the way. I play this game because I love the game. Not for any other reason than that."
Hurts knows the Eagles have something special going on and, of course, he wants to continue that arc. "The journey is not over," Hurts said and, indeed, it is just beginning. The Eagles reported Monday to the NovaCare Complex for the start of their offseason conditioning program, the NFL Draft starts on Thursday, and, well, it's an especially exciting time for the Eagles, the fans around the world, the City of Philadelphia.
Three years prior to Monday, the Eagles used a second-round draft pick on Hurts, feeling that it was better to invest in a long-term No. 2 at quarterback with Carson Wentz starting and, as we see, things change in the NFL. Hurts has developed into a star, one of the brightest in the league.
His contract is structured to help both Hurts and to help the Eagles continue to build around him, to afford the team some flexibility to keep adding talent because as Hurts said, "It takes a village," and yes, in the NFL it certainly does take a village to build a championship team.
Hurts told me afterward in an exclusive interview for the Eagles Insider Podcast that he has had a "tornado of different emotions" once the deal was close to being done and then actually completed, and after processing those feelings, he pivoted back to business.
The business of winning football games, of being the best he can be in every way.
"That's where my comfort comes from. That's where my peace comes from, from playing the game. I know we're very blessed and I'm very blessed to be able to take care of things for my family and have that aspect of things in my life, but in terms of what matters to me and what I love and what I get a thrill from out of this game, that's something money can't buy," Hurts said.
"I just enjoy it thoroughly. I think there's a thrill in not being satisfied. If we reach our climax as a team, as an individual, whatever it is, or I peak, I'm still always going to find something. That's just a natural drive that I have. It's in my nature. I'm just excited to do it in a special place.
"That's what matters to me the most."
It is onward and upward for Jalen Hurts, who is everything we want in our quarterback. Everything has worked out perfectly for Hurts with his contract situation and now it is out of the way, and he is thankful for everything that has come his way. None of it was given to him, and that's just fine. He knows nothing is going to be handed to him moving forward, either.
He grew up wanting to be the best version of what he could be.
"Since I was a little kid, that has purely driven me to be where I am right now, through any obstacle, through any trial, through anything, he said.
Now, it's back to work. It's back to the grind, something that is especially appealing to Hurts when others in this world loathe the grind. This is how he is built, and it works for him. The offseason has a fresh outlook now and the energy is bursting through the walls at the NovaCare Complex.
The deal is done and signed and the franchise quarterback is where he wants to be through 2028, and with that, as the 2023 NFL Draft nears and the players are working toward the season ahead, it's all on. It's all green and the outlook couldn't be brighter and more positive for the Philadelphia Eagles.