The word would be "celebratory" to describe the mood at the NovaCare Complex, and in the world of the Philadelphia Eagles in general, at the news that broke on Monday morning: The Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension, a history-making deal, that keeps Hurts in Philadelphia through the 2028 season.
To know that you have your superstar quarterback, your franchise guy, happy and under contract in a market that is only going to escalate is just a terrific feeling, and it means so much to Hurts and to the Eagles for a variety of reasons, some of which might not be so obvious to those on the outside looking in.
1. No more questions about "When is Jalen Hurts going to get his deal done?"
For months since the 2022 season ended in Super Bowl LVII, that's been the topic of conversation. And while Hurts, Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman, Head Coach Nick Sirianni, and Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie answered every one of the questions positively and patiently, the story just wouldn't go away and neither would the questions.
Now, there are no more of those questions and that matters. Players are reporting to the NovaCare Complex next week for the team's offseason conditioning program and they won't have to answer the "When is Jalen Hurts ...?" questions. Everyone can move forward.
For Hurts, wow, what a great time to look ahead. He isn't the kind of guy to allow the contract issue to become a huge distraction, but you can only imagine, right? It is an enormous deal, a life-changing situation for a young man just entering the prime of his NFL career. Hurts allowed his management team to handle all of the contract conversations, but he was in the know all along.
Now, Hurts can move ahead with football, and football only, on his mind. That is what he prefers, without a doubt. The Eagles have taken care of business – a very important point of business – and can focus on the NFL Draft and roster building.
2. The Eagles now know exactly how their salary cap and financial resources line up
You have seen how the offseason has been: The Eagles knew they were in line for a new Hurts contract and planned accordingly. With that, they had limitations in free agency that became apparent for all to see and approached that part of the roster-building process with great discipline and specific targeting. While it was impressive to keep center Jason Kelce and cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry at top-of-the-market deals, the Eagles had to be extremely specific with their spending limits elsewhere.
Now they know exactly where they stand with respect to the salary cap in terms of available dollars to spend and future budgets. The Eagles kickstarted the market for signing quarterbacks to new deals in this offseason, and not far behind the expectation is that Cincinnati will sign Joe Burrow and Los Angeles will sign Justin Herbert, etc. Baltimore wants to sign its quarterback, Lamar Jackson. Let's see how the market changes with Hurts' deal coming first.
Building a roster is all about doing what is right for the present and also being responsible and allowing for flexibility in the future. The Eagles have done that by getting the Hurts deal done and now they know what they are working with in terms of dollars and financial sense moving forward.
The Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts agreed to terms on a five-year extension through the 2028 season on Monday.
3. Players know who their leader is, and who it will be for many seasons
No great surprise that the deal happened because both sides wanted it to happen, but there is absolutely a positive feeling that it is done and everyone can move on. This locker room has responded to Hurts and rallied around him – and him to them – as completely as you can imagine. It is as genuine a back-and-forth respect as you will find in any NFL city.
Jalen Hurts has been the guy in the locker room for the last two seasons, without dispute. That's the case moving forward, and the new deal erases any doubt – even if there was a tiny smidge – that there would be change there.
4. Building around Hurts continues
The quarterback is locked in. The starter is in place at the game's most important position. Philadelphia has done a fine job of putting in place an outstanding supporting cast of players, something that Roseman plans to continue.
"It's the key to your success, right?" Roseman said at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. "Head coach, quarterback – huge keys to your success. I mean, you can't win without those two pieces. Obviously, we have a lot of confidence in those guys and I think a lot of the building of last year, it was really intentional to make sure that he (Hurts) had really good players around him so his talents could shine.
"We don't want to lose that."
The offense has a bunch of pieces already in place with the 2023 NFL Draft just a week-plus away, so the foundation is there for more success. But the Eagles are going to add to the arsenal in a multitude of ways in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.
5. The coaching staff will add to the scheme
With continuity comes the impact on the X's and O's: The coaching staff knows what Hurts does well, which parts of the offensive scheme he favors and how to implement those concepts into each week's game plan. How much can the scheme differ for 2023, for example? The general principles are in place, but Sirianni and his coaching staff, with new Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson in place, will add tweaks.
Hurts enters Year 3 of the same offensive scheme for the first time ever. That's a big deal.
"Even better, right? Even better," Sirianni said at the NFL Annual Meeting recently. "He just continues to get more familiar with the plays that we're running and he continues to make good, quick decisions and we'll build on that because he's got three years in the system."
6. A message sent: Wins are a two-way street and this is a win
This negotiation could have gone in a different direction. We've seen it happen around the NFL, where talks drag on and on and one side isn't especially happy and there are fissures and it just becomes plain ugly.
Didn't happen here. Hurts and his team were extremely cooperative and intent on finishing a deal and the Eagles showed a reciprocal stance and, well, here we are. Both sides are extremely happy. That's the way it is supposed to be. That's the sign of a negotiation that involved open and honest communication and transparency between the two sides.
No doubt that this is a big win for Hurts, who gains a mega-deal that is historic in many respects per the reported terms. This is also a big win for the Eagles, who have their star quarterback under contract through the 2028 season.
Both sides worked together and achieved success, and for that, there are great feelings all around and an awesome way to kick off the true homestretch to the 2023 NFL Draft.