Second-guessing the Eagles’ trade for Kenny Pickett

The Philadelphia Eagles have a new backup quarterback. His name is Kenny Pickett and given who was available, he might not be the best man for the job.

Pickett comes cheap. Former backup Marcus Mariota will make $6M as a Washington Commander next season while Pickett carries a $985K base salary with a $988K roster bonus. But sometimes you get what you pay for and for a little more money, Philadelphia could have chosen between these three options:

Report: Steelers trading QB Kenny Pickett to Eagles | Yardbarker

Joshua Dobbs

Prior to last season, Dobbs had played in eight games for the Steelers and Titans. But 2023 saw the former aerospace engineering major play for three teams in one calendar year and win the starting job for two teams with less than two weeks’ notice.

Dobbs went 3-9 in 12 starts for the Cardinals and Vikings last year, throwing for 2,464 yards and 13 touchdowns. For comparison purposes, Pickett had 2,070 yards and six scores in 12 starts for Pittsburgh.

While reports suggest Pickett may have trouble adjusting to a backup role, Dobbs has no delusions about being a full-time starter. Market value for the former Volunteer looks to be around $6.7M per year but self-awareness can be worth its weight in gold in a city like Philadelphia.

Joe Flacco

Flacco grew up just outside Philadelphia in Audubon, New Jersey, and brought back a Super Bowl MVP with the Ravens in 2013. He signed a one-year deal to back up Jalen Hurts in 2021 before being traded to the Jets early in the season.

Flacco was unemployed in 2023 until the Cleveland Browns signed him to their practice squad in late November. Five games and four wins later, the veteran signal-caller found himself playing in the AFC wild-card round.

According to Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press, the Eagles made an offer to Flacco but the 39-year-old quarterback signed a one-year, $8.7M deal with the Colts instead. Maybe his hometown team should’ve tried harder.

Tyler Huntley

The former Ravens backup signed a one-year contract with Cleveland for the veteran’s minimum but might have looked good holding a clipboard in an Eagles uniform.

Huntley went 3-7 filling in for Lamar Jackson over three seasons and even made the Pro Bowl as a fourth alternate in 2022. For his career, the dual-threat quarterback has 2,466 total yards and 11 scores including three on the ground. A player with Huntley’s skill set would be an asset to any team with a running quarterback like Hurts.

Honorable mention: Justin Fields

The Steelers seemed to score a better deal with a conditional sixth-round pick for the former Bear. But Pickett remains under contract for two years for very little money. Fields’ fifth-year option could cost the Steelers $25.7M in 2025 when Hurts will carry a $21.7M cap hit.

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