hould we be agreeing that Jalen Hurts is another example of a “new” kind of quarterback, which BetOnline patrons have seen with Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and others, who can dictate the tone of a game with his feet as well as his arm?

Up until this year, the latter wasn’t so evident. But when the Philadelphia Eagles went out and acquired AJ Brown, it gave him the necessary ammunition to prove himself.

And he did.

Hurts got his team to the Super Bowl, in the process creating a balance between the run and the pass that wasn’t really there in 2021. In the 2021 season, they ran the ball on 50% of their plays, but let’s not forget that it was more pronounced in the second half of the season (we’ll get to that in a moment). In 2022, it was again a 50-50 proposition, but it was more deadly with the addition of Brown.

So Hurts, following the rather immobile Carson Wentz, was the right guy coming along at the right time.

Head coach Nick Sirianni, who was struggling with this team in his first season (on the heels of the firing of Doug Pederson), made the decision to move toward a run-first approach with Hurts, who could fit into that as a second (and occasionally third) ball-carrier. The stars were somewhat aligned; the offensive line, even in a discouraging 2020 season, was very good at blocking for the run, and there was a good back named Miles Sanders who averaged five yards per carry.

And frankly, I think there were doubts as to whether Sirianni himself thought that Hurts could carry a team, or come close to it, on the strength of his right arm. When he played at Alabama, opposing defenses were happy when he got into passing situations on this down, because he often faltered. Of course, third and long didn’t happen all that often.

But ultimately, when the chips were down, he had to be removed for a relief pitcher. In the case of the Crimson Tide, that was a national championship game against Georgia, as Tua Tagovailoa revived a rather moribund offense and drove it to a come-from-behind win.

Hurts stuck around another year, but even though he had 25 TD’s and just three interceptions in his previous two seasons, he really started to crush it with the Oklahoma Sooners. I don’t know if there is any other way to say this, but Lincoln Riley worked his magic on him. Hurts was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, giving Riley some amazing balance in the offense, with 3851 passing yards and 1298 on the ground.

Riley has taken guys like Baker Mayfield, the aforementioned Murray, and Caleb Williams and got them rolling with his brand of offense. All of them were transfers, and all of them became Heisman winners.

Hurts finished as the runner-up to Joe Burrow, and that wasn’t so bad.

But did success in Riley’s attack translate to the NFL? Or was he just a “system” quarterback?

There must have been enough scouts who thought the Heisman runner-up couldn’t bring it at the highest level. And to some extent, that was understandable. Well, as we know by now, he brought it in a big way.

But should he have become the highest-paid player in NFL history, if only for a matter of days?

He just signed a five-year contract extension with the Eagles which will yield him $255 million. And $179 million of that is guaranteed. So he’s making more than Patrick Mahomes, whose team just beat his in the Super Bowl. And was in fact making more than anyone EVER until Lamar Jackson signed his new deal.

This is a happy time for Hurts, obviously, and for Eagles fans. But for how long? We wouldn’t want to take anything away from Hurts, but some of the prowess he’s shown in throwing the ball has to do with his effectiveness running the ball, if for no other reason than it has been a diversion, if you will.

But when looking at what has happened with these quarterbacks who run around a lot, there is always going to be that hazard when it comes to taking punishment. Running backs undergo some wear and tear, but they can come in and out of ballgames. Quarterbacks don’t really have that luxury. Sooner or later that will take its toll.

And defensive coordinators are smart enough that they can eventually figure out what’s going on with the running QB’s, and devise something to restrict it. That will obviously be the plan for Hurts; to make him one-dimensional. So far they haven’t been able to do that.

Containing the quarterback is a challenge that personnel people on the defensive side may have more success with as time progresses, simply because the people rushing or “spying” the passer are getting faster and faster.

We also wonder what would happen if, at some point in the next few years, Sirianni gets the ax because things aren’t going as well as expected. Don’t laugh; Pederson won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2017 season and made the playoffs for two years after that, then was sent packing after the 2020 campaign.

It was a scheme Sirianni sponsored that got Hurts and the Eagles to the next level. If Philadelphia has to change coaches sometime in the next half-decade, will the new guy be as Hurts-friendly?

Maybe we’re just talking crazy, but you’re seeing a LOT of guaranteed money on the table. Is Hurts the future, or will there be something “next” that leaves him in the dust?

Currently the Eagles, who selected Georgia’s Jalen Carter in the first round of the NFL Draft and traded for running back D’Andre Swift, are priced at -120 to win the NFC East and +800 to win Super Bowl LVIII at BetOnline, where you can feast on NFL Futures betting RIGHT NOW, and make your deposits using your credit card or choose from the many crypto options they have ready and waiting for you!