After taking the league by storm in 2019, Gardner Minshew became an afterthought in Duval once the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Trevor Larwence. The mustachioed quarterback was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles before the beginning of the 2021 season and has been waiting for an opportunity to show what he can do on the field. He might get in Week 13 against the New York Jets.
Minshew took a significant number of reps in the days preceding the game, as Jalen Hurts is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. While the 2019 sixth-round pick is a good bet to make his first start for the Eagles, there are conflicting reports about who’s going to get the nod. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports the team wants to wait before making a call. On the other hand, analyst Derrick Gunn says Hurts is out. Things will eventually be sorted out but as of this writing, it looks like Philly will wait until the last moment to make a decision.
Update: Jalen Hurts is officially inactive, per Adam Schefter, paving the way for Gardner Minshew to start.
Minshew competed with Lawrence for the Jaguars’ quarterback job this past summer but ended up losing. He was traded to Philly after the first preseason game and has served as Hurts backup this season. After a promising rookie campaign in 2019, he injured his thumb and got benched in the middle of the 2020 season. The Washington State product appeared in 23 games with 20 starts during his two-year tenure in Jacksonville. He completed 62.9 percent of his passes with 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Gardner Minshew could be playing for a future job in the NFL.
It’s not a given that Minshew will start but if he does, he will be playing for an NFL job. He will most likely return to the bench once Hurts is healthy but putting up some good tape will increase the market for his services once he hits the open market in 2023.
After all, the demand for competent quarterbacks outweighs the demand and the former Cougar has 20 starts under his belt. Moreover, he was an enticing trading target because he’s still on his rookie contract. This season, he’s making $850,000 and is set to earn $965,000 in 2023 but if he takes advantage of his limited playing time, he could cash in and even compete for a starting job once he becomes a free agent.
Looking back, the Jaguars made the right decision when they traded Minshew. Lawrence has struggled at times in 2021 but has also displayed the talent that made him the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Simply, there was no longer room for Minshew in Jacksonville.
Now, just because Gardner Minshew plays somewhere else doesn’t mean you shouldn’t root for him to succeed. He gave his everything back in Jacksonville. He made the 2019 season fun to watch and for a moment, it looked like he was the long-term answer at quarterback. He wasn’t, at least in Jacksonville but that doesn’t mean he enjoy a fruitful career as a starting quarterback somewhere else. For that to happen, he will need to make the most of his playing time.