Former Penn State QB Matt McGloin to join Philadelphia Eagles: 4 thoughts to consider
Matt McGloin carved a massive imprint on the largest college football program in Pennsylvania earlier this decade, and Monday, he committed to the task of making a modest impact on an NFL team in the state.
When the Philadelphia Eagles announced they agreed to sign McGloin, a former Penn State quarterback, to a one-year contract, football fans in the state buzzed on social media. McGloin, 27, ascended from walk-on to record-setter with the Nittany Lions, and that rise ensures his presence will attract attention in Philadelphia.
Even so, it’s unclear whether McGloin’s arrival will cause a significant shift in his career or the course of the Birds’ 2017 season. He’s far from a lock to make the 53-man roster in September, and at best, the 2012 all-Big Ten honoree will enter training camp as a third-stringer behind Carson Wentz and Nick Foles.
Here are four thoughts to consider as McGloin heads to Philadelphia:
1) McGloin’s experience as an NFL starter, backup could help Wentz
The Eagles’ top decision-makers have been blunt about their long-term plans: They want to build a contender around Wentz, a 24-year-old who broke the NFL’s rookie completions record last season.
So while the Birds’ other signal-callers — Foles and McGloin — must be ready to play in case of injury, they’ll also be tasked with helping guide Wentz toward stardom. McGloin has the background to do that. He can be an asset as a mentor.
McGloin started seven games in his four seasons with the Raiders, so he’s no stranger to the demands of the position, but he’s also been sitting behind a young Pro Bowl player in David Carr the past three seasons.
If McGloin extracted lessons from watching Carr develop into a top-tier quarterback — and if he’s willing to help Wentz — he can pass those lessons along to the face of the Eagles’ franchise.
2) There’s no clear path for McGloin to return to a starting lineup
After McGloin started six games as a rookie in 2013, he settled into a backup role after the Raiders drafted Carr the next offseason. In his one start last year, McGloin suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of a playoff loss to the Texans.
In any case, McGloin likely didn’t have offers to compete for a starting job this offseason, considering he wound up as the third-stringer in Philadelphia.
McGloin could resurrect his career in Philly. A strong showing in the preseason might attract outside suitors and injuries could open up the potential of a prominent role with the Eagles.
Still, it seems unlikely McGloin will get another chance to start anytime soon. While his 75.3 career passer rating isn’t terrible, it might not be enough to convince a team that he’s worthy of a starting spot — or even a chance to be the undisputed backup.
3) The Eagles weren’t kidding about investing in QBs
After the Eagles drafted Wentz No. 2 overall last spring, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman insisted that the team would continue looking to bolster its crop of quarterbacks.
They want to have insurance behind Wentz and develop signal-callers who could garner trade value. It’s similar to how the team operated when Donovan McNabb was leading the team to five NFC championship game appearances during the 2000s.
Philly drafted quarterbacks like A.J. Feely and Kevin Kolb and signed veteran backup Jeff Garcia during McNabb’s prime.
McGloin’s arrival reinforces the Eagles’ intention of piling up quality quarterbacks. Behind Wentz, Foles and McGloin have combined to throw for 67 career touchdown passes.
4) McGloin’s arrival doesn’t preclude the Eagles from drafting a QB
Sticking with the theme of stocking signal-callers, the Eagles likely will continue to consider selecting a quarterback in the late rounds of this month’s NFL draft.
Last season, the Eagles had two quarterbacks (Wentz, Chase Daniel) on the active roster throughout the season and kept one on the practice squad (Aaron Murray). But they invited four to training camp (McLeod Bethel-Thompson was the fourth), and they could mimic that plan this season.
Drafting a quarterback might seem to cause overcrowding in the position room, especially when the Eagles have other thin areas on the roster. Philly, though, has surprised outsiders with an abundance of high-priced quarterbacks in the recent past.
Remember when the team re-signed Sam Bradford, added Daniel and drafted Wentz last offseason?
If you do, you probably understand it’s unwise to assume the Eagles are done adding signal-callers.
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