Since the Eagles were eliminated from the postseason on Jan. 16, speculation has swirled about whether Jalen Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback next season. On Tuesday, the likelihood that Hurts starts Week 1 increased, as two of the biggest available quarterbacks came off the market.
First, reports emerged that Aaron Rodgers would be returning to the Green Bay Packers for another season, which he later confirmed via Twitter. Then Russell Wilson followed, as the Seattle Seahawks signal caller is headed to Denver in a blockbuster trade pending a physical.
Wilson, 33, has been linked with the Eagles on and off for more than a year now, although GM Howie Roseman and coach Nick Sirianni recently reiterated that the team believes in Hurts and thinks he will only get better with experience.
Now that the Rodgers and Wilson dominoes have fallen, it looks more and more like Hurts will be the guy again. Then again, the Eagles’ actions hint there could potentially be another surprise to come.
Rodgers and Wilson weren’t the only players to find other destinations than Philly on Tuesday, as a key free-agent wide receiver, a position of need for the Birds, also signed elsewhere. Marcus Hayes writes on a disappointing Tuesday all around for the Eagles.
— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport
Should the Eagles stand pat with Jalen Hurts or should they move for someone like Deshaun Watson or Jimmy Garoppolo? Tell us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Off the Dribble
Ben Simmons is once again the talk of Philly for reasons other than his play on the court. Even though Simmons took the stage for his introductory press conference and said he would love to play against the 76ers on March 10, the Nets have confirmed that he is not healthy enough to return.
Now the question has shifted from whether Simmons will play to whether he will show up on the Nets bench Thursday. Asked if Simmons should be honored if he is seen at the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals, coach Doc Rivers said the three-time All-Star should be given a tribute video during his return.
”Ben did a lot of good things here, you know?” Rivers said. “It didn’t end well, right? Just like marriages and all kinds of other things don’t end well. … I don’t know if we are [giving him one] or not. But if we did, I’d have no issues with it.”
Next: The Sixers take on the Nets at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (TNT). As mentioned, Simmons will be in the building.
On the Fly
Scott Laughton has been one of the Flyers’ best players this season, but the versatile forward almost chose a different career path.
That’s because Laughton was a terrific youth lacrosse player and had a father, Craig, who represented the Canadian national team in the sport. Giana Han talked with Laughton about his first love and how the sport has helped him develop skills that translate to the ice.
On the ice, Laughton (one assist) and the Flyers made it two wins in a row, as Carter Hart posted a career-high 47 saves in a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
Next: After an eight-game homestand, the Flyers head to Sunrise, Fla., to take on the Atlantic Division-leading Panthers at 7 p.m. Thursday (NBCSP).
Worth a Look
Coach Jay? With Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski set to say goodbye to basketball, who will succeed him as the king of March Madness? Mike Sielski makes the case for Villanova’s Jay Wright, already a two-time NCAA champion, to assume the throne.
McKie making strides: In Aaron McKie’s third season since taking over for Fran Dunphy, his Owls needed to show signs of progress. Whether they win the AAC Tournament or not, Mike Jensen argues they did just that. With a young team that hangs its hat on defense, the Owls are suddenly worth watching again.
Last chance to dance: The 2021-22 season hasn’t gone as expected for the La Salle men’s basketball team (10-18), but entering the Atlantic 10 Tournament on a three-game winning streak, the Explorers are still dreaming of their one shining moment. Siobhan Nolan talked with coach Ashley Howard before the team embarks on its quest to win five games in five days.
Pride of the Catholic League: Roman Catholic’s Khalil Farmer is signed to play with the Hofstra Pride next season, but after returning home to Philly, Farmer first has business to finish. That starts Wednesday in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament when Roman takes on Archbishop Ryan.
What You Said
We asked you:
Will Ben Simmons show up to the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday and attend the Sixers-Nets matchup?
“I predict he will not likely be sitting on a bench in Philly. If his mental health is fragile, why would he choose to be booed and taunted? If I were his counselor, I would not advise it. Even though I personally feel he should pull up his big boy pants and face his fears.” — Paula N.
“He absolutely will NOT be on the bench. Unfortunately he’s a weak and sorry excuse for a Pro.” — Brian L.
Flyers goalie Carter Hart set a career high with 47 saves on Tuesday night in a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. The 47 saves were tied for the second-highest total by a Flyers goalie in a game in which that goalie surrendered fewer than two goals. Darren Jensen posted a 48-save shutout in 1986 against the St. Louis Blues, while Antero Niittymäki equaled Hart’s 47-save outing in a 7-1 win over Washington in 2008.
We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from EJ Smith, Giana Han, Mike Sielski, Marcus Hayes, Olivia Alex Coffey, Mike Jensen, Olivia Reiner and Joey Piatt.