New Eagles Developmental QB Sudfeld is More Than a Spy
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles didn't bring in practice-squad quarterback Nate Sudfeld for a little recognizance of the team's Week 1 opponent, the Washington Redskins.
Philadelphia has had interest in Sudfeld dating back to last season when he was a sixth-round pick by the Redskins in the same draft the Eagles got Carson Wentz at No. 2 overall.
That interest blossomed when Sudfeld was let go inside the Beltway and given the option to mull his future.
Intent on improving on a developmental QB to groom behind Wentz and veteran backup Nick Foles, the Eagles started with the belle of the practice-squad ball, Kyle Sloter, who got over $20,000 a week in Minnesota before moving to Sudfeld, who developed relationships with head coach Doug Pederson, as well as offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo during the pre-draft process last year.
"I got to know them pretty well in the draft process," Sudfeld said at his new locker on Monday. "Obviously, they drafted Carson, but they still texted me and said, 'Hey, we feel like you're going to have a great career.' They always kind of seemed to be interested."
Redskins executive Doug Williams spoke very highly of Sudfeld and his ceiling as a player but the numbers game was difficult in D.C. despite a solid preseason in which the Indiana product completed 22 of 33 passes.
Washington did offer a spot on the practice squad, however, one Sudfeld ultimately turned down.
"Who knows?" Sudfeld told 973espn.com when asked what happened in Washington. "They claimed they needed help on defense. There's no ill will and no burnt bridges."
To some, it seems like a strange decision that Sudfield chose Philadelphia because Wentz is locked in here while Washington starter Kirk Cousins could be on the move next March after having the franchise tag placed on him for two consecutive seasons.
Sudfeld believes otherwise.
"[Philadelphia] is a great spot for me to develop and continue to get reps and improve as a player," he said. "I tried to look at the future to see what's going to make me the best football player in the long run."
As for this week, Sudfield downplayed his knowledge of Washington's offense and how much it could help the Eagles.
"Everything is game-plan specific," Sudfeld claimed. "I don't think [his knowledge of Jay Gruden's offense] would be all that helpful."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen