Saturday's NFL: Minshew Mania moves on as Jaguars trade beloved QB to Eagles
Minshew Mania is on the move.
The Jacksonville Jaguars traded popular backup quarterback Gardner Minshew to Philadelphia on Saturday for a conditional draft pick in 2022. The Jaguars received a sixth-round pick that would become a fifth-rounder if Minshew plays 50% of snaps in three games.
The trade allows Jacksonville to move to C.J. Beathard as Trevor Lawrence's backup and gives Minshew a fresh start in an offense tailored for Jalen Hurts. The Eagles also have 36-year-old Joe Flacco in their now-revamped QB room. They released Nick Mullens to make room for Minshew.
The Jaguars first put Minshew on the trading block during the NFL draft in April, but they didn't get any takers. Coach Urban Meyer ended up having Minshew split repetitions with Lawrence when training camp opened — an odd QB competition that no one believed was anything more than a coach sending a message to a young team.
Lawrence was finally made the starter Wednesday, and Meyer said Minshew would compete for the backup spot with Beathard.
Minshew went 7-13 in 20 starts in Jacksonville after replacing injury-prone Nick Foles. He completed 63% of his passes for 5,530 yards, with 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
He started 12 games in 2019, putting up better overall numbers than fellow rookies Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones and creating a “Minshew Mania” buzz around the city and parts of the country.
His quirky fashion sense, which includes jean shorts, Hawaiian shirts, a thick headband, a throwback leisure suit and ever-evolving facial hair, made him a fan favorite shortly after the Jags drafted him in the sixth round in 2019. His laid-back personality and quick wit made him even more beloved in small-market Jacksonville, which has spent decades longing to find a franchise quarterback.
Minshew was good enough as a rookie that then-Jaguars coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell, who is now a personnel executive for Philly, gave him a chance to prove he could be Jacksonville’s long-term guy.
Minshew started the first seven games in 2020, throwing 13 touchdown passes and five interceptions, but he also took 22 sacks.
The Jaguars essentially made their decision then, turning to rookie Jake Luton and then journeyman Mike Glennon. Minshew regained the starting spot briefly late in the year, but he was sacked five times at Baltimore and missed several open receivers deep. He also took a safety, lost a fumble and had an interception that was returned for a touchdown negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty.
The bottom line: Minshew has shown more flaws than flashes since opposing defenses figured him out. He’s a 6-foot-1 quarterback with an average arm and mediocre mobility. And no one really expected him to get the nod over Lawrence, widely considered the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck.
Now, the guy nicknamed the “Mississippi Mustache” — he grew up in Mississippi and made college stops at Troy, Northwest Mississippi Community College, East Carolina and finally Washington State — is looking for a little more love elsewhere.
His new teammates should prepare themselves for his arrival. Minshew prefers to do pregame stretches while wearing only a jock strap. He also once took a hammer to his right hand at East Carolina in a misguided attempt to extend his college career.
He also filmed a skit for ESPN's pregame show that featured Uncle Rico from the 2004 offbeat comedy “Napoleon Dynamite.” Rico Dynamite is an overly nostalgic former athlete trying to get over his failed dreams of NFL stardom.
It was all part of Minshew Mania, which might add to Philadelphia's football lore some day.
Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins injures left knee in preseason finale
Landover, Md. — Running back J.K. Dobbins injured his left knee early in the Baltimore Ravens preseason finale Saturday at Washington.
Dobbins went down in pain after being tackled by Jimmy Moreland and Jordan Kunaszyk on a screen pass from Lamar Jackson, who was making his exhibition debut. Dobbins was attended to on the field, went to the blue injury tent and was carted off the sideline and ruled out for the remainder of the game.
The field at FedEx Field was redone in the offseason. Notable leg or knee injuries on the previous surface include Washington QBs Robert Griffin III, Alex Smith and Kyle Allen and most recently Cincinnati's Joe Burrow last season.
Dobbins rushed for 15 yards on two carries before the injury. The Ohio State product ran for 805 yards and nine touchdowns and had 18 catches for 120 yards during his rookie season last year and was again expected to split carries in Baltimore’s backfield with Gus Edwards.
Dobbins had seven carries for 8 yards in the Ravens' first two preseason games. Baltimore has won 19 consecutive exhibition games going back to 2019, tied with Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers for the longest streak in NFL history.
After sitting out the first two preseason games, Jackson played one series at Washington. He finished 3 of 4 for 29 yards and was sacked twice before giving way to Tyler Huntley, who's the second string with Trace McSorley out.
Washington also lost reserve cornerback Torry McTyer in the first half for evaluation of a possible concussion. McTyer is on the bubble for the 53-man roster.
... The NFL has suspended New York Giants linebacker Ryan Anderson for the first six games of the regular season for violating the league policy on performance enhancers.
While Anderson can play in Sunday's final preseason game against New England, the league announced Saturday that he will be suspended through the team’s Week 6 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
Anderson opened training camp on New York's non-football injury list because of a back issue. The Giants cut him early in August, then re-signed him.
Anderson spent the last four seasons with Washington, making four starts.
... Versatile veteran offensive lineman Greg Mancz was traded Saturday by the Baltimore Ravens to the Miami Dolphins, and the teams swapped undisclosed draft picks.
The Dolphins also placed linebacker Vince Biegel on injured reserve. He missed the 2020 season because of an Achilles tendon injury.
Mancz, who was undrafted out of Toledo, made 28 starts for Houston from 2015 to 2020, including 16 at center in 2016. He played in only four games last year, and the Ravens signed him during the offseason.
The Dolphins struggled to run the ball in 2020 and have sought to improve depth in their offensive line.