Lurie: Mortgaging the Future Can Make Sense

Jeffrey Lurie. Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY

Jeffrey Lurie. Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY

PHOENIX, Ariz. — The question posed to Jeffrey Lurie concerned the power structure that he settled on earlier this offseason.

Was there risk in choosing a model where the head coach has complete control?

“The only model to me that correlates to having big success in the NFL is having a Hall of Fame, franchise quarterback,” Lurie said. “Then you can put any system around that player, and you can rationalize that structure.”

His comment was completely fair. Great quarterbacks oftentimes make mediocre coaches and general managers look extraordinary. And Lurie has been consistent in his belief that the Eagles need a franchise quarterback to finally bring home a Lombardi Trophy.

The question is: Who is that quarterback going to be?

Lurie had some very nice things to say about Sam Bradford, but towards the end of his 40-minute session with reporters, the Eagles owner was asked if he agreed with Chip Kelly’s proclamation that the team would not mortgage its future for Marcus Mariota.

“It’s great to mortgage the future for Peyton Manning,” Lurie said. “It’s not very good to mortgage it for Ryan Leaf. It’s great to mortgage it for Donovan McNabb, but not for Tim Couch or Cade McNown. Again, it comes back to people. It’s not a system. If the Redskins had traded for Andrew [Luck], we’d all be saying what a great trade. So, you tell me.”

Asked which side Mariota’s on, Lurie said: “I have no idea yet.”

Throughout the press conference, Lurie used the word bold, and he spoke often about molding the team to fit Kelly’s vision.

When Lurie brought up different models of success, he consistently mentioned the quarterback.

“Try to pick the best head coach you can, the best evaluators you can, and don’t put your feather on structure,” Lurie said. “Because the best structure is a franchise quarterback that’s going to play for 10-15 years for your franchise.”

Given the way the offseason’s gone, it’d be silly to rule out the possibility of a trade-up until Mariota’s name is officially called by another team on draft night.