Does Nevada’s Carson Strong regret signing with the Eagles?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Standing in the visitors’ locker room at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday night, 22-year-old Carson Strong made an admission about his summer.

“Yeah, it didn’t go the way I expected,” Strong said.

On the one hand, maybe we all had too high expectations for Strong in his first NFL training camp; he was an undrafted rookie after all.

But on the other hand, Strong’s contract included $320,000 guaranteed because despite concerns about a lingering knee injury, he still threw for over 4,000 yards with 36 touchdowns at Nevada last season. He was considered a high-round pick not too long ago.

And then this summer he barely played.

“I think that’s just the NFL as an undrafted free agent, fourth-string quarterback,” Strong said. “It will not be easy for me. I have a long way to go if I want to make a career in this league, which I absolutely do and I believe I can. I just have to control what I can control, keep improving every day and do what the coaches tell me.”

In Saturday’s preseason finale — a brutal 48-10 loss to the Dolphins — Strong got his biggest job of the summer. He played a total of 7 snaps and completed 1 of 3 passes for 6 yards. In his entire preseason, Strong saw action in just two games, totaling 15 tackles on just four pass attempts.

Coach Nick Sirianni explained Strong’s limited playing time Saturday, saying he wanted to get Gardner Minshew and Reid Sinnett.

But what’s worse about Strong is that he barely took any reps in practice. Jalen Hurts was with them, Minshew with doubles, Sinnett with threes, and Strong was often left out completely. There were practices where he didn’t even get a rep in team drills.

So he devolved into “mental replay,” thinking about what he would do if he were ever in the situation where, you know, he was playing football.

“I just try to control what I can control,” Strong said. “I’d like to go out there and show them what I can do, but like I said, I trust these coaches and whenever they feel confident in me going out there, I’m going to make sure I’m ready .

When we found out the Eagles gave Strong $320,000 in guaranteed money, many thought he was a player to be their third-string quarterback. The curious thing here is that it seems like the Eagles never gave him a chance to compete for that spot. Maybe Strong really didn’t deserve those reps, but it really gives the impression that the front office and coaching staff weren’t on the same page.

However, Strong on Saturday night made it clear that he trusts the Eagles coaching staff and has no regrets about signing with the Eagles.

“Absolutely not,” Strong said. “This is a great organization to be a part of, this is a great football team with great coaches and a great owner. It’s an organization run from the owner to the GM to the coaches. These people know what they are doing. This is a great roster and I’m very happy to have the opportunity to be on this team and be a part of it.”

Strong enjoyed being part of the Eagles’ quarterback room with Hurts, Minshew and Sinnett. He said he learned a lot from all of them, but especially Hurts and Minshew, who have significant NFL experience. No matter what happens, Strong said, he’ll be pulling for those three.

The Eagles and the rest of the NFL teams must cut their rosters from 80 to 53 by Tuesday at 4 p.m. Based on what we’ve seen — or not seen — from Strong this summer, he won’t go to be on the 53-man roster. Perhaps, he stays as a practice squad player.

Or maybe he ends up somewhere else, where he’s actually given more opportunities. If that happens, The Curious Case of Carson Strong will live on in Eagles lore.

“Eventually, I’ll get a chance in the preseason or a real game, whatever it is,” he said. “Eventually, I’ll get a chance to go out there and perform. I just have to make sure I’m ready when my opportunity comes.”

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