The Philadelphia Eagles Make Yet Another Puzzling Deal
- Updated: March 11, 2015
The Philadelphia Eagles have been tinkering with things this offseason all over the place. They let their top receiver, Jeremy Maclin, go to the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency, and they traded a top five running back in LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills with no replacement there at all. But the Eagles and Chip Kelly were not done with the tinkering just there. The Eagles got rid of their starting quarterback for the 2014 opener when they shipped Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams and acquired the services of veteran quarterback Sam Bradford. The Eagles included a fourth-round pick for this year’s draft and a fourth-round pick for next year’s draft in the deal and the Rams sent a fifth round pick as well to the Eagles with Bradford. Again Chip Kelly has tinkered with the team in Philly as now the starting quarterback, running back and wide receiver for their 2014 season are gone to new teams. Both teams have a new quarterback but there are questions surrounding them.
The St. Louis Rams have been hoping that Bradford could stay healthy last season. Unfortunately, he went down again this past season with another ACL tear. So it makes perfect sense for the Rams to get rid of him if they could. They found someone to take on his contract and acquired their potential starter next season as well. Foles was excellent for the Eagles in 2013. When he took over as starter for Michael Vick, he completed 64% of his passes while throwing for 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions. The Eagles thought they had their starter of the future when he put up those numbers for Chip Kelly in his first year. Unfortunately, this past season he got injured and was not able to play most of the season. But when he did play, he was not the same guy that he was in 2013. Foles was missing the passes he hit the previous season and just overall seemed a bit off. He played in only eight games last season and threw 10 interceptions on his way to having a forgettable season. It was assumed that he would be back this year and everyone would figure out if he was the guy in Philly or not. But as the offseason buzz became bigger about Chip Kelly’s affinity for his former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariotta, the writing on the wall became clear that he was not going to be there next season. So now he enters the season with the Rams as the potential starter in the NFC West. Foles has had one good season and one bad season, so the Rams have to figure out who Foles really is. Is he the guy that was around in 2013 or the guy that showed up in 2014 before he was injured? If he is the guy that showed up in 2013, he will be the answer at quarterback for the Rams. He can make all the throws with the arm that he has, but if he proves to be the guy in 2014, at the least the Rams dropped Sam Bradford’s contract and gained draft picks. Essentially, the Rams win regardless in this one.
For the Eagles, they just acquired a quarterback that has been injured two seasons in a row with a torn ACL. Bradford has been uneven in the times that he has started, but there is no guarantee that he will make it through the season. Essentially, the Eagles may be crossing their fingers that Bradford even makes it through the season. But the odds of that happening in regards to Bradford are not very high at this point and time. The one good thing about the Bradford trade is they could potentially use him as a bargaining chip in a trade to get a pick and get Mariotta. The ultimate goal seems to be for Chip to acquire the former Oregon quarterback to run his system at the professional level. Some may like this plan and others may hate it, but it seems to be the end game here. But what happens if what seems to be the case does not happen? If the Eagles are not able to get Mariotta, they are stuck with an injury-riddled quarterback and a guy that has not been the best performer at quarterback in Mark Sanchez. The Eagles could potentially be looking at a regression due to the loss of so many players and inadequacy at quarterback. Bradford is also a key for the Eagles in one other aspect as well. If he does not play at all this season, the Eagles get a third-round pick back in 2016. The best thing the Eagles can hope for is they are able to move Bradford to get Mariotta or that Bradford does not play at all next season. If he does play, that trade does not look that great for the Eagles except for potentially some salary cap space once he is done in 2014 in Philly. Other than that, there is not a lot of positives that can be made out of this one, unless Bradford shocks the world, stays healthy and plays well.
Ultimately, Chip Kelly is rolling the dice again while the Rams are trying to get what they hope is their franchise quarterback in place. Both are taking a chance, but it seems like the Eagles are taking the bigger chance of the two teams. Only time will tell, but this one does not look well on the outside in for the Eagles.