After all the combine and draft hype, I was tempted to make this article an Eagles‘ mock draft. However, my belief has been for years: “Mock drafts are absolutely POINTLESS until free agency shakes out and teams have a clearer idea of what positions they need.” So, let’s discuss a hot topic in Philadelphia sports — what to do with Sir Nicholas Foles. A third-round pick who contemplated retirement to become a pastor led a team with one of the league’s longest Super Bowl droughts to a Lombardi Trophy. You’ve heard the narrative several times by now, but Foles will live among Philadelphia folklore in perpetuity.
Plenty of articles and rumors regarding a Foles trade have circulated the web since his stellar Super Bowl run, but the Eagles should not even acknowledge this notion unless a King’s ransom is being offered for his services. How many backup quarterbacks have the experience, let alone the capability, to win multiple games for a team, including five straight to win a Super Bowl? Not to mention, Carson Wentz is still rehabbing from a horrific ACL/LCL tear and might not be game ready for week one. That being said, a team willing to deal first-round picks for Foles will likely earn the attention of Howie Roseman.
Teams lacking a starting caliber quarterback tend to get desperate as week one approaches. Last year, after the news regarding Andrew Luck’s injury grew dimmer, the Colts traded wide receiver Phillip Dorsett for the Patriots’ third string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. The year before, on almost the same date in September, the Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings for a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 fourth-round pick. However, Foles, a Super Bowl MVP, would likely have a much larger asking price. But the two notable trades do come to mind.
In 2002, after a backup named Tom Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl, Drew Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills for the the 14th overall pick. Bledsoe had more accolades to his name as a starter, but was also 30-years old. And possibly the biggest fleece of a trade in NFL history came in 1999. Randall Cunningham took over the Vikings starting quarterback role, and Minnesota consequently traded Brad Johnson to the Redskins. In return they received the 11th and 73rd overall picks in the 1999 draft, as well as a 2000 second-round pick. The Vikings used one of those picks to select none other than quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
Between free agency, trades and the NFL Draft, there will be plenty of roster shifts around the league. But as of now, here are the teams in need of a quality quarterback or viable backup:
Cleveland Browns – DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler
New York Jets – Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty
Denver Broncos – Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly, Trevor Siemian
Arizona Cardinals – Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton, Matt Barkley
Buffalo Bills – Tyrod Taylor, Nathan Peterman
Minnesota Vikings – Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater
All of these teams are searching for a guy they believe could be their “franchise” quarterbacks. Approximately 67% of them will swing and miss. One interesting team I did not include above was Foles’ former team and former head coach, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs moved on from Alex Smith in a trade with the Redskins and passed the torch to 2017 first-round pick Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes started one game in his rookie season and it appears the Chiefs are entering a ‘rebuild mode’ with their recent transactions.
However, the Smith trade holds much more clout than initially thought. In that trade, the Chiefs received the 78th overall pick (third-round) in this year’s draft. It is known the Eagles are without a second or third round pick in the draft and, while an enormous stretch, if the Chiefs offered their 2019 first-round pick plus that for Foles, Howie would have to consider it.
Personally, I believe the Eagles must keep Nick Foles for 2018 not only because of Wentz’s injury, but also because having two starting caliber quarterbacks is simply invaluable. As mentioned, teams tend to get more desperate as their roster takes shape and their ‘franchise quarterback’ is not panning out as expected. If a team were to offer an RG3 type package, then we may have seen the last of Foles in Philly.