Eagles Wake-Up Call: Is Alex Smith A Fit For Chip?

Expect Alex Smith’s name to come up quite a bit in the coming weeks.

The story is pretty well-known at this point: The former No. 1 overall pick, in the midst of his best season as a pro, lost his job to Colin Kaepernick after suffering a concussion against the Rams back in November. Kaepernick pounced on the opportunity and has the Niners one win away from a Lombardi. Smith is now the odd-man out in San Francisco.

“It sucks, to put it frankly,” Smith told Peter King. “Tough pill to swallow.”

Smith has handled the situation well by all accounts, but the circumstances are such where it makes sense for both parties to move on. The 28-year-old is scheduled to make $8.5 million next season, $7.5 of which is reportedly guaranteed on April 1. According to PFT, Smith is expected to ask for his outright release before the start of free agency. It seems more likely that the 49ers would try to work out a trade. This is a thin quarterback market, and they might be able to get a decent return.

CBS Sports recently put together a list of the top five quarterbacks that could potentially be available in free agency, and it’s not great. Joe Flacco is one, and there’s no chance the Ravens let him walk.  Michael Vick is second, Smith is third, and Brian Hoyer and Kevin Kolb round out the list.

The Eagles have a little more time than first expected to make a decision on Vick (more on that in a second), but a decision will have to be made nonetheless. If Chip Kelly opts to part with No. 7, there is logic to bringing in a veteran to compete with Nick Foles. Smith ran the spread-option under Urban Meyer at Utah, which could be appealing to Kelly. And he would be getting a motivated QB who has thrown 30 touchdowns to 10 interceptions over the past two seasons, helping the Niners to a 19-5-1 record in that time.

In a year with no slam-dunk options at quarterback, Smith may be an option worth exploring.

WHAT YOU MISSED

LeSean McCoy issues an apology after his Twitter spat.

As Kapadia writes, there are some deal-breakers for Kelly when it comes to personnel.

Billy Davis is now in the mix for the Eagles’ DC job.

Mike Mayock breaks down the QB draft class.

Just how young are the Eagles? Sheil takes a look.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

More on Vick:

Jason La Canfora reports that the Eagles are not in a rush to make a decision on Vick.

Much has been made of the fact that $3 million of Mike Vick’s $16.5 million deal with the Eagles becomes guaranteed if he is on their roster come Feb. 6, but sources said that issue is not a concern at this time, and it’s unlikely Vick’s contract will be resolved before then.

New coach Chip Kelly is evaluating the situation and how Vick fits in his spread offense. The Eagles are determining how much they might be willing to pay Vick, if they do ask him to take a pay cut. Vick will not absorb any significant salary cut to remain with the Eagles, sources said, but there could be some wiggle room to work something out.

Jeff McLane explains why the Eagles might not be so concerned about that $3 million guarantee kicking in:

The Eagles quarterback is due that amount on Feb. 6, but the team is likely to buy time until the start of free agency on March 11 because of a provision in Vick’s contract.

The Eagles would only owe him the money if no one else picked him up or if someone signed him for less than $3 million, per an NFL source.

COMING UP

Plenty more on what is turning out to be a busy offseason for the Birds.

Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Checking In on Nick Foles

With Mike Kafka sidelined  2-3 weeks because of a  broken hand, Nick Foles (The Chosen One) got to run with the second team Saturday. Here’s how he fared in the afternoon practice:

Foles tried to recreate Thursday’s magic with a bomb down the left sideline to Mardy Gilyard to start things off. This time, though, Brandon Hughes made a nice play on the ball to force an incompletion.

During one-on-ones, Foles’ quick out  to DeSean Jackson was broken up by Nnamdi Asomugha. He responded with a deep pass to Tiger Jones down the right sideline that dropped right over the defender and into the waiting hands of his receiver. One of the top plays of the day.

There were mixed results against the blitz. He was able to beat the pressure on one occasion with a quick pop to Marvin McNutt, who found daylight. Other times he was unable to get the ball off.

There were a couple ducks and a couple beauties. The type of up-and-down  play, in other words, that you would expect out of a rookie. Foles has an opportunity to make things interesting.  Let’s see if he can find his stroke against New England now that injury has allowed him to take a step up the depth chart.

WHAT YOU MISSED

A whole bunch, actually. A very newsy Saturday. Super-agent Bob LaMonte stirred things up during his drop-by  Eagles training camp, telling a small group of reporters that Jeffrey Lurie has stated to him on numerous occasions that as long as he is the owner, Andy Reid will be the coach. Lurie felt compelled to issue a statement in response. Read all about it here.

Michael Vick’s thumb is still a bit swollen but he was able to practice. He described the injury as “petty.” Vick has a new left tackle, at least for the week, as King Dunlap has taken over for Demetress Bell.

Sheil was a busy man Saturday. Aside from his practice observations, he also continued his review of Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh by spotlighting the defensive line and the Eagles’ offense.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Clark Judge of CBS Sports gives a full camp report on the Eagles. Though he lays out the potential pitfalls, it’s pretty clear that Judge is bullish on them.

The Giants are quietly confident about their chances to repeat as division champions, but I’ll be honest: They’re not the best team in the NFC East; the Eagles are … provided, of course, they avoid the minefields that kept them down a year ago.

In case you missed it, Peter King posted this glowing review of RGIII’s preseason debut against the Bills.

The stats were good (4-of-6, 70 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, a 145.3 rating), but the other facets of his short night of work — the presence, the confidence running a new offense for the first time against a team trying to hit him, the touch on two arcing throws — were more impressive. Griffin didn’t play like a rookie. He played like a third-year player used to his offense and the play-calls.

WHAT’S NEXT

Juan Castillo addresses the media following an 8:15 morning walkthrough. Afternoon practice is at 2:45 with running backs and linebackers scheduled to sign autographs afterwards. Just three days left of camp.

Follow Tim on Twitter or email him at tmcmanus@phillymag.com.