Wake Up Call: Could Foles Be Trade Chip?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Today’s question comes via email from reader Matt:

I had a question about the Eagles drafting Mariota (you’ve heard of that possibility right???). I’ve seen the arm and a leg scenarios about what we’d need to give up to go from 20 to the top five. I’ve heard the names Cox and McCoy most often when talking about adding in current players in addition to draft picks…What I don’t think I’ve seen yet is Foles’ name mentioned as a bargaining chip. He has to have value around the league, right? Wouldn’t one of these teams at the top like the Bucs, Titans or Jets want to hedge their bets a little on drafting a quarterback and instead take Foles who has shown some success, plus our 1st round pick and maybe one more or a 2nd round? That would cut down on the amount of picks for us to give up, while still giving that team a viable starting option from Day 1. I know it’s a big gamble to give up on Foles, but if we think Mariota is the answer, there’s no point in having 2 QB’s right?

 First, we should acknowledge that all trade scenarios mentioned to this point have been concocted for conversational purposes only. Still, it is interesting that Nick Foles is rarely mentioned as a trade chip when discussing a potential move for Marcus Mariota.I guess the mind flips to players that are considered the most valuable. But would the Eagles really part ways with the best defensive prospect they have had in years?  And would a a last-place team really  be inclined to move out of the top of the draft for a running back with close to 1,500 career carries and a $10 million salary?

A package that includes Foles, on the other hand, makes more sense. As you referenced, Matt, a quarterback-needy team will still be quarterback needy if it gives up the opportunity to grab Mariota — unless a QB is included in the deal.

Does Foles have value around the league? I would think so. There are plenty of teams that have struggled at that position for a long time, and I’m guessing a 6-foot-6 26-year-old with 46 touchdowns to 17 interceptions in 28 career games might look like a pretty appealing option to the bulk of them. And he comes cheap to start. Foles is scheduled to make $660,000 next season before his rookie contract runs out. Plug him in for a year, see how he does, and take it from there.

Just over the past couple days we heard Jon Gruden say that a lot of team around the league would trade for Foles, and NJ.com  mentioned the Rams specifically as a team that would have interest if he were to become available. None of this should come as a surprise. Foles might have some flaws, but he would provide an upgrade at the quarterback position for a good number of teams across the NFL.

The Arizona product had at least one suitor following his rookie season. Andy Reid was interested in bringing Foles with him to Kansas City, and I believe he would have sacrificed a second-round pick to make it happen. The Eagles decided to  hold onto Foles  and were rewarded with a 27-and-2 campaign. This year, a dropoff. What happens next season is anybody’s guess, but safe to say some organizations wouldn’t mind rolling the dice.

Will the Eagles be better off if they swap Foles and some picks for Mariota? That’s the question that should be at the root of the debate. As McCoy noted recently, they are trying to win now, and subtracting a veteran signal-caller and some draft picks seems counter-productive in that regard. On the other hand, if Kelly can secure his franchise quarterback, short-term sacrifices may lead to big long-term gains. And who knows, maybe he can flourish right away.

Could they maneuver into position for Mariota without giving up Foles? Perhaps. But it’s worth considering that the high-wire act might have to be performed without the benefit of a safety net.


The latest on the GM search, and an update on possible free-agent target Byron Maxwell.

Gruden believes the Eagles are lucky to have Nick Foles on their roster.

Sheil looks into a possible role expansion for Jordan Matthews in 2015.


Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly gives his thoughts on Ed Marynowitz as a potential candidate for the personnel executive gig:

Marynowitz, the Eagles’ assistant director of pro personnel, told CSNPhilly.com on Tuesday in Mobile that he hadn’t interviewed for the position, but that shouldn’t be construed as lack of interest on Kelly’s part.

Marynowitz has worked in the Eagles’ scouting department since the Andy Reid administration and was promoted to his current post six months into Kelly’s first season with the club. 

Sources have said Kelly is fond of Marynowitz and that the two have an excellent working relationship. Marynowitz, 30, is held in high esteem around the league and several have said he has general manager potential given his widespread contacts and stellar reputation.

His only drawback is his age and a lack of NFL front office experience. Before coming to the Eagles, Marynowitz had spent one season with the Dolphins as a scouting assistant, working under Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland.

Jeff McLane of the Inquirer on Pete Carroll‘s defensive philosophy and how it aids his talented secondary.

Almost all coaches say they cater their schemes to the skill sets of their players, but few have a system that is as practical or are as willing to change. There have been times over the last two seasons when the Eagles defense has seemed incapable of adjusting.

Single safety man-to-man defense, anyone?…

Good coaches find ways to make not-good players work within their schemes. Great coaches like Carroll take great players and create great – like all-time great – defenses.

“We try to find unique qualities that our guys have – and it’s not just because we are here in Seattle and we have those safeties, it’s always what we’ve done across the board – and put them in the position to do things that they’re really good at and really accomplished at,” Carroll said on Monday. “And then we try to grow their roles from that.

“We found that when you do that, the players can have success early in their career and they can start to develop confidence and some success that they can build on. And it’s always worked out really well. It’s on coaches to have the flexibility to adapt your scheme to match your players’ unique qualities.”


Hopefully you scored a snow day. Either way, we’ll keep you company. Everybody stay safe.