Does Trading Nick Foles for Sam Bradford Make the Birds Better?

Missanelli: Either Chip Kelly sees something in the former Rams QB that we don't, or he's got something up his sleeve.

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

When the trade for Sam Bradford was announced, my first reaction was that Chip Kelly was a secret spy, like in those movies where a Russian is trained for years in American culture, then later acts to circumvent the Democratic process. In this case, Kelly was the guy sent here to destroy the Philadelphia Eagles.

Or I thought that Kelly might be a superior being, who landed here from outer space with an intelligence incomprehensible to mere humans — that we couldn’t even begin to understand his brilliant methodology.

Today, I just question whether this guy has any idea of what he’s doing. There is a fine line between building a franchise and taking it into a deep abyss which could set it back years.

I was not a fan of Nick Foles, whom Kelly traded to the St. Louis Rams – along with a couple of draft picks, including a valuable second rounder in next year’s draft — because the Eagles simply had to get better at quarterback. Unless I’m completely out of touch, Bradford doesn’t make them any better. In five seasons in the NFL, the former overall No. 1 pick has not played to that pedigree. His stats are pedestrian. And he isn’t mobile, either, which means the Eagles still aren’t going to be able to run the read-option that Kelly has in his playbook.

It is a lateral move at best. And it’s going to cost a heck of a lot more. Bradford is owed a whopping $13 million this season. Oh, and he’s recovering from a torn ACL – his second such surgery for his time in the NFL. He said in his first Eagles press conference that he isn’t yet recovered from that second ACL, though he missed the entire season last year.

Kelly had rave reviews for Bradford, saying that were it not for the ACL thing, his new quarterback wouldn’t have been put up for trade. Really? How about this: The Rams wanted to trade Bradford because he has sucked when he’s been healthy. Bradford has a less than 60 percent completion rate in his career, and a career quarterback rating of 79.6. He’s thrown for 59 touchdowns against 38 interceptions.

My biggest problem with Kelly is that he doesn’t seem to understand what value is in the NFL. I’ve got to think the St. Louis Rams’ brass are laughing their butts off at fleecing the Chipster. They didn’t want Bradford at all, traded a $13 million contract for Foles, who might be a better quarterback and costs only $660,000, and they got two draft picks including a second rounder. Kelly just seems to be flying around, giving up stuff. It’s a classic college coach mentality where, if a player you recruit doesn’t work out, you just recruit another player over him. But this is the NFL where bad decisions can’t be recruited over.

Let’s take inventory as to what Kelly has done:

  • Certainly he has improved the Eagles’ weak defense by adding linebacker Kiko Alonso (by the way, he’s also coming off an ACL surgery), cornerbacks Bryon Maxwell (to a monster deal perhaps more than the player is worth) and Walter Thurmond, and signing Brandon Graham as a full timer at worn-out Trent Cole’s slot.
  • But his offense looks like a bunch of Legos scattered all over the table. Bradford. Running back Ryan Matthews. No new receiver yet. Jeremy Maclin slid through their fingers. Kelly says he was outbid, yet the Eagles could easily have held onto Maclin by designating him as a franchise player. So that was a colossal mistake. As of Wednesday night, DeMarco Murray was still in play for the Eagles. But there is no way I’m buying the Eagles are interested in paying out some $12 million to two running backs. They didn’t even want to pay LeSean McCoy $11 million.

Here are the two remaining scenarios with Bradford:

  1. Chip knows something about this guy that we don’t and, guided by Chip’s brilliant coaching he’ll magically turn into the franchise quarterback he was supposed to be.
  2. Bradford is a total ruse and Kelly has it up his sleeve to spin the new quarterback into a deal that would enable the Eagles to move up in the draft (Tennessee with the number two pick?) to finally draft Marcus Mariota.

About 95 percent of this fan base is hoping for the second and that Kelly indeed is not a Soviet spy.

Mike Missanelli is on 97.5 FM The Fanatic every week day from 2 to 6 p.m. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMiss975.