I knew the Buffalo Bills were looking longingly in Nick Foles' direction this past week… but what I didn't know is that other teams are shopping for Shaggy, too…
Good for Nick. By most accounts he is gaining respect around the league. I'm cautious with his evaluation because I lived through the Kevin Kolb saga in Philly.
It also begs the question— if you're smart, should you hold on to him?
Mark Eckel of the Times of Trenton wants a trade of Foles to happen.
"Do it now before someone else beats you to it and sends their backup quarterback to one of the teams in need."
Seems harsh, I know— but Eckel makes a point—
Buffalo, so desperate for quarterback help, is looking at Matt Leinart. The Bills already have the original Foles in Kevin Kolb, so send them the new and improved 2.0 version. So says Eckel. But there's more—-
"The Jets have learned that Geno Smith can’t play — any Eagles fans still wishing they would have taken him? — and will learn the extent of Mark Sanchez’ shoulder injury today. "
"Foles, who was nearly perfect Saturday night against a bunch of guys who will be selling insurance or teaching phys ed in the Jacksonville area by the end of the week, just might have some value around the league."
"So why not take advantage of it if you’re an Eagles team who needs help on defense the way the city of Trenton needs more police officers."
Former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is the Jets’ offensive coordinator, so there could be interest, as Eckel points out. But seriously?
And here's the draconian part:
"If you can get the Jets and Bills both interested in Foles and get them to bid against each other, you may end up with a second-round draft pick for a guy who couldn’t win your starting quarterback job. That’s not a bad take."
Well I get Eckel's point. But sheesh, you have got to figure at some point in 2013 you're gonna need a confident back-up for Michael Vick. This is assuming you are trying to actually win as many games as you can. And I am sure Chip Kelly feels that way.
And now– the coup de grace—
"If Kelly really liked Foles as much as he says he does, he wouldn’t have brought Vick back in the first place, even at half-price, and he wouldn’t have spent a draft pick that could have landed some help on defense for Barkley. I’ve heard Kelly say how you need to have two quarterbacks, and that’s why Foles isn’t going anywhere."
"That’s probably even truer when your starter has played a full season just once in his first 10 seasons in the league and shows no signs of curtailing his reckless style of play. "
There’s no argument here on that point.
"But that’s why you have Barkley and Dennis Dixon. With Vick and everything else going right, the Eagles are maybe, just maybe a .500 team, and that’s a stretch. Actually if the Eagles go 8-8, Kelly should be Coach of the Year. Without Vick, the Eagles don’t even matter. "
Well, there's where I draw the line. Eckel loses me there. SO many things besides QB play go into winning in this league where 1,000 things have to go right against only 10 things going wrong. You cannot realistically, in my opinion, pin it all on who's taking snaps under center.
But to be fair to Eckel, his final point is taken with a grain of salt…and a certain realism…
"So what you have to weigh is the importance of a backup quarterback on a team that doesn’t figure to be in the Super Bowl mix against trading that backup quarterback to get help for the future. And the future is where the Eagles need to be looking."
Gee, that's one of those final statements that could actually win a debate in college. But I'm still not so sure the future is not already right here—right now. GK Brizer calls it the "catching lightning in a bottle" reflex with which every new coach could and should approach his first season in the NFL. Life is short.
Speaking of short, it's just a few more days before the Eagles cut down to the Final 53. Here's how NJ.com's lead writer Jordan Raanan sees it breaking down:
"As everything stands right now (and plenty will change thanks to some minor signings, trades and waiver claims), here's how I see it all shaking out. "
Quarterbacks (3) – Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley
Running Backs (3) – LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk
Tight Ends (4) – Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, Clay Harbor
Offensive Line (10) – Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson, Allen Barbre, Julian Vandervelde, Danny Watkins, Dennis Kelly, Michael Bamiro
Note: Vandervelde beats Dallas Reynolds out as the backup center. Bamiro makes it because the Eagles don't think they can get him through to the practice squad.
Defensive Line (6) – Isaac Sopoaga, Cedric Thornton, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Bennie Logan, Damion Square
Note: Clifton Geathers just misses the cut.
Outside Linebackers (4) – Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Chris McCoy
Inside Linebackers (5) – DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Casey Matthews, Jake Knott, Emmanuel Acho
Note: Eagles go heavy at this position.
Cornerbacks (5) – Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, Brandon Boykin, Brandon Hughes, Jordan Poyer
Note: Hughes makes it despite a fractured hand. Poyer could easily be replaced by a waiver claim and end up on the practice squad.
Safeties (4) – Patrick Chung, Earl Wolff, Nate Allen, Colt Anderson
Note: The Eagles go light and Kurt Coleman is the odd-man out.
Kicker- Alex Henery
Punter– Donnie Jones
Longsnapper– Jon Dorenbos.
We'll see. Keep an EYE on those other waiver wires…