Late on Thursday a report surfaced saying that the Chiefs (and Andy Reid) might be interested in trading for Nick Foles. Shortly thereafter, multiple reporters said that the Eagles are not interested in trading Foles since the team is very high on him.
Let’s go through this thoroughly.
Would KC have interest? Sure. Do you realize how bad the Chiefs QBs were in 2012? As a group, they threw for 2,937 yards and 8 TDs. In less than half a season, Foles threw for 1,699 yards and 6 TDs. His rating was 15 points higher than Chiefs QBs.
Kansas City is desperate for a QB. Matt Cassell, Brady Quinn, and Ricky Stanzi could all be out of the league in 2013. The Chiefs literally have nothing. Foles would be a major upgrade for them. The question you have is how high Reid and Doug Pederson are on Foles. I’m assuming they like him a lot.
With no QB being worth the top pick in the draft, KC trading for Foles makes even more sense. Plus, he knows the system the Chiefs will run and he’s already got NFL experience. If Reid wants to win in 2013, trading for Foles might be the smartest course of action.
Would the Eagles be willing to deal Foles? Yes. You’ll hear lots of talk about how high the team is on him and that may be true to a certain extent, but Foles isn’t Chip Kelly’s fantasy QB. There’s no way around that fact.
I know many people think Foles cannot play for Kelly. I disagree with that. Kelly can tailor his offense to the QB. At Oregon, the QBs weren’t the best passers in the world, but were mobile. He used them in the run game. As Kelly himself has said, if he had Tom Brady there would be no QB running.
Clearly this isn’t meant to compare Foles and Brady. The point is that the playbook has the read option in it, but that isn’t all Kelly can do. He can run a conventional offense where the QB hands the ball of and throws passes. Kelly’s preferred offense involves feeding the ball to RBs and mixing in play-action passes. He doesn’t want his QB running.
Tim Tebow had more than 200 runs in 2 of his 3 seasons as the starting QB at Florida. Urban Meyer’s offense was at it’s best with the QB running. Meyer got to Ohio State this year and QB Braxton Miller had 227 carries. Alex Smith was over 135 in his 2 years with Meyer. Chip Kelly did not have an Oregon QB go above 127 runs in a season. He had a couple of years where the QB had less than 90.
Kelly wants the RB to be the workhorse. He wants the QB to distribute the ball. Tebow would be lost in this offense. He wants to be the workhorse. And that’s why he’s struggled to adjust to the NFL. You don’t want the QB keeping the ball. He’s also a bad passer.
I can’t stress enough when trying to understand Kelly’s offense that the QB must be a good passer first and a runner second. If you just run the ball, the defense is going to load the box. That is going to make things difficult. Kelly wants balance. The QB has to be a good passer so the defense plays back and that gives room for the RB to run. Kelly can adjust for a less mobile QB, but I think he’d be lost if the QB wasn’t an effective passer.
Foles isn’t what Kelly envisions as a QB, but Kelly does appreciate Foles ability as a passer. I think that’s why he’s willing to keep Foles around and see what they could do together. If Foles had not played in 2012, I bet Kelly would have little interest in keeping him. I think Kelly saw some moments that really interested him. Kelly’s not thinking “I can’t win without a runner.” Kelly is thinking “What would I do with a QB who can throw like that.”
Because Foles isn’t his ideal QB and the team isn’t married to him as a franchise type player, he is available in a trade. Kelly might like him, but you can bet Foles is available.
What is Foles value? This is where things get tricky. The Eagles aren’t giving Foles away. At the very least, he’s got value as a backup QB. We know that you need 2 QBs in the NFL. Foles may not be universally loved, but the guy showed last year that he can play. He’s got NFL ability.
I asked someone who is an NFL expert, but not an Eagles fan what he thought Foles value might be. He guessed a 4th round pick. At that point, I’d just keep Foles. You could deal him for that pick and spend a mid-round pick on a new QB, but there is no guarantee the new guy would pan out. Foles isn’t a proven quality starter, but he can be a backup.
If the Chiefs offered their 3rd round pick, you’d have to think long and hard about the deal. That’s a good pick and could net you a quality player. You would need a good backup QB to replace Foles. If there are a couple of prospects you like and think you could get in the mid rounds, this deal would make some sense. You’ve already gotten a season out of Foles. You spent a 3rd to get him. If you could get that in return and felt he was replaceable via the draft, go for it.
If the Chiefs offer their 2nd round pick…yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
What would the Chiefs be willing to pay? I have no idea. Really depends on how much Reid likes Foles, what Reid thinks of the QB class, and the timetable he’s on. KC has had one winning season in the last 6 years.
2012 – 2-14
2011 – 7-9
2010 – 10-6
2009 – 4-12
2008 – 2-14
2007 – 4-12
I didn’t realize just how bad things had been out there. Does Clark Hunt tell Reid to take his time and get the team fixed? Does he encourage Reid to be aggressive and get them back to a respectable level right away? Remember that KC had 6 Pro Bowl players. Adding the right QB to the mix could make a huge difference. The Raiders are still a mess. The Chargers are hard to believe in. KC could be 2nd in the AFC West with the right QB and better coaching.
There will be lots of reports and rumors regarding Foles, Kelly, the Eagles, and the Chiefs. Listen to everything, but believe nothing…unless you read it on Iggles Blitz. That guy is never wrong.
* * * * *
Charles Woodson was cut by the Packers. Could he be of interest? Possible. The Eagles have not yet finished evaluating the current roster. Once that is done the coaches will get with the Personnel Dept and start putting together an offseason plan. You can bet they will address Safety aggressively, whether in FA, the draft, or both.
Woodson isn’t a traditional Safety, but is good in a LB/S/CB role where he moves around and does different things. His cover skills have slipped, but he is still a playmaker and that gives him value. Amazing to think he’ll turn 37 in October. Might be best suited to being a #3 Safety and Nickel/Dime LB type from this point on.
* * * * *
Jimmy Bama and I did a podcast last night. We talked Mike Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, Tom Gamble, and snuck in some Jon Gruden / Cowboys talk at the end.