The offseason has begun. The Niners traded QB Alex Smith to KC for a 2nd round pick this year and as high as a 2nd round pick next year. The deal is in place, but won’t be official until March 12, when the new league year starts and trades can be done. This deal affects the Eagles so that’s why I’m writing about it.
First up, this mean Nick Foles isn’t going to KC. My guess is that the Chiefs tried to deal for him, but the Eagles wanted a high price. Before you go ripping the Eagles for being greedy, this is just a guess. Also, I think it is important to understand the logic that would go into the situation.
The Eagles weren’t looking to deal Foles. He wasn’t a player they wanted to get rid of and simply asked for too much. I genuinely believe Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman see Foles as a potential starter and weren’t about to just give him away for a 3rd round pick. As I’ve explained before, if you deal him you have to turn around and spend that pick (or a higher one) on a QB to replace Foles. You really aren’t gaining anything. The only advantage would be in getting rid of Foles for a new QB.
Part of my thinking here is that Howie was negotiating with Andy. They know how each other operate. Trying to bluff Andy into a higher price isn’t as likely to be effective since he knows what the team thinks of Foles. Andy doesn’t know Chip’s feelings, but he would know how the scouts and Howie felt. Those guys graded players each week. Either there was a buzz in the building on Foles or there wasn’t.
I could be wrong and Howie could have over-played the situation, but that just doesn’t seem like the likely scenario to me. If Chip doesn’t want Foles around, then you have to get the maximum you can for him, but a deal must get done.
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This deal also speaks volumes about the QB class. In recent days I’ve been reading the thoughts of some Geno Smith supporters on Twitter. These are draftniks who have watched every one of his games and are truly convinced he can be a star QB. These guys started to make me think that maybe Smith could go #1 overall. Andy knew he had to have a QB. Geno isn’t perfect by a mile, but he is a talented passer that came from an offense that loved to throw the ball. He averaged 40 pass attempts per game. There was logic in matching Smith and Reid.
The fact that Reid made the deal for Alex Smith tells you that Andy isn’t high on these QBs. And Andy loves college QBs. He wanted to draft Matt Leinart and Vince Young in 2006. He looked into Brady Quinn, but then took Kevin Kolb in 2007. Andy loved Sam Bradford in 2009. He drafted Mike Kafka in 2010. Andy even had interest in Tim Tebow. There are reports that Andy looked into Peyton Manning and RG3 last spring. I can’t confirm that. The Eagles did show interest in Ryan Tannehill. Andy loved Russell Wilson and then drafted Nick Foles. Andy doesn’t care if a QB is black or white, short or tall, athletic or a pocket passer. He loves them all equally.
For him to deal for Alex Smith shows you that Andy didn’t see anyone worth the #1 pick and that he didn’t see anyone who was better than Alex Smith. Let that sink in for a minute. Alex has posted good numbers in the last 1 1/2 years, but let’s not mistake him for a high level starting QB. Alex played well for SF because they had a good OL, they ran the ball, and they did put him in position to succeed. Smith never threw more than 38 passes in a game. He only threw 35 or more passes 3 times. Nick Foles had 3 games this year with more than 45 pass attempts.
If Big Red tries to go pass heavy with Alex Smith, the Chiefs are doomed and Reid will be fired by the end of 2014. Jay Glazer reported on Twitter that the Chiefs made a commitment to Smith. Alex didn’t want to go babysit a rookie somewhere else. He wants to be the starter. KC is giving him that opportunity, but I can’t help thinking of the old saying…”Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.” Alex is going to get to be a starting QB in a passing offense. I wish him well, but have my doubts that it will work well. Reid must be more balanced or he’s going to follow in the footsteps of Buddy Ryan, Rich Kotite, and Ray Rhodes as Eagles coaches who failed at their next stop.
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The deal also makes it likely that the Chiefs will take an OT at #1. I still have Luke Joeckel rated as the best LT prospect. This is a bad thing if the Eagles wanted Joeckel to fall to #4. I don’t know that they did.
It could be good if there is some prospect that get to #4 and the Eagles wanted that guy or some team behind us wants that guy. Too many names to speculate here.
The trade may not mean a thing. The Eagles could be locked into some prospect and an OT going #1 means nothing.
SF now has 15 picks for the upcoming draft. Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports made an interesting suggestion. Almost everyone else in the world was busy speculating that the Niners could now go after CB Darrelle Revis in a trade. Farrar made the point that SF could move up in the Top 10 to get an impact DT. Once Justin Smith got hurt last year, their defense fell apart.
If SF offered you pick #31, both 2nd rounders, and a 3rd round pick for #4…would you take it? That’s a long way to drop, but would get you a bunch of picks. Deals like that almost never happen so don’t expect it to, but it is fun to speculate and imagine trying to load up on rookies in a draft that lacks elite talent, but is deep.
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Speaking of the Niners, they have a free agent DL named Ricky Jean-Francois that might be of interest. Brandon Lee put together a nice piece on him over at BGN.
Geoff Mosher posted a Combine notebook for CSN. He’s got lots of good tidbits in there. I would love to give truth serum to Jeff Stoutland and Chip Kelly to find out what they think of Danny Watkins. If they think there is a good chance he can be a solid starter this year, that helps the OL quite a bit. Herremans can slide to LT if needed. Dennis Kelly is the backup RT. You still need to get younger, but that’s very different than lacking 5 starters you believe in.