This time 12 months ago, Philadelphia had Mariota fever. The Eagles were in the Quarterback market and many assumed that Chip Kelly would do whatever it took to draft his former Oregon signal caller. To do that..it would mean trading for the second overall pick, held by the Tennessee Titans. Even after the signing of Sam Bradford, fans and analysts were still reluctant to silence the Mariota noise completely, pondering if the birds could even end up trading the former Rams QB to move up in the draft.
Mariota was taken by the Titans at number two and no trade between the two franchises ever took place…but just how much Chip Kelly was willing to lay on the line to get his guy remained a mystery. The Eagles moved on with Bradford which opened an entirely different can of worms…but it could have been much, much worse.
FOX Sports NFL Insider Peter Schrager appeared on “The Herd” yesterday to chat with Colin Cowherd about the idea of the Rams trading up to take Carson Wentz. The debate started long before the interview and had some great points about how much a team should sacrifice in order to draft the Quarterback they believe is the guy to lead their team to greatness…but Schrager had some very interesting information on what could have been in Philadelphia.
NFL Insider Peter Schrager shows just how desperate Chip Kelly was to draft Mariota….wow pic.twitter.com/rFy6iMkxVB
— Liam Jenkins (@LiamJenkins21) March 17, 2016
“Last year the Eagles offered the Tennessee Titans (and I know this)
a 2015 1st round pick
a 2015 2nd round pick
a 2016 1st round pick
Take any of our Quarterbacks, (that’s Bradford, that’s Sanchez, that’s whoever)
Take anyone on our Defense”
Now that’s a HUGE statement..but Schrager isn’t exactly an unreliable source. Many pined for what could have been if the birds had drafted Marcus Mariota, but what if they had taken him at number two and still achieved a 7-9 season?
That move is putting more than your neck on the line, it’s putting the future of your team on the line. Could you imagine if they had gone 7-9 with Mariota had the trade gone through?
The Eagles would be going into this draft with no pick in either the first or second round and the absence of what could have been a big name Defensive player. The idea of the Eagles trading all of those picks AND a guy like Fletcher Cox or Malcolm Jenkins is not a nice one.
Jeffery Lurie was reportedly upset with Kelly months before the two parted ways after seeing Kiko Alonso fail to stop LeSean McCoy when the Eagles played Buffalo last season. If this trade had ever gone through, Kelly could have been out of the door much sooner and the Eagles could well have been in a very, very deep hole.
Not only that, but it shows how replaceable Kelly viewed his players. Everybody was expendable. It didn’t matter if you were a rookie, a backup or if you were the best player on that team..if Chip didn’t like you, that was it. Only now we can see just how deep the rabbit hole went.
Who’s to say that with Mariota the Eagles couldn’t have pushed for the post-season? Nobody will ever know, but trading away two first rounders, a second rounder, a Quarterback AND anyone of the teams Defense seems absurd. I think it’s safe to say fans can take a huge sigh of relief and get behind Sam Bradford knowing that the team is in much safer hands.
photo credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images