Inside the Eagles weird and wonderful history of trading quarterbacks

The future of Carson Wentz is a storyline that continues to dominate the NFL. Eagles fans are holding their breath out of anticipation and fear of just where the former second-overall pick will be playing next year. But this isn’t new. In fact, since 2004, the Eagles have traded away 8 quarterbacks. Here’s a look back at what is truly a very weird and wonderful rollercoaster.

QB: A.J. Feeley
Team: Dolphins
Year: 2004
Compensation 2nd-round pick

The Eagles definitely came out on top of this trade. Feeley went from a former fifth-round pick to an underdog hero after replacing McNabb and Detmer in 2002, going 4-1 in the teams’ final 5 games. After that, he fell back down the depth chart and was eventually traded to Miami, where he failed to win the starting role.

As a result, he was moved again after only 11 games of the 2005 season. He would of course return to Philadelphia a year later to backup Donovan McNabb.

The second-round pick acquired in the trade became WR Reggie Brown, who would enjoy a stunning start to his Eagles career before slowly toppling down the depth chart.

QB: Kelly Holcomb
Team: Vikings
Year: 2007
Compensation: 2009 6th-round pick

Holcomb might be the most wholesome QB on this list. Included in the trade for forgotten star Takeo Spikes, he would unknowingly play a big role in helping shape the teams’ offense. What he didn’t know is that it wouldn’t be on the field…or even on the team for that matter. Despite arriving in Philadelphia just months before, he was traded to Minnesota before even having a chance to compete as a backup.

The Eagles moved up from pick 21 to pick 19 in the 2009 NFL Draft and that lowly sixth-round pick was part of the sweetener that landed the team WR Jeremy Maclin. As we all know, the rest his history. Maclin went on to be a fan favorite and one of the best Eagles receivers of the past 15 years.

Eagles QB: Donovan McNabb
Team: Washington Football Team
Year: 2010
Compensation: 2010 2nd-round pick, 2011 4th-round pick

It’s never usually a good sign if a team in your own division is willing to trade you their starting quarterback. Washington didn’t see the red flags, however, and the Eagles were able to cash in on was to be McNabb’s last good season.

In 2009, McNabb threw for 3,553 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He led the Eagles to a playoff berth and actually compiled the third-highest passer rating of his career. The Eagles saw the forest for the trees and the edge of the cliff was near.

McNabb struggled mightily during his lone season in Washington, stumbling his way down the depth chart before a trade to Minnesota where he failed to beat out Christian Ponder.

As for the Eagles, the second-round pick became Nate Allen, who was serviceable throughout his tenure in Philadelphia, but not exceptional.

Eagles QB Kevin Kolb
Team: Cardinals
Year: 2011
Compensation: 2012 2nd-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Daylight. Robbery.

Kolb put up fairly average numbers when thrown into the deep end for the Eagles, throwing 7 touchdowns and just as many picks through 5 games in 2010 where he threw for 1,197 yards. But that and a similar level of production in 2009 was enough for the Cardinals to pull the trigger.

The second rounder was shipped to Green Bay in a trade back for Vinny Curry. The added spice to the deal was pick 123 which became CB Brandon Boykin. So the Eagles traded Kevin Kolb for Arizona’s best CB at the time (later a heartbreaker) and two players who had huge upside. To this day that is still mindblowing.

Kolb’s stint in Arizona was hardly incredible either. He started just 14 games in two years as minor injuries mounted up and a clear discrepancy in his value led to his cutting. John Skelton took over as a placeholder before Carson Palmer arrived on the scene one year later.

Eagles QB Nick Foles & 2015 2nd-round pick
Team: Rams
Year: 2015:
Compensation: QB Sam Bradford & 2015 5th-round pick

Chip Kelly blew the wheels off the wagon after a (terrible) 6-2 record with Nick Foles as the starter in 2014. In fairness, he did throw 13 touchdowns and 10 picks in an injury-plagued offense, but Kelly had seen enough. Foles battled injuries and couldn’t find a consistent rhythm after his iconic 2013 season and that’s all it took for Kelly to pull the trigger.

Sam Bradford was coming off of a torn ACL and would ultimately bridge the gap until the Eagles decided to end the Chip Kelly era one year later. Bradford took a while to settle into Philadelphia, but had some very notable memories including an OT win over the Cowboys and an electric 7-game stretch that saw him become one of the leagues most accurate arms.

The writing was on the wall, though. With a new coach and a lack of long-term security in Bradford’s refreshed contract, the Eagles pushed their way up the draft order to select Carson Wentz and Bradford was moved again, this time to Minnesota.

As for Foles, he played pretty poorly for the Rams and backed up the wider notion that outside of Philadelphia, he’d struggle. He was eventually benched for Case Keenum and released. Foles of course joined Kansas City in 2016, where he once again overlapped with Doug Pederson. We all know how the rest of the story ends.

The Eagles used the extra draft pick to move up back into the second round and select Eric Rowe. My heart just sank too.

Eagles QB: Matt Barkley
Team: Cardinals
Year: 2015:
Compensation: Conditional 2016 7th-round pick

You’d think the Cardinals would’ve learned the hard way. The USC product spent most of his time in Arizona riding the bench and did so long enough that the 7th-round pick materialized into an actual thing.

The Eagles drafted Joe Walker, who drummed up training camp hopes year after year amidst endless injury heartbreak before the team finally let him go. He’s now in San Francisco after a brief stint with Arizona of all teams…

Eagles QB: Mark Sanchez
Team: Broncos
Year: 2016:
Compensation: conditional 2017 7th-round pick

The Sanchize was also booted out of the NovaCare Complex at the end of the Chip Kelly era. The bad news is that he failed to beat out Trevor Siemian and was released. The pick never materialized because of this.

Sanchez then signed with the Cowboys in a dastardly move, just to rub salt in the wound. By wound, I mean a graze…nobody really minded that much.

Eagles QB: Sam Bradford
Team: Vikings
Year: 2016:
Compensation: 2017 1st-round pick, 2018 4th-round pick

After the drafting of Carson Wentz, Sammy Sleeves wasn’t happy. The Eagles igniting a QB controversy after a payday? I’ve never heard that before. Luckily for them, cashing in was pretty easy. Bradford, as we know, was solid for the Eagles and drew a first-round pick in 2017.

That first-rounder turned out to be Derek Barnett, while the fourth was used to trade for Jay Ajayi. In terms of a winner here, both players had gigantic roles to play in Super Bowl 52 and I think that’s about as good as it gets. The Eagles were also able to use some new-found cap space to bring in Alshon Jeffery. Sam Bradford really handed the Eagles a Super Bowl.

As for Sleeves, he actually played impressively in Minnesota, completing 71.6% of his passes in total during the 2016 season and of course clashing with Carson Wentz. He threw for 20 touchdowns and 5 picks before an eve better start to 2018 was cut short by yet another injury. That was to be the end of his Minnesota career and he was moved to Arizona.

Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Leave a Reply