Nick Foles rumors: Chiefs could aim for Eagles quarterback

Alex Trautwig

Could the Chiefs and new head coach Andy Reid try to acquire Eagles second-year quarterback Nick Foles? There seems to be only one thing stopping them.

Nick Foles to the Kansas City Chiefs actually makes too much sense.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said Monday that Foles and Michael Vick, who had his contract restructured the same day, will compete for the Eagles' quarterback job in 2013. Kelly said every team in the NFL needs two quarterbacks.

But he didn't rule out the possibility of a trade, either.

The most likely candidate of the two to be traded is Foles, who doesn't necessarily fit the style of quarterback we all think Kelly is looking for. Foles is slow and stays in the pocket (or should, at least). If Oregon's playbook is any indication (and it might not be), then Foles is not Chip Kelly's quarterback.

This is where the Chiefs come into the picture.

There's no hiding the fact that the Chiefs need a quarterback. Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn each started eight games for Kansas City last year. They each finished with 1-7 records. They combined for eight touchdowns, 20 interceptions and 40 sacks.

Neither, by any stretch of the imagination, played well.

With Andy Reid now calling the shots in Kansas City, does he want to bring in his third-round draft pick from last year to solve his quarterback issues?

Reid, I'm sure, likes Foles. He liked Foles so much before the 2012 NFL Draft that he used a third-round draft pick on the Arizona graduate. Foles had a fine college career, but he nearly shot himself in the foot with his pre-draft workouts. His Arizona Pro Day was described as "terrible" and his performance at the NFL Combine was less than stellar.

If Foles went in the fourth round, no one would have batted an eyelash. If he went in the fifth round, people would have understood why. But Reid drafted him in the third round because he liked what he saw from the 6'5 gunslinger.

Unless something changed over the course of a season -- and that could be true -- Reid still has high hopes for Foles.

Reid is going to bring a similar -- if not exactly the same -- playbook from Philadelphia to Kansas City. If the Chiefs trade for Foles, then Reid has a quarterback in place who knows the West Coast offense from top to bottom. No learning a new system. No learning new plays. Foles can get in and immediately work with his new receivers.

While the Reid-Foles relationship looks good on paper, it didn't look good in the box score last season. Foles started six games and won just one. He completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards and six touchdowns. He threw five interceptions. It wasn't the greatest debut for the rookie.

But as SB Nation's Arrowhead Pride points out, it wasn't the best scenario for Foles. Of course, the team was terrible from top to bottom, but he was pressured more than any other quarterback in the league. On 42 percent of his dropbacks, he felt heat from the defense. A bad offensive line -- plus a terrible defense (Foles averaged 37.9 passes per game, the highest of any rookie quarterback other than Andrew Luck) -- put Foles into a worst-case scenario.

The Chiefs weren't in a better situation than the Eagles last year, but it's a new start for the Chiefs with Reid as the team's head coach. The team will be rebuilt with his blueprint. He didn't lead the Eagles to nine playoff appearances in 14 seasons because of sheer luck.

Foles, Reid and a new era for the Chiefs offense. It all makes sense.

But it won't be that easy.


Who says the Eagles are even going to trade Foles in the first place? There's speculation, of course, but there are a few things to remember in this scenario.

First of all, Kelly really likes Foles. This is what Kelly told the Tuscon Citizen after his Ducks beat the Wildcats, 56-31, in September 2011:

"I'll tell you what; I'm glad Nick Foles is graduating. I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes. ... Nick is a hell of a football player. That kid's a warrior. He's as good as anyone in the country."

That's high praise from a man who doesn't speak much to begin with.

It seems it would be hard for Kelly to just trade Foles without getting him on the football field first. Unless the Eagles are blown away by a package from the Chiefs, Kelly might want to see what that "warrior" can do on his team with his playbook.

Second of all, who says Foles doesn't fit the Eagles' new system?

Kelly had a fast-paced system in Oregon because he built it that way. That's the luxury of a college football coach: You recruit who you want, where you want for whatever purpose. There is no free agency in college football. There is no draft order.

Kelly said he builds an offense around his personnel, according to Bleeding Green Nation:

"I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what we do. Our offense is always driven by personnel, putting our players in position to make plays and I think that is what any good coach does. You have to evaluate the personnel you have and build a scheme around them."

Foles might not be a fast quarterback who can run the option, but he's a pocket passer that certainly has his upsides -- a huge arm, being one. Kelly, if he wants to do so, can build a spot for Foles in the offense. Maybe Kelly wants to use Foles as pocket passer and Vick as the change-of-pace quarterback. Maybe he'll use Foles in the shotgun with Vick in the backfield or in motion.

The possibilities are endless with two vastly different quarterbacks. If there is a coach in the NFL who can figure out an offensive system to use them both seamlessly, Kelly is the man to do it.

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