Nick Foles, Brent Celek Become Trade Candidates for Philadelphia Eagles
One takeaway from what the Philadelphia Eagles did in the 2013 NFL Draft: Nick Foles' and Brent Celek's days in Philly might be numbered.
In the first draft of the Chip Kelly era, the Eagles spent two of their four picks—both in the top 100—on a tight end and a quarterback, indicating that the team could be willing to move on from Foles and Celek.
Foles has been the subject of trade rumors all offseason. He put on a show during the preseason last year and was good enough in relief of Michael Vick during his rookie campaign that many teams would be upgrading by adding the second-year Arizona product as a backup.
With Matt Barkley joining the team as a fourth-round pick, it probably now comes down to Foles vs. Dennis Dixon for the backup position. The Eagles felt strongly enough about Barkley to trade into the top spot in Round 4 to select the USC quarterback, so he's got to be assured a roster spot, and Vick isn't going anywhere after signing a new contract in February.
Dixon also has a clear advantage in that he isn't like Foles or Barkley and has a strong connection to Kelly based on the time they spent together at Oregon.
Kelly has said that the quarterback competition will be "wide open," and he's expected to keep all five quarterbacks on the roster at the start of camp (that includes second-year Tulsa product G. J. Kinne, who was signed in February), but Foles' value will climb the moment one of the 31 other teams loses a quarterback this summer.
And while you need a pair of quality tight ends nowadays, Kelly has already acquired two this offseason when you consider James Casey, who came over as a free agent in March after four years in Houston. If the Eagles can get something for Celek, I think they'd be happy having second-round pick Zach Ertz split reps with Casey, with Clay Harbor serving as the third option at that position.
After playing a major role in Stanford's pro-style offense the last few years, there's little reason to believe Ertz can't become a key cog right away. And if the Eagles didn't buy that theory, they wouldn't have eschewed glaring positions of need in favor of drafting him with the 35th overall pick.
Celek still has four years remaining on his contract, but he's only 28. He has three 600-yard seasons under his belt, but he's not an especially good blocker and has been known to drop his share of passes.
The Eagles haven't come out and said that they're prepared to get rid of Foles or Celek, but their actions are speaking louder than their words. Trades make a lot of sense here, assuming they can find a suitor or two.
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