Eagles vs. Dolphins: Why Loser in Sunday's Game Will Draft QB Matt Barkley

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Eagles vs. Dolphins: Why Loser in Sunday's Game Will Draft QB Matt Barkley
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What number would he wear in Philly?

Whoever wins the stink-fest involving the 4-8 Eagles and 4-8 Dolphins will emerge as the long-term winner by landing Matt Barkley in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Neither franchise wants to look at a loss as a positive, but it's the truth from either fan base's perspective.

Both teams desperately need Barkley regardless of needs. A 4-9 record will give one of these teams the inside track to his rights.

Let's start with the Miami Dolphins, who are probably the easiest sell to the masses.

Does anybody really believe in Matt Moore or Chad Henne?

Henne carries a career record of 13-18 and has thrown 37 picks against 31 touchdowns in three years as a starter. No one can possibly think Henne is the player who will finally turn things around in Miami and make fans think about the glory days of Dan Marino.

To make things even worse for Henne is the fact he is a free agent after this year. It wouldn't make sense for the Dolphins to pay Henne as a starter given his performance thus far.

Moore, on the other hand, is actually playing well this year. There might even be a handful of people who can defend Moore as a potential franchise quarterback.

Since stepping in under center in Week 6, Moore has only thrown five interceptions and the Dolphins are a respectable 4-4.

But if you look closer you realize he has six lost fumbles and a rather hollow four wins.

He was able to beat the Chiefs, Redskins, Bills and Raiders. Only the Raiders are a legitimate playoff contender and there is a strong possibility none of them play in the postseason.

His four losses came against the Jets, Broncos, Giants and Cowboys. All are playoff contenders and there is an outside shot all four play past New Year's Day.

It's kind of hard to hitch your wagon to a guy who bottoms out against the top teams in the league considering he will face the Pats and Jets two times each during the regular season.

Are you ready to concede three of four losses out of the gate? Or would you rather go after Barkley, who may be the next great quarterback?

The upside to Moore is his contract. Henne is due $2.5 million next year, so why not let him and Barkley compete against each other for one year?

Selling Eagles fans on Barkley is tough considering Philadelphia signed Michael Vick to a six-year deal worth $100 million, which included $35.5 million guaranteed this past offseason. 

This actually becomes a no-brainer if you look at how the Eagles operate.

Go back to the 2001 offseason.

That' when Donovan McNabb signed a 12-year deal worth $115 million. The thought of McNabb playing in Philadelphia through 2013 makes most fans shudder. But that's what the deal called for.

Andy Reid watched McNabb battle injuries and struggle with his performance and decided to draft quarterback Kevin Kolb in the 2007 NFL Draft.

He made the draft pick despite McNabb still being under contract for six more years and despite Kolb being a relatively unknown prospect from the University of Houston.

What makes anyone think Reid won't do the same thing in this spot given the parallels between Vick and McNabb?

Vick can't stay healthy and his play is more inconsistent than McNabb's and he has five years left on his contract.

The biggest difference is Barkley. Unlike Kolb, he is not an unknown and he comes from USC, a proven football factory. Many consider him the second-best quarterback in the draft and a player who can become the face of a franchise.

If Reid was willing to pursue Kolb, it's a guarantee he goes after Barkley given the Eagles have a high enough draft pick.

Yes, the Eagles need to address things on defense, but when was the last time Reid actually did that successfully through the draft?

All right, all right. Do the Eagles draft Barkley without Reid back in Philly?

Yes.

Why wouldn't a new head coach want the opportunity to develop his own hand-picked quarterback? Maybe a new coach would be drawn to Philadelphia because of Vick. But to not have a backup for an injury-prone quarterback seems rather foolish.

And then that leads us to the other teams in the league.

There are only four teams with less wins than the Eagles and Dolphins right now.

The Colts aren't passing anyone this year so you can lock them in with Andrew Luck. St. Louis and Minnesota will likely stay with Sam Bradford and Christian Ponder instead of going with Matt Barkley.

Jacksonville poses an interesting threat given how awful Blaine Gabbert is playing. But they still have a date with the Colts at the end of the year to pick up their fourth win.

Obviously, some things need to fall in favor for each team, but when the garbage is sifted, the loser lands Barkley in April.

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