By Lewis Gould
So, NJ.com — which seems to be the recipient of every leak the Eagles want out there — is reporting that the St. Louis Rams have an interest in trading for quarterback Nick Foles.
Why is this important?
The Rams, who own the No. 10 overall pick in May’s NFL draft, are in need of a quarterback after Sam Bradford missed all of last season with a knee injury. Bouncing between backups Austin Davis and Shaun Hill led to another losing season and last-place finish in the NFC West.
And if the Eagles get into the No. 10 spot they would theoretically have a better chance to snag Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, the flavor of the month in Chip Kelly’s eyes.
Foles, according to NJ.com, is coveted around the league.
“Love him,” one NFL coach said of Foles. “Right now I would put him in the second or third tier of quarterbacks, but I think he is right on the cusp of being in the top tier at the position.”
Coming off 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions in 2013, Foles finished with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in eight games last season before fracturing his collarbone, an injury that would cost him the remainder of the season.
“A dropoff was expected,” said an NFC scout. “I wouldn’t be too concerned if I was Chip (Kelly). I think he’ll be fine.”
Foles inability to escape pressure was highlighted last season as the offensive line suffered through a season of injuries and poor play. The dropoff in the offensive line play from 2013 to 2014 left Foles running for his life at times, which proved to be a problem, especially when he got into the open field.
“He is a statue back there,” the NFC scout said. “Guys like him, I don’t worry, because I know where he is going to be.”
What Kelly really thinks of Foles isn’t clear.
The head coach, who was at the Senior Bowl last week, didn’t speak to reporters, instead watching practices from the back of the end zone with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Kelly refused to commit to Foles as his starting quarterback at the end of last season, instead saying he was going to review the tape.
“I don’t know,” Kelly said. “We’ll sit down and thoroughly evaluate everything.”
Foles has been radio silent since his injury, but did make it clear in his lone interview that he expects to be in Philadelphia next season.
“I expect to be back here,” Foles said. “I expect to be the quarterback. I love my teammates, and I expect to be back out there leading them and winning some games. I’m excited to come back better than I ever have been.”
This offseason is the first time the Eagles will have a chance to extend Foles’ contract since they drafted him in 2012. He’ll go into the 2015 season with one year left on that contract.
The quarterback said back in December that neither he nor his agent have heard from the team about a new deal.