Philadelphia Eagles Should Trade for Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy

By Bryn Swartz

The idea was first suggested by Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, who proposed the theory that the Philadelphia Eagles send a sixth round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for quarterback Colt McCoy.

This is what King said to describe McCoy: “Perfect backup quarterback who, in time, might be good enough to start for your team for multiple seasons… tell me he doesn’t have the poise, decision-making and presence to have a chance to be a good player.”

McCoy, a third round draft pick by the Browns in 2010, has struggled during his first two seasons as the team’s starter. He’s won six of 21 starts, posting a 74.5 passer rating. He’s thrown 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

In 2011, he tossed 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, but his 5.9 yards per attempt as a passer was the second worst total in the National Football League. He also fumbled 11 times.

Then again, who has McCoy had to throw the ball to on Cleveland? Seriously, name one weapon he’s ever had.

People don’t realize how big of a deal it is for a quarterback to not have a single reliable weapon. Of course McCoy is going to have terrible passing statistics. Look who he was throwing to: Greg Little, Joshua Cribbs, Ben Watson, Evan Moore, Mohamed Massaquoi, and Jordan Norwood.

I’m not saying he would be Peyton Manning if he had reliable weapons on offense but he would definitely be more effective working under a quarterback genius like Andy Reid and throwing to targets like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek.

And that’s why the Eagles should absolutely pursue Colt McCoy.

Quarterback is the most important backup position on the Philadelphia Eagles for as long as Michael Vick is the starting quarterback. Vick missed three games with broken ribs in both 2010 and 2011, and his playing style suggests that he will miss time due to injuries every year for the remainder of his career, however long that is.

The Eagles had a very good backup quarterback in 2010 in Kevin Kolb, who won two of his three starts. But they had to use Vince Young in 2011, and Young won just one of his three starts, and played poorly.

In 2012, the Eagles have three options at backup quarterback.

They drafted Nick Foles in the third round of this year’s draft. He’s definitely going to make the team this season but he’s not going to be ready to play immediately.

Mike Kafka is the second option. He was the team’s fourth round draft pick in 2010 but he hasn’t shown a lot in his two years with the Eagles. He’s extremely smart but he doesn’t have the physical tools to play quarterback in the NFL and I’m not comfortable with him as the team’s backup quarterback.

And the final quarterback on the Eagles is veteran Trent Edwards, a former starter for the Buffalo Bills. Edwards hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL in two seasons though and the Eagles don’t have any particular loyalty to Edwards the way they do with Kafka and Foles.

I think that McCoy would be a better option than either Foles, Kafka, or Edwards as the backup. He’s familiar with the West Coast offense and he has experience as a starter. Giving up a sixth round pick to grab what most would consider to be a reliable backup quarterback is a smart move.

This does mean that Edwards is gone, and probably Kafka too. But that’s okay. I’d be a lot more comfortable with the options of Vick, McCoy, and Foles at quarterback in 2012.

In the future, I could even see McCoy becoming the Eagles’ starting quarterback. He’s only 24 years old now and if he had a few years to work with Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg, I really do believe that he would become an above average starting quarterback in the NFL.

Even if he’s not the quarterback of the future, the point remains that McCoy is a better option as the team’s backup quarterback in 2012 than Kafka, Foles, or Edwards.

The Eagles and the Browns swap players ALL the time. Reid should call Browns’ general manager Tom Heckert, the former GM of the Eagles, and work out a trade. Immediately.

This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for Eagles Central and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.

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