Chip Kelly has already said that no starters will play tonight for the Philadelphia Eagles in the final preseason game against the New York Jets. There are roster spots to be won and players who will be on the street after the fourth quarter ends. Kelly has some big choices to make, and there are several areas where the team needs bodies. So far we’ve seen an offense that has looked much better than their defensive counterparts. The defense is short at key positions like linebacker and cornerback. Billy Davis needs help, and if I’m Kelly, tonight is Nick Foles‘ audition tape for the remainder of the league.
I know that trading Foles is not a popular choice, but hear me out. This team has important needs. This team also does not have Kelly’s franchise quarterback. We take this as a given, knowing that Michael Vick will get hurt and not be on this team next year. Matt Barkley put up a solid performance in the preseason, but there are better candidates coming out of the college ranks next season. Kelly knows his collegiate players and likely has someone already in mind. Put these things together and it makes perfect sense to send Foles to another team for quality depth players.
Let Vick start the season. Have Barkley back him up and keep Dennis Dixon as the number three. Foles, like Vick, is not the guy for Kelly’s offense. The key issue is the mix between Kelly’s desire to win now and the importance of building for the future. If you believe in Barkley, then make him the backup and know that he will get on the field when Vick gets hurt. How far can this team get this season? I’ll take an 8-8 record as a huge stride from last season. This can be accomplished even with trading Foles. After cuts we will see where Kelly’s allegiance truly lands. There is no reason to keep two starter-level quarterbacks on the team. Hopefully he will make the right choice.