After a most improbable season, the Philadelphia Eagles and quarterback Nick Foles left a lasting impression with the rest of the NFL that they are getting better quickly and will soon reach the next level. The Eagles played the role of the dangerous but unlikely team in 2013, and looking ahead they’re definitely a contender.
Why then has talk surfaced so quickly about the possibility of trading Foles?
It’s true that Foles will never be the read-option quarterback that Chip Kelly had when gracing the sidelines at Oregon. He’ll never outrun the defense like the ever-athletic Michael Vick. He’ll probably never be the leading rusher in a football game, and his stock will probably never reach the heights it currently holds.
However, Foles is a known quantity. After a stellar sophomore season, he still has room for improvement to grow and become better and at least the Eagles know what they’re getting. Foles will protect the ball — sometimes to a fault by not taking enough chances or holding onto it too long. He will stand tall in the pocket and spread the ball around to a bevy of players to keep the defense honest. He can read a defense and keep the tempo high in the Kelly system as demonstrated by the number of plays Philadelphia ran during 2013. He can lead and achieve yet keep calm and not let the success go to his head.
It would be unrealistic to even consider trading away something that could be so valuable. No, Foles will never be a first-round, top-ten draft choice, but he can develop into being more productive than one. His production and growth in 2013 show great upside for what could lie in the future. It wouldn’t really make a lot of sense to take a chance by trading him for a first round draft choice to pick up a more mobile quarterback that is totally unproven at the professional level.
Philadelphia made great progress in 2013, and with Foles still on a low level contract for 2014, it is a good business decision to let things play out and see where he takes it. It will allow them to build other parts of the team and still provide the necessary time to see if he’ll be the answer for the foreseeable future.