Nick Foles wasn’t Chip Kelly’s franchise quarterback after all.
The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to send Foles to the St. Louis Rams for Sam Bradford in a stunning quarterback swap. The Eagles will also get a fifth-round pick this season, while sending the Rams their fourth-rounder this year and a second in 2016.
And Kelly’s probably not done dealing yet.
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His admiration for Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota is no secret, and Kelly may want to move up from the 20th pick in the draft to pick his former Oregon quarterback.
Bradford hasn’t played since his 2013 season ended after he tore his left ACL. The former No. 1 overall pick and 2008 Heisman winner tore it again in preseason last year.
Foles lacked the speed and mobility for Kelly’s offense, but he was 14-5 as a starter, including a playoff loss. After a breakout season in 2013, Foles missed the last eight games in 2014 with a broken collarbone.
The Eagles already agreed to a two-year contract with Mark Sanchez, who went 4-4 after Foles was injured last season.
Foles is the latest star player to depart Philadelphia in the past week. He joins two-time All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy and Pro Bowl wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
The Eagles officially announced Tuesday that McCoy was traded to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
In St. Louis, Foles gets a chance to be the undisputed starter. A third-round pick in 2012, Foles set an NFL record for best TD/INT ratio of 27/2 his second season while helping the Eagles win the division a year after going 4-12. His passer rating of 119.2 was the third-highest in league history.
Foles threw 13 TD passes and 10 interceptions in 2014. He will earn $660,000 in 2015 in the final year of his rookie contract.
Bradford missed the last nine games of the 2013 season after injuring his knee and hurt it again in his second preseason game last August. The 27-year-old 18-30-1 as a starter. He has 59 TD passes, 38 interceptions and a 79.3 passer rating in a five-year career. Bradford is slated to earn $12.9 million this year.
”Sam was a leader on our team in the locker room and on the field,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. ”He was a great teammate who was dealt some adversity but handled it all with grace and dignity. He represented himself, as well as the organization, in a first-class manner. I wish him nothing but the best throughout his career.”
The Eagles went 10-6 for the second straight season under Kelly, but missed the playoffs after going 1-3 in December. Kelly took full control of personnel decisions after the season and has overhauled the roster.
While he’s losing his best players on offense, Kelly is focused on improving a defense that has been Philadelphia’s biggest problem. Adding Alonso and re-signing linebacker Brandon Graham helps.
The Eagles also signed cornerback Byron Maxwell to a six-year contract. Maxwell started 17 games for the Seattle Seahawks over the last two seasons and played opposite All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman in a star-studded secondary: the Legion of Boom.
The team had agreed to a contract with five-time Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore before he changed his mind and agreed to a deal with the Colts.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins tweeted: ”Is it too late to tell these guys ”Philly ain’t bad at all” … Chip is a great guy! And who doesn’t like sports science and Cheesesteaks?”
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