Take It Back Tuesday: Eagles wanted to go all in for Mariota
Remember when the Philadelphia Eagles almost traded for Marcus Mariota?
It was just a few years ago when the Philadelphia Eagles went through something like a purge. The city’s number one villain, Chip Kelly believed that he had all the right answers in the NFL. While his coaching was rather stellar in the beginning, we would soon find out that Kelly’s knowledge for personnel was disgraceful. Therefore, the Eagles were making some bizarre moves throughout Chip’s three-year stint in Philadelphia.
Back in the Chip era, the Eagles made some highly questionable moves. They traded proven franchise superstars for injury-prone youngsters. They released one of their best players without any sort of reason. And they issued ridiculously large contracts to players that didn’t actually buy into the team or even fit the scheme.
While every move that Chip Kelly made frustrated the Eagles fan base to no end, the most significant move that never was would’ve absolutely sent the city into flames nowadays. At the time, many fans of the Eagles had Chip Kelly’s back. The ‘genius’ wanted his franchise quarterback to be his star from Oregon, and mostly everybody wanted Philly to “do the deal” to get him.
All in for Mariota?
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Marcus Mariota was coming out of the NCAA as a Heisman Trophy winner from Oregon. Clearly, he was a top-two pick as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans have made it known that they planned to take quarterbacks. But before the Titans locked in their franchise quarterback back in 2015, they fielded some calls from other franchises. The Eagles wanted Mariota, and Chip Kelly was willing to give up a ton for him.
Kelly was hardly ever honest with the media during his short time in Philly. While he has entertained many questions about the ridiculous trade that never was, he would never actually admit that he was willing to give up an arm and a leg for Mariota. It wasn’t until 2016 when the actual details of the trade made its way into the light.
The offer to the Titans included Sam Bradford, Fletcher Cox, the first and second-round picks of that draft (Nelson Agholor and Eric Rowe) and an additional first-rounder for the following draft. We all know who the Eagles eventually drafted the next year, right? Well, the infamous genius almost lost us some highly valuable assets at the time.
Imagine that happening:
Would the Eagles fan base really care if the Eagles traded Sam Bradford at the time? No. But without Bradford on board until 2016, the Eagles would’ve never made the trade to get the defensive end, Derek Barnett. Without Fletcher Cox, we all know the Eagles defensive front would be significantly weaker. Although Agholor had a slow progression, he finally turned out to be one of the better receivers in the division.
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Most of all though, the Eagles would’ve lost their opportunity to draft their ideal franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz. Mariota isn’t a bad quarterback by any means, but would you honestly rather have him over, Wentz? Absolutely not. At the time, it was disappointing that the Eagles couldn’t get Mariota. But nowadays, we should be thanking the Titans front office for avoiding Chip’s crazy trade. That could’ve really set the Eagles back a few years.