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Mark Sanchez deal suggests Mariota could be horizon

Mark Sanchez is returning to the Eagles on a two-year contract that is worth $9 million and possibly $16 million if he were to hit certain incentives, an NFL source said, confirming various reports.

The deal suggests that Sanchez will have every opportunity to earn a starting spot. It also suggests what The Inquirer reported last week -- that Eagles coach Chip Kelly has a plan in place to move up in the draft and select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

While the Eagles are still seven weeks out from the draft and still have to make a extraordinary move to get Mariota -- jumping many spots from the No. 20 spot in the first round -- all signs continue to point to Kelly trying to get his former college quarterback.

So what about Nick Foles? He could be the odd man out. He would likely net a high draft pick if Kelly were to attempt to trade the quarterback once the new league starts on Tuesday. The Sanchez signing doesn't necessarily mean Foles is gone, but the contract is familiar to ones in which a veteran grooms the quarterback spot for a high draft pick.

If Kelly can't get Mariota, he could have plans to draft UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley or Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, both of whom ran spread offenses in college.