Did the Rams just pull a fast one on Eagles' Kelly?
Without a move up for the Rams' No. 10 pick, it looks as if Chip Kelly just got fleeced.
I KEPT WAITING for the other shoe to drop.
When the initial stories broke yesterday that the Eagles had traded quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for quarterback Sam Bradford, there were rumors that the deal also involved the Birds' swapping their 20th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft for the Rams' 10th overall pick.
That made sense.
I thought I was finally seeing the endgame that Eagles Grand Poohbah of Football Chip Kelly was playing when he started this wild week of wheeling and dealing.
Obviously, Kelly had traded the huge contract of feature running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills to free up salary-cap space so that he could absorb the astronomical contract of Bradford, because it was the way to position the Birds to move up enough in the draft to make a play for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Sitting with the 20th pick was never going to be enough ammunition for the Eagles to make a leap like that, but having the 10th pick at least made things conceivable.
There are never any guarantees, but movement among the top 10 picks has happened many times before.
This was the brilliant type of thinking outside the box Kelly was hired to do.
Then as more details of the trade came out, the 20th for 10th pick was shot down. It wasn't part of the deal.
Turns out the Eagles gave up Foles, a fourth-round pick in 2015 and a second-round pick in 2016 for Bradford and the Rams' fifth-round pick in 2015.
What am I missing?
Is it me or did the Eagles just get reamed by the Rams?
Am I to understand that Kelly swapped Foles, who is scheduled to make $1.3 million in the final year of his contract, and two higher-round draft picks for Bradford, who is scheduled to make $13 million in the final year of his contract and is coming off successive seasons in which he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament?
Did Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie just pull an invasion of the body-snatcher on Kelly?
This makes no sense.
Bradford might have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, but he has missed 31 of a possible 80 NFL games because of injury.
In 49 career starts, Bradford, 27, has thrown for 11,065 yards, while completing 58.6 percent of his passes, with 59 touchdowns and 38 interceptions.
Even if Kelly believes that Bradford, who is coming off knee operations that have caused him to miss his last 27 games, is an upgrade over Foles, he is in no way an $11.7 million upgrade over Foles.
I don't get this.
In essence, the Eagles traded Foles, a quarterback, who, despite being an unnatural fit, went 14-4 as a starter in Kelly's offense, and replaced him with either Bradford, if he can stay healthy, or Mark Sanchez, last season's backup to Foles, who signed a 2-year contract worth up to $16 million, with $5.5 million guaranteed.
If you want to tell me you're increasing your payout at quarterback significantly because you are going with Mariota over Foles, I get that. But how can you commit nearly $20 million to two guys who probably won't play the position any better than Foles did?
If you did not make this move to significantly increase your chances of getting Mariota as your quarterback moving forward, how can you not keep Foles as your next best option?
Even with a deal reached with free-agent cornerback Byron Maxwell, the addition of linebacker Kiko Alonso in the McCoy trade and the surprise re-signing of linebacker Brandon Graham, the Eagles still have a lot of holes to fill.
Absorbing Bradford's contract and taking that money out of play for free agency for the sake of getting the 10th pick in a play for Mariota is entirely different from absorbing Bradford's contract for an additional fifth-round draft pick.
One would have been a calculated risk at securing a franchise quarterback who could set the direction of your organization for a decade.
The other just seems stupid.
Now, I have no idea what to think. I'm in favor of giving Kelly the tools he thinks are necessary to bring a championship to Philadelphia.
That's why he was hired in the first place.
Quality players are still out there who can be added to the roster, and there is still the draft.
Heck, there is still a chance in the next few days, the next few weeks or even on draft night that Kelly can find a way to make the right moves and get Mariota.
Still, as for yesterday, when the Foles trade was first announced, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. When it finally did, my right foot was still left unprotected and cold.