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Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday could have been Mariota’s Eagles vs Wentz’s Titans

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

In an alternate universe, Sunday’s match up between the 2-1 Eagles and 2-1 Titans features the same quarterback battle between Carson Wentz and Marcus Mariota. Only if a few moves back in 2015 and 2016 took a different route, the two would be under center for the opposing team.

There is a scenario where Sunday features Marcus Mariota’s Eagles and Carson Wentz’s Titans.

What actually happened

Three years after the Chip Kelly era ended in Philadelphia, Eagles fans know the tale. Back in 2015 when Kelly won the power struggle with Howie Roseman, he began to reshape the roster by trading LeSean McCoy, letting Jeremy Maclin walk, trading Nick Foles for Sam Bradford. He replaced McCoy with Demarco Murray and Ryan Mathews while spending big on free agent corner Byron Maxwell.

To finish the roster overhaul, many expected the former Oregon Head Coach to move up in the draft for the QB he groomed into a Heisman winner with the Ducks. It seemed like the Eagles were set to do what it took to get Mariota in midnight green.

The targeted draft spot was the second overall pick owned by the Tennessee Titans. Kelly to this day says the trade talks didn’t even get to an offer as the Titans were clear they were comfortable making the pick and selecting a quarterback.

However, the rumors that Kelly offered any signal caller and defensive player on the Eagles roster, plus a bunch of picks doesn’t seem that far fetched considering Kelly thought Mariota had the potential to win “multiple Super Bowls.”

Either way the Titans identified Mariota as their quarterback of the future and selected him second overall. The Eagles stuck with Sam Bradford, regressed on offense, and Kelly was fired after the Eagles were eliminated from the 2015 playoffs in a week 16 loss to Washington.

The following year, the Eagles accomplished what Kelly couldn’t and got to pick two after a trade with Miami going from pick thirteen to eight, and then a trade with Cleveland going from pick eight to two.

The Titans meanwhile sat at first overall but had already invested in Mariota the year prior, so they collected draft picks by moving down in a trade with the Rams for Jared Goff.

What if the Titans were willing to deal in 2015 with the Eagles? They liked Zach Mettenberger or Sam Bradford enough to pass on Mariota and give him to his former college coach.

In an alternate universe

In this hypothetical, the Eagles select Mariota with the second overall pick. They have enough success in 2015 to keep Kelly as the head coach and head of personnel, taking them out of the quarterback market.

The Titans meanwhile have another down year as Bradford continues his underwhelming career and have the first overall pick.

Without Mariota, the Titans are not interested in moving down with the Rams and select a big, strong armed, mobile quarterback in Carson Wentz as they see the success Mariota had with his legs in Philly.

Clearly they were interested in that style of quarterback in the real world taking Mariota.

Just those two moves could have changed the fabric of the NFL universe.

It could have us watching Mariota and the Eagles against Wentz and the Titans.

 

 

Louie, an Eagles, and NFL enthusiast all his life has finally found his home to share his thousands of takes on the Philadelphia Eagles with Locked on Eagles. Louie also works in Buffalo sports radio as a writer, host, and producer for WGR Sports Radio 550 the official home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He may be far from the nest, but Louie bleeds green just like the rest of Eagles Nation. Fly Eagles Fly.

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