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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 producer for WGR Sports Radio 550 the official home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, in addition to working as the Sports Director for 91.3 FM WBNY Buffalo. He may be far from the nest, but Louie bleeds green just like the rest of Eagles Nation. Fly Eagles Fly.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Troy Buchanan

    September 30, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Woulda shoulda coulda. Eagles got lucky….whoot whoot.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Who will the Eagles target at RB?

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Le’Veon Bell? LeSean McCoy? Tevin Coleman? The Eagles are in the hunt for a running back to replace Jay Ajayi after he suffered a torn ACL in the loss against Minnesota.

Will the Eagles go in for a star or add a rotational piece alongside Corey Clement like Spener Ware or CJ Prosise.

Louie and Gino speculate on another edition of the Locked on Eagles podcast!

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Philadelphia Eagles

Another McCoy trade between the Eagles and Bills?

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles, in search for a running back after starter Jay Ajayi tore his ACL on Sunday against the Vikings, reportedly contacted the Bills about a potential deal for LeSean McCoy.

Would the Bills consider giving the Eagles their all-time leading rusher back? What would it take? Has McCoy lost a step?

Louie and Kevin Massare of Locked on Bills touch on everything you need to know about the Eagles-Bills trade rumors involving LeSean McCoy.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Would the Dolphins trade the Eagles another RB?

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It was just a year ago that an Eagles team dominating the NFL wanted to put the offense over the edge by dealing for a difference maker at the running back position. That difference maker turned into Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi who fell out of favor with Head Coach Adam Gase after tensions grew with Ajayi’s role shrinking as the year went on.

The Eagles swooped in giving the Dolphins a 4th round pick and Ajayi helped lead Philadelphia to their first ever Super Bowl championship, averaging 5.8 yards per carry with the Birds.

A year later the Eagles are searching for help in the backfield with the news that Ajayi is out for the season after tearing his ACL in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Would the Dolphins consider making a second deal with the Eagles for a running back? Preferably another young, efficient runner in Kenyan Drake that hasn’t been used by Gase?

Drake was a big reason the Dolphins were OK letting Ajayi go to Philadelphia last year. The former Alabama running back averaged almost five yards a carry in the second half of the season.

However in 2018 Drake has not been used nearly as much as a year ago. Drake has just 14 carries in the last three weeks with just 53 yards on the ground.

Frank Gore meanwhile has 10+ carries in back to back weeks.

Drake is just 24 years old and doesn’t have a big cap hit like other potential trade targets for the Eagles in Le’Veon Bell or LeSean McCoy. He is a cheaper, younger option who also possesses the vision, speed, explosive play-making ability that Bell and McCoy have.

He also could help solve the offense’s issues against the blitz with strong pass protection.

 

The Eagles could also call about Frank Gore, a former legend in Philadelphia but the Eagles would more likely go for a younger, faster back that can make game changing plays that Corey Clement or Wendell Smallwood just can’t make on a consistent basis.

Clement will still be a big part of this backfield but the Eagles need to add someone like Drake to keep this offense dangerous in both the pass game and run game.

Carson Wentz has thrown a lot in his first three starts this year and while the passing game should be the focal point of the offense, the Eagles need to have a legitimate run game that was extremely important in the Super Bowl win last year (Blount, Ajayi, Clement combined for over 200 scrimmage yards in the Super Bowl).

If Miami was willing to deal, Drake could be a great option.

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