It will be nice to not have to face LeSean McCoy twice per season. That said, don't think for one second that the Eagles will fail to field an offensive backfield capable of shredding our defense. In the meantime, it makes sense for the front office in Ashburn to start thinking about how they can benefit from the trigger-happy stylings of Chip Kelly.
Given the moves Kelly is starting to string together, it is clear that he is unafraid to act, and equally clear (to most) that he is just getting started. If you believe (as I do), that he is gearing up to make a run at his former Oregon quarterback, then you know that means the Redskins are potentially in play as a trading partner. The Redskins want as many picks as possible, but Chip Kelly will do everything he can to minimize the loss of future draft selections by including current Eagles players in the deal.
Clearly, moving Nick Foles will be a priority for the Eagles if they take a swing at getting Mariota. I don't necessarily see the Redskins' front office staff jumping too quickly out of their chairs for the opportunity to add Foles to the mix. (I can see the Jets taking Foles and some picks to move down in the draft.) This may or may not be the mitigating factor in any deal the Eagles do, so everything else might be moot...but 'tis the season to deal in some moot!
Rumors swirling around the potential Philly trade-up scenario have included Nick Foles, Lane Johnson, LeSean McCoy and Jordan Matthews. (I know...rumors...what else do you want in the first week of March?) Before I put the question to you, let's quickly size up this crop of players. (LeSean McCoy is no longer available, obviously.)
While Nick Foles would arguably be the best quarterback on our roster (come on...it would at least be arguable), it is hard to envision the Washington organization making such a move after so recently reciting public marriage vows to Robert Griffin III. Further, the allocation of resources for this year and beyond in D.C. almost dictates that the team find ways to invest in other areas of the field. All I mean there is that McLovin' is tasked with firming up the foundation and depth of just about every position group on the field. It isn't that the quarterback position is settled, rather that there are actually less settled positions requiring immediate investment (a truly unsettling fact indeed).
Lane Johnson is intriguing because he is...DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNN...an offensive tackle. In fact, despite sitting out four games in the beginning of 2014 due to PED use, he was still ranked as the second-best right tackle in the league by Pro Football Focus. The guy is a terrific athlete, and it would be ridiculous to suggest he would be anything but a CRAZY upgrade on our roster. In short, he would fill a need. His availability in a deal like this is beyond appetizing for the Redskins.
As for Jordan Matthews, let me say this: I think he has the potential to be an all-time great. I am not sure why Philly would ever consider trading him at all, but if they did, he would anchor the receiving corps in D.C. for a decade. I would jump at the chance to add him (and subtract him from a division rival).
Clearly, we are dealing in hearsay and scuttlebutt at this point, which makes our discussion even more speculative than usual, but if Chip Kelly is serious about holding onto his first rounder in 2016 as well as other valuable picks, he is going to have to use players on the roster to accomplish it.
If you are Scot McCloughan, and you are trying to hammer out an accord with Chip Kelly that must include players and not just picks, which of these players are you most adamant about receiving to get a deal done? Feel free to suggest anyone else in the comments section. Lord knows that just about anything can happen between today and the draft to alter this scenario beyond recognition.
For my part, I will vote for Lane Johnson because his addition would be pretty much everything I have been begging for over the last two months. The beauty is that it is not outside the realm of possibility that both Jordan Matthews and Lane Johnson could be lumped together in a deal that would allow the Eagles to hold onto all of their future picks.
It bears mentioning that intra-division deals like this are beyond rare. With the presence of some pretty fresh faces in key roles on both sides of this, one could suggest the chances for such a deal are at their best now, but this whole debate is rightly overshadowed by the difficulty in doing such a blockbuster deal with a divisional rival.