Finding a quarterback is a bit like buying an engagement ring. There are thousands of options out there, but you need the ring that is going to seal the deal forever (10 years in NFL time). There are several ways to go about picking it out, but you have to get a decent one or you will get shot down and be out on the street.
If Matt Cassel is the nickel-plated cubic zirconia ring from the local warehouse store, then Tom Brady is that ring that comes in a blue box and costs as much as a car. The consensus seems to be that there are no blue-box rings available in the draft, so the Chiefs will have to get creative.
Now that Michael Vick has restructured his contract to stay in Philadelphia and Dennis Dixon has reunited with his former college head coach, Nick Foles could be expendable. Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports that the Chiefs are interested in Foles if he becomes available.
Foles would be the ring from a mall jewelry store that is capable of getting the job done, but at what cost? It’s common knowledge that you pay more at the mall because of the high overhead and salespeople on commission.
As opposed to a free agent or draft pick, the Chiefs will have to trade for Foles, which means giving up a draft selection.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Kansas City traded for Matt Cassel in Scott Pioli’s first offseason running the football operations. Like Foles, Cassel was also a backup. The Chiefs drafted a 3-4 defensive end in Tyson Jackson two months after trading for Cassel, and many people believe they should draft another 3-4 defensive end in 2013.
Kansas City traded the 34th overall pick in 2009 for Cassel and Mike Vrabel, and there’s no reason to think Foles would cost any less to acquire, but the similarities end there. Foles would be under team control for three more years and his contract is dirt-cheap, which is a lot different from trading for a quarterback who had just been given the franchise tag.
Assuming the Chiefs like Foles better than any of the quarterbacks that would be available in the second round, trading for him could be a common-sense move.
Foles was drafted 88th overall in 2012 in a deep quarterback class. It’s doubtful that KC would be able to send less than a second-round pick to Philadelphia in order to acquire him, but the two sides could get creative on a conditional pick if the Eagles would take a pick in a future year.
Whereas Cassel had to learn a new offense, Foles knows Andy Reid’s system, and the offensive coordinator—Doug Pederson—was his position coach last season. It’s not very often a team has the opportunity to get a quarterback who understands the playbook already.
It could come down to which combination the Chiefs feel is better: Geno Smith and the best 3-4 defensive end available with the 34th pick or Foles and the best 3-4 defensive end in the entire draft. Hypothetically, Kansas City could be deciding between Smith and a player like Kawann Short or Star Lotulelei and Foles.
Provided Foles costs no more than the 34th overall pick to acquire, it would be a great move for the Chiefs because it minimizes risk while maximizing value. Foles is not as much of a gamble as a rookie because Reid and Pederson already know him and he would cost less to acquire. Foles would not be making a lot of money, so the organization could easily go after another quarterback if he doesn’t work out.
The Chiefs also wouldn’t have to “reach” for a quarterback with the first pick and would be able to address a huge need elsewhere by trading for Foles. It’s never a good idea to leave value on the board just to fill a need, and that’s what KC would have to do in order to draft a quarterback first overall.
Even if the Chiefs would like to draft a quarterback at No. 34, the trade still makes a lot of sense. There’s a fair bit of uncertainty about trying to land your starting quarterback in the second round of the draft, so the Chiefs might have to trade back into the end of the first round to secure their guy. The team would likely have to give up another valuable draft pick to secure a rookie quarterback who has to learn a new offense and improve his own play.
Foles is the Chiefs' in just about every way. The only questions that remain are if the Eagles will make him available and how much they would want for him. Assuming the Eagles make Foles available, the Chiefs should be willing to part with the 34th pick to get him.
It seems similar to what the Chiefs did with Cassel, but the new regime can’t let past decisions guide the future.