The 2014 NFL offseason has begun for the Eagles, which means Chip Kelly and his staff will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2013 roster. While the team was able to manage a 10-6 record along with an NFC East crown, there are still many ways the Eagles roster could be improved upon. By the time NFL free agency starts on March 11, the Eagles will have a good idea of which players they'll want to bring back for the 2014 season. Today we'll start this offseason review series by looking at the quarterback position.
Review: To call Nick Foles' performance in 2013 surprising would be an understatement. After entering the season as the team's backup, he went on to post some really flashy numbers in Chip Kelly's offense. The team really played well with Foles at the helm. Foles saw his first significant action when he stepped in for an injured Michael Vick during the Week 5 game against the Giants. He topped that performance with another strong showing against the Buccaneers in Tampa. A terrible outing from Foles against the Cowboys back in Philadelphia really left huge question marks. After missing a week due to a concussion, Foles rebounded in a big way in Oakland with 7 TDs and remained as the team's starter for the rest of the season. Foles will be back in 2014 as the Eagles starting quarterback. The next challenge for him is to not only show he can replicate his success but improve upon it.
Numbers: 335 snaps, 6 games started, 7 games played, 2-4 QB record, 77/141 (54.6%), 5 TD, 3 INT, 1215 yards, 8.6 Y/A, 86.5 QB rating, 306 rush yards, 2 TD, 4 fumbles
Numbers: 77 snaps, 0 games started, 3 games played, 30/49 (61.2%), 0 TD, 4 INT, 300 yards, 6.1 Y/A, 44.6 QB Rating, -2 rush yards, 3 fumbles
Review: Those numbers don't look too pretty, huh? Barkley's first NFL action came against the Cowboys after Foles had been knocked out of the game with a concussion. Barkley threw 3 interceptions and looked over-matched. The week after, Vick started against the Giants but was clearly too injured to play. Barkley came in and didn't look as incapable as he did against the Cowboys, but the results were still not very good. Barkley's regular season performance wasn't anything expected based on the way he performed in training camp and preseason. While it's clear he has some potential, it's also evident he wasn't ready to play in the NFL just yet. This 2014 offseason will be critical to Barkley's development.
[G.J. Kinne] - Spent most of the season on the Eagles' practice squad, because he's the ultimate practice squad player. Kinne signed a reserve/futures contract with the Eagles as soon after the season ended.
Who Could Leave
Michael Vick - After the Eagles season-ending loss to the Saints in the 2014 NFL Playoffs, Vick stated he doesn't want to return to the Eagles as a backup. With the Eagles committing to Nick Foles as the starter, Vick won't find a starting job in Philadelphia.
Who Could Sign
The quarterback free agent market is slim pickings. Josh McCown will turn 35 and could re-sign with the Bears. Dennis Dixon, who the Eagles had in camp last year, is under contract with the Bills (futures/reserve deal). Josh Freeman could be an interesting project, but comes with "baggage". If Michael Vick can't find a starting job elsewhere in the NFL, perhaps he would be willing to return to the Eagles as a backup.
Otherwise, the Eagles might best avoid the QB free agent market if they're confident in Barkley as a backup and look to add another signal caller through the draft.
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