The debate raged on for 10 minutes, easy. A handful of us - Merrill Reese, Howard Eskin, Ed Benkin from KYW Newsradio and myself - debated the merits of trading quarterback Mark Sanchez.
"No way I would trade him," said Reese. "The future is now."
"You don't trade such a valuable player," said Benkin.
"This is all hogwash conversation, anyway," said Eskin.
Of course it is. Speculation. Fantasy. Water-cooler chatter. For the record, I say the Eagles listen to anyone who calls. Never say never, which was the gist of my animated conversation as the Eagles went through their warmups prior to Monday's training session at the NovaCare Complex.
The point here isn't about who is right and who is wrong. The point is that we were talking about the Eagles' quarterbacks and the depth they have and if one of them, namely Sanchez, is a player who could fetch a sizeable return in a trade.
How many teams in the NFL can have that kind of talk about their quarterbacks? I look around the NFC East, for example and see that in New York Eli Manning is having his ups and downs adjusting to a new scheme. In Dallas, Tony Romo is coming off back surgery amid strong indications that the Cowboys nearly pulled the trigger in May's draft to take Johnny Manziel. Washington seems like a mess, what with all of the chatter that backup Kirk Cousins is better suited to start than is the franchise, Robert Griffin III.
Around the league? More unrest. Cleveland can't score points. Oakland is awful at quarterback. Houston is in a rebuilding situation. The Rams just lost Sam Bradford to a knee injury (inspiring the media shoutaround) and so on and so on.
The Eagles, on the other hand, feel pretty darn pleased with the quarterback picture. Nick Foles has his sights set on Jacksonville and September 7 after finishing the preseason well in the win over Pittsburgh. Sanchez is the talk of the league with the way he's played in the preseason. Matt Barkley has played good football the last couple of weeks after a so-so game in Chicago, and he gets a chance to start on Thursday against the Jets to show what he can do with extended playing time.
This franchise has, in fact, had an impressive run of success at the quarterback position. It began with the selection of Donovan McNabb in the 1999 draft and it has continued through now (with the exception the addition of MikeMcMahon in 2005. He just did not play well here). The Eagles have had answers at the game's most vital position, and they've also equipped themselves in the event of an injury or two.
Whether It was Koy Detmer or A.J. Feeley or Jeff Garcia or Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick or, now, Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley, the Eagles have covered themselves at the position with talent and depth.
The Eagles have a chance to win big this season and for years to come because they have a young ascending quarterback. They also happen to have assets in whom they believe - Sanchez and Barkley - to make a position that is threadbare in many NFL cities, a source of strength here.