According to a report from ESPN's Phil Sheridan, the Browns once tried to trade for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Back in 2013, the Cleveland tried to talented but troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon to Philadelphia in exchange for the then-second-year quarterback. It was the Birds that ultimately turned down the deal.
Sheridan offers more on the deal that never came to be:
"The price for Gordon, according to a source familiar with the discussions: quarterback Nick Foles.
A little context helps here. Gordon was facing a two-game suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. Foles had just been named the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback after losing a competition with Michael Vick during the preseason.
The Browns, who had Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden as their top two quarterbacks, wanted Foles as their starter. At that point, former Eagles president Joe Banner was running the Browns. Banner had been with the Eagles in 2012 when they drafted Foles.
The Eagles, in their first year with head coach Chip Kelly, were concerned about Gordon’s impending suspension. They were also high on Foles."
Pretty interesting. Some quick thoughts:
• It's interesting to see the Eagles had some level of interest in Gordon. He doesn't seem to fit Kelly's culture considering his off-the-field issues. A receiving corps of DeSean Jackson and Josh Gordon in 2013 would have been pretty interesting, but then the Eagles wouldn't have had a quarterback outside of Michael Vick.
• No Foles in 2013 would have been pretty weird. It really makes you think. Imagine how different Chip Kelly's first season would have been? Would the Eagles have ended up taking a quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft? Maybe Teddy Bridgewater? No Marcus Smith II? How would have Foles fared in Cleveland with Rob Chudzinski? Maybe the Eagles don't extend Riley Cooper if the Birds had Gordon?
• Gordon's suspension for the entire 2015 season certainly wouldn't have looked good for the Eagles, though. Bullet dodged.
• I wonder if the Browns still have some interest in Foles considering their quarterback situation is still a mess. Brian Hoyer will be a free agent and Johnny Manziel has the makings of a draft bust so far. Note that the Browns have two first round picks in the 2015 NFL Draft: No. 12 and No. 19. The Browns have 10 picks in total, which is the most of any team in the NFL.
• Speaking of trades, what does this say about Foles' value? Gordon is a very talented prospect, though part of why Cleveland was trading him away was due to the suspension issues. And Cleveland was making this offer before they saw how Foles played in 2013, obviously. What could the Eagles get for him now if they did decide to move him? Problem is, Eagles currently don't have anything behind Foles.
In the end this is just one of those "after the fact" rumors that makes for interesting offseason discussion. It's hard not to think how different things could have been, for better or for worse, had it gone through.