Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice published an article on Friday that expanded upon the tweet he sent out on Wednesday evening. The original tweet read as follows:
Kempski gave more thoughts in his recent post:
"Every day, with little things I hear, evidence continues to build that the Eagles are going to make a strong play for Marcus Mariota. To note, this is something I had previously thought to be unrealistic, so as bits of information have trickled in, they've been absorbed on my end with skepticism. But it appears the Eagles are determined to get their guy.
Butt-covering disclaimer: Of course, definitively forecasting something like this is a lot different than, oh, saying the Eagles were moving on from DeSean Jackson. That was something that was completely within the Eagles' control, and thus, much easier to definitively report. Forecasting an Eagles trade that would land them Mariota is extremely difficult, considering the high number of variables and other teams involved. In other words, while the Eagles want Mariota and seem determined to make it happen, this is not a slam dunk."
So what we know is that the Eagles do want Mariota, which is fairly obvious at this point. But we still don't know if teams at the top of the 2015 NFL Draft, such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have any interest in shopping their high pick. And even if the Buccaneers do want to trade out of the first spot, there's no telling what the price would be, but it wouldn't be cheap.
But perhaps the price tag doesn't matter for Kelly. He's heading into his third season without a sure answer at quarterback. Nick Foles has shown some potential but he's also shown plenty of cause for concern. If the Eagles stick with Foles they won't have to give up any picks. But there's no guarantee Foles work out, and if he doesn't, Kelly could be entering 2016, the fourth year of his five year contract, without an answer at quarterback yet again.
If the Eagles do give up picks and/or players for Mariota, they are going to need to need to address their current roster holes through free agency. Kempski talked about this possibility as well:
"The tea leaves say the Eagles are going to be big players in free agency. Let's do some free agency math:
The Eagles have no shortage of holes on their roster that require an immediate upgrade, especially at CB, S, arguably OG, and possibly ILB, OLB, QB and WR depending on how situations play out with players already on the Eagles' roster.
The Eagles have the cap space to make whatever moves they need to make.
The Eagles already cut a pair of positively contributing players (James Casey and Todd Herremans) to clear even more cap space, and they're likely to release more players or get them to take pay cuts.
If the Eagles believe they can get a deal done for Mariota, it is going to cost them a boatload of draft picks, both this year and in the future. They're going to have to offset the loss of those picks with young players in free agency, which is going to be costly, but necessary.
Get ready for an active free agency period."
Like I said before, for better or for worse, this offseason has the potential to get real crazy.