The NFL quarterback carousel has already started to spin.
Bills starter Tyrod Taylor has been traded to the Cleveland Browns for the No. 65 overall pick (!) in the 2018 NFL Draft. This means Buffalo is without a quarterback.
So, is Nick Foles destined to be the Bills’ next starter?
It’s not a crazy thought. The Bills now has two picks in each of the first three rounds of this year’s draft, so they certainly have the ammo to make a move. Their first six selections: No. 21, No. 22, No. 53, No. 56, No. 65, No. 96.
With that said, it’s hard to imagine Buffalo moved on from Taylor solely so that they could make a 29-year-old Foles their franchise guy. Then again, they just really didn’t like Taylor. I mean, they benched him for freaking Nathan Peterman, who threw five interceptions in his first NFL start. Still, one would think Buffalo might rather trade up in this year’s draft.
But who’s to say the Bills can’t both trade for Foles AND draft a top passing prospect? Foles could be a bridge starter to hedge the Bills’ bet on a rookie passer. Buffalo could try to emulate the 2016 Eagles’ strategy of stockpiling quarterbacks (Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz).
We already know the Bills and Eagles have an extensive trading history. Due to that history, Buffalo has LeSean McCoy, who is a big vocal advocate of Foles and said he belongs as a starter in the NFL.
Let’s talk about some other landing spots for Foles. We can rule Cleveland out now that Taylor is there and they’re probably going to draft a rookie at some point.
How about the other two teams that reportedly showed interest in acquiring a veteran such as Taylor? According to Vic Carruci, that would be the Cardinals and the Broncos. Of those two teams, NFL insider Mike Garafolo says he expects Arizona to keep working the trade market to find a quarterback.
Foles makes a lot of sense for the Cardinals, who don’t currently have a single quarterback under contract. Arizona only has their own selections in the first two rounds but they do have an extra third due to a compensatory pick.
The Broncos have two thirds as well. They also have two fourths.
One interesting thing about Denver is that Taylor was reportedly one of their main backup plans to the Plan A of possibly signing Kirk Cousins. The Browns were able to beat them to the punch. I can’t help but wonder if at least one of these teams starts to fear they’re going to not only miss out on Plan A but their backup options as well. One way to avoid that from happening would be to trade for Foles now. Free agency options aren’t guaranteed because it’s up to the player to sign where he wants. It’s hard to rely on the quarterback you desire falling to you in the NFL Draft if you aren’t picking very high. Trading for Foles provides certainty that other options currently can’t.
And so that’s something to keep an eye on as the official start of the new league year draws closer. Desperation would be a good thing for the Eagles. If the Bills can get No. 65 for Taylor, one would think Howie Roseman would be able to get even more for Foles. Assuming they trade him at all, of course, which I think they will.