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Peter King shares several Eagles-related tidbits coming out of the NFL Combine

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Things to keep an eye on.

Cleveland Browns v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

NFL rumor season is heating up with the Combine coming to a close and the start of free agency just a couple weeks away. Peter King had a lot of interesting info to share in his weekly FMIA column, including some tidbits related to the Philadelphia Eagles.

CARSON WENTZ ON THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL IN CLEVELAND?

KING: An interesting schedule wrinkle. Because the Pro Football Hall of Fame will have two inductions of 10 men apiece—the traditional one, with modern-era inductees in August, and the Centennial Class of 10 players on Sept. 18—there is some thought about playing a Week 2 Thursday night game (Sept. 17) to help kick off the Centennial Class weekend. It seems logical to me that Cleveland, 50 minutes north of the Hall and an intriguing 2020 team anyway, could host that Thursday-nighter on CBS. The Browns host Philadelphia and Pittsburgh this year; both have a Centennial Class Hall of Famer (Harold Carmichael and Donnie Shell), as does Cleveland (wideout Mac Speedie). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eagles-Browns on Thursday night in Week 2. (Pittsburgh and Cleveland played last November on a Thursday night. You might remember that one. Myles Garrett does.)

Wentz made his NFL debut against the Browns, who notably passed on drafting him at No. 2 overall, in Week 1 of the 2016 season. That game was at Lincoln Financial Field. Wentz is set to make his first start in Cleveland during the 2020 campaign. Wentz versus Baker Mayfield on national television could be fun; the quarterback the Browns could’ve had versus the one they ended up with instead.

JOSH MCCOWN TO CINCY?

KING: Sounds-Zany-But-Isn’t Idea of the Week: If I’m Zac Taylor, I’d push to sign Josh McCown as my backup, while keeping Ryan Finley to develop. McCown turns 41 in July, and he wouldn’t be signing to play, but rather to be the kind of selfless every-day on-and-off-field mentor he’s been for Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold and Johnny Manziel (win some, lose some) in the last six years. Even if McCown wants the same deal he had last year in Philadelphia—Friday nights free so he could coach his sons Owen and Aiden in high school—that shouldn’t stand in the way of a smart idea. Burrow would love McCown.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with McCown this offseason. After watching All or Nothing, it’s hard not to want him back with the Eagles. McCown seems like a real valuable guy to have around in terms of supporting his teammates, including Wentz. But can the Eagles really count on him to stay healthy? McCown tore his hamstring not too long into his first meaningful action during the 2019 season. He won’t even be fully recovered until closer to training camp. It doesn’t feel like a lock that McCown will be back with Philly in 2020, even though it’d be a bummer to see him go. It’s entirely possible that Eagles passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor puts in a good word to his brother in Cincy on McCown’s behalf. If that’s the case, the Eagles will need a new backup for Wentz. Do the Birds re-sign Nate Sudfeld, who will be a free agent? Maybe they go after Case Keenum instead? I don’t think Joe Flacco is a realistic option even if/when the Broncos release him ... he’s a local guy with ties to Eagles vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl, sure, but he didn’t seem to be on the same page with Rich Scangarello in Denver.

BIG V’S BIG MARKET?

KING: After Jack Conklin, the tackle market caves, unless Trent Williams is dealt by Washington. Next might be 26-year-old Halapoulivaati Vaitai of the Eagles, who has allowed a respectable six sacks in 810 snaps over the last two years.

Shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Eagles are unlikely to retain Big V. The Eagles’ 2016 fifth-round pick figures to get an opportunity to start for another team. He’ll make more than Philly should reasonably pay him to be a backup.

NICK FOLES REUNITED WITH FRANK REICH?

KING: One of my favorite X factors [in the NFL’s quarterback carousel] is Foles, assuming, as many in combine hallways believe, that the Jaguars go with Gardner Minshew. Foles is 31, a Super Bowl MVP, a great team guy, a pocket guy in need of a good offensive line and outside weapons. The more I think of Foles, and the more I think of a landing spot if he’s not a Jag, I think I might be able to talk myself into the Colts. Makes a lot of sense, especially behind that line, and especially with how much help he’d be to Jacoby Brissett.

Foles to the Colts makes sense for Indy. They need to upgrade on Brissett, who is 12-20 as a starter and owns a career 84.6 passer rating. Foles reuniting with former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich seems like a good fit for him after struggling in Jacksonville.

Foles to the Colts doesn’t make as much sense for the Jaguars. Are they really going to send him to a division rival?

Cutting Foles isn’t a viable option considering the Jags would be on the hook for a whopping $33.9 million in dead money. Trading Foles, however, lessens the dead money to $18.8 million while actually opening up $3.1 milion in cap room.

The feeling here has been that the Chicago Bears should trade for Foles. Mitchell Trubisky clearly can’t be counted on as the long-term answer. Foles has a number of connections to Chicago’s coaching staff considering Bears head coach Matt Nagy was his offensive coordinator on the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was his quarterbacks coach on the Eagles in 2013, and Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was his quarterbacks coach on the Eagles in 2017. The Bears can recreate last year’s Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill dynamic where Trubisky is the starter until he struggles. Then the 2018 Super Bowl MVP can take over. Sending Foles to the NFC makes more sense for the Jags than keeping him in the AFC South.