The Philadelphia Eagles have been the most active team this offseason, and they could be on the verge of making even more headlines. After already having acquired both Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow, head coach Chip Kelly reportedly has his sights set on other quarterbacks.
There’s been speculation for a few months that Kelly wants to reunite with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Kelly has looked to dispel those rumors by stating that he won’t mortgage the team’s future in order to move up in the 2015 NFL Draft and take Mariota. But there continues to be reports that he’s trying to select the Heisman Trophy winner.
Philadelphia has the No.20 pick in the draft, and there’s a good chance Mariota will be taken at No.2 overall. According to WFAN’s Mike Francesa, Kelly has looked into moving up in the draft so the Eagles can take Mariota.
"I happened to be chatting with some folks in the NFL about the draft,” Francesa said on Thursday on WFAN. “This is from a pretty credible source. There is a route being paved by the Eagles to actually go after Mariota. I was not convinced there was, because of how much it would cost, but he has actually tried to create a lane, Chip Kelly, to get from 20 to the top of the draft. Not to one, but maybe two, or three, or four, depending on where he needed to get to, to get to Mariota.”
Mariota was the starting quarterback under Kelly during the coach’s final year with Oregon. Leading the team to a 12-1 record, the quarterback threw for 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. Some scouts question whether or not his game will translate well to the NFL, but playing for Kelly might give him his best chance to find success.
But Mariota might not be the only Heisman Trophy winner that the Eagles could acquire. Francesa said that a trade could also send Johnny Manziel to Philadelphia.
"The Cleveland Browns have the 12 and the 19 and they're interested in (Sam) Bradford. They're interested in Bradford. It would include Manziel going back to the Eagles and Bradford going to the Browns, the 12 and the 19 going to the (Eagles), the 20 going to the (Browns)... one spot doesn't make much difference, but that was the trade as explained to me... and Manziel's contract going to the Eagles.”
Cleveland used the No.22 overall pick to draft Manziel in 2014. He didn’t begin the season as the starter, but he replaced Brian Hoyer for two games. He failed to throw for 100 yards in either game, tossing two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer told Cleveland.com that the team didn’t try to deal Manziel to the Eagles.