New Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid could trade for his former Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback, Nick Foles. Both USA Today and NFL.com report that the Chiefs would interested if the Eagles opt to deal Foles.
The trade could be the smartest way for Reid to quickly rebuild the Chiefs. The franchise that went 2-14 in 2012, has many areas in need of repair. There are major issues along the offensive line and at wide receiver.
The defense is also soft against the run and the young secondary has taken several steps back since 2010. Fixing the quarterback position should be Reid's first job, but that shouldn't force him into using the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft on Geno Smith.
Neither Smith or his closest competitor, Ryan Nassib, are standout, first overall selections. Trading for Foles would free the Chiefs to use the draft's prime pick to strengthen along the trenches.
The 2013 draft class is deep at both lines. Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel would be an instant upgrade for a porous offensive line. The best member of the current Chiefs front five, tackle Branden Albert, is set to enter free agency.
If the Chiefs can't retain Albert, picking Joeckel becomes a must. Even if they do re-sign Albert, Reid could still opt for Joeckel and move Albert to the right side. That would give the Chiefs a pair of quality bookend tackles and turn the O-line into a position of strength.
Reid watched both Foles and Michael Vick suffer behind a revolving door-like offensive line in Philadelphia, during 2012. He knows the value of a stout front, no matter who is under center for the Chiefs in 2013.
On the other hand, Reid could look instead to add a blue chip performer to an underachieving defense. The 3-4 scheme the Chiefs switched to in 2009 has produced mixed results. Many of the failings have been due to poor play up front.
Kansas City's defense simply doesn't possess a truly dominant lineman. Fortunately any team with that need will find riches aplenty in this year's draft. Owning the top pick means Reid could take Utah linchpin Star Lotulelei off the board.
He is considered by many to be the most imposing defensive tackle in a deep and versatile group. Lotulelei would give the Chiefs' 3-4 scheme the Haloti Ngata-like force it needs to succeed in the trenches.
However, the Chiefs have spent first round picks on three defensive linemen in the last five drafts. Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe have all either struggled, or simply failed, to live up to that billing. Chiefs fans might not be comfortable with the idea of spending another prime choice on their D-line.
Perhaps the best reason a trade for Foles makes sense, is Reid's familiarity with the player. He drafted him for the Eagles last year and promoted him ahead of Vick for the season's final six games.
However, Foles could soon find himself out of favour under new Philly boss Chip Kelly. The Eagles recently acquired dual-threat quarterback Dennis Dixon, according to Yahoo! Sports. He is a more natural backup for the versatile Vick and a better fit for the spread-style attack Kelly ran at Oregon.
Foles meanwhile, is already accustomed to the type of offense Reid loves to run. He managed some creditable numbers in 2012, including 1,699 passing yards. Although it is brief, Foles boasts legitimate pro experience. That could mean less of a transition period than a rookie would face and result in a quick revival for the Reid's Chiefs.
Foles may also have the benefit of a better than advertised receiving corps. NFL.com's Ian Rappaport has reported that primary receiver Dwayne Bowe has already begun discussions over a new deal. Taking Bowe of the free-agent market early, would be a major boon to Foles and to Reid's offense.
The Chiefs have room under the cap, with ESPN.com's John Clayton indicating they have $ 16.1 million in space. However, if they hope to keep Bowe and possibly Albert, that figure will soon dwindle.
So a trade for Foles could prove to be more cost-effective than drafting Smith first overall. Reid would also get a quarterback he knows and rates highly, to help ensure a quick rebuild.