Trading for past potential never works out.
I'm from and live in Saint Louis, Missouri. Lately, I've been reading a lot of sports stories headlined, "Who Won the Foles for Bradford Trade". Football fans know what I'm talking about. Last offseason, Sam Bradford was traded to the Eagles straight up for Nick Foles. The trade at the time seemed very blah. It wasn't that big of a surprise to me. Both of these guys are mid level, at best, NFL quarterbacks.
Nick Foles wasn't really on anyone's radar until he blew up two seasons ago, coming in for an injured Eagles quarterback and put up insane stats. I believe he had 20 touchdown passes and 1, or maybe even 0 interceptions. He led the Eagles to the playoffs where they were ousted in the first round. Last season was supposed to be when Foles became a upper level quarterback. He wasn't going to be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton, but he was supposed to be on the same level as a Jay Cutler or Russell Wilson. That didn't really happen. He started the season very slow. He looked to be lost in Chip Kelly's offense and struggled. Also, Chip Kelly is NOT an offensive genius, at least not in the NFL. Foles eventually got hurt and missed the last half of last season. Mark Sanchez replaced him and played better than him. That's insane to me.
Sam Bradford, on the other hand, was the number one overall pick in the draft. He was supposed to be the savior and new face of the Rams franchise. In his case, he could never stay healthy. He'd start to show flashes, fitting passes into tight windows, throwing a decent deep ball and protecting the football, but it was just that, a flash. At other times, he'd looked flustered and lost. Sometimes, the defense looked so much faster than he could comprehend. He'd take sack after sack by holding the ball way too long. And, he'd ALWAYS end up getting hurt, usually resulting in a lost season. He'd get a concussion or a banged up shoulder, but he always seemed to tear an ACL. Be it preseason or the regular season, he's missed time his entire career.
So when the trade was announced I wasn't surprised so much as thinking, why would these two teams trade for average, oft injured quarterbacks that haven't had much success in the NFL? I didn't really think either team won the trade, but multiple outlets had multiple feelings on the trade. Saint Louis media was thrilled to get rid of Bradford and his huge contract, and they were happy to have Foles. He was cheap and although he was just recently injured, he was more durable than Bradford. In Philadelphia, they were happy to get rid of the slow moving, plodding statue that was Foles. I guess they thought Bradford would be a better fit in Kelly's offense because he ran something similar at Oklahoma. That's problem number one, neither of these guys are mobile at all. They're both pocket passers. I also heard a report from Philadelphia saying that Bradford could lead this team to a Super Bowl, if he could stay healthy. Now, I'm not a Rams fan, but after watching him on local TV for four or five years, he NEVER stayed healthy. I already mentioned all his injury woes earlier. Before the season, Foles pretty quietly came to Saint Louis with little to no fanfare. Not much was expected from him because the Rams just drafted Todd Gurley, and their defense is top notch. Foles was supposed to be a game manager. In Bradford's case, the Super Bowl mention was out there, and he turned down an extension, deciding to bet on himself having a big season to get a big contract. Needless to say, Bradford's expectations were much higher than Foles. Then, the season started.
We are nine games into the season, and neither is really doing too much. Foles was just recently benched. He's completing almost less than 50 percent of his passes and he has 7 touchdown passes compared to 6 interceptions. Without Gurley, the Rams offense would be non existent. Foles isn't managing games. He throws critical interceptions and misses open receivers a lot. The Rams are struggling, look at what the Bears did to them last week, and Foles is a big reason why. I don't care or mind the benching. He's struggled and when you're more than halfway through the season, it's hard to fix these problems. Why not give Case Keenum a chance? What do the Rams have to lose really? In Bradford and Philadelphia's case, they've both been some of the biggest disappointments in the NFL. Philadelphia's offense has been downright awful at times. Kelly is calling way too many pass plays, putting the ball in Bradford's hand way too much. When you have DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles, why not run it 70 percent of the time? That's a great trio of running backs. But, the Eagles have counted on Bradford too much to the tune of 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and a 4-5 record. And also, guess what happened in their last game, Bradford got hurt. Surprise, surprise. He's going to miss, at least, the next two games.
I'll ask again, why are people trying to figure out who "won" this trade? No one did. Both of these quarterbacks have been huge disappointments this year, and both teams should have seen this coming. These two guys are back ups and should be treated that way. For what was supposed to be team changing trades for each team has been, but not in the way the Rams and Eagles thought. These guys stink. I don't know why this trade was made and I bet both teams GM's are kicking themselves right now. Both teams had big plans for this season, but these two QB's have almost derailed these plans.
Sorry Saint Louis and Philadelphia, no one wins this trade.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He once traded his brother a rookie Bo Jackson baseball card for an Alf pog. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.