The Case for Nick Foles

With the offseason in full swing, the Kansas City Chiefs top dilemma in 2013 is where they're going to find their next starting quarterback?

It's one quandary that has led to a plethora of names that would all make sense for the Chiefs. But just maybe new Head Coach, Andy Reid, has already made that decision on which current NFL quarterback could be wearing Kansas City red this September.

As the NFL offseason continues to churn and rumors are in full swing, teams are making their March Christmas lists to find dollars to spend and choose which free agent players could impact their upcoming rosters.

In Kansas City, new Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid, has quickly identified he must find the next, Len Dawson. With holdovers, Matt Cassel and Ricky Stanzi still under contract for 2013, neither seems to be the long-term answer.

But there are quarterbacks out there such as the 49ers Alex Smith, the Ravens Joe Flacco (should Baltimore mess up their contract negotiations), the Seahawks Matt Flynn and of course, Reid, could draft a young quarterback to groom into a starters role.

If I were a betting man, I believe he'll do both.

But relying on a rookie quarterback is a risky proposition for the Chiefs. Yes we all know it worked out well in 2012 for the Colts with Andrew Luck, the Redskins with RGIII and the Seahawks with Russell Wilson.

However, the Chiefs have never had any luck on their side in regards to finding that franchise quarterback via the draft, who can become, not the next Len Dawson, but the aforementioned, Joe Flacco.

So could Andy Reid dip into his recent past to find that quarterback?

Last season in Philadelphia Reid was blessed with the talents, though under-achieving as they were, with Michael Vick. When he struggled and fell to injuries, Reid gave the rock to the man he drafted out of Arizona in the third round back in 2012, Nick Foles.

The former University of Arizona standout has plenty of upside. He has the size 6' 6", the arm strength, and a high football IQ. But is that enough to develop into an elite playoff winning quarterback? Well honestly, I've no clue.

What he does possess right now, should he come to the Chiefs, is the benefit of working with Reid again and his former quarterbacks coach, Doug Pederson, who is now KC's new Offensive Coordinator.

Those are big plusses for the young Foles as he tries to insure his sophomore season in the NFL keeps ascending and not stuck on the bench.

When Chip Kelly left Oregon to become the Eagles new Head Coach, he made it clear to the organization that he wanted Vick to remain on the roster. He fits the type of spread, wide-open offense that led Kelly to jump from the college ranks to the pros.

Foles, to be honest, isn't that caliber of quarterback.

In fact, he'd be as lost in that system as the Chiefs Matt Cassel appeared to be in his tenure in KC outside of the 2010 season when Charlie Weis was in charge. And for that reason alone, Foles might make the most sense for Reid and company this season.

A year ago filling in for Vick, Foles was average. His six touchdowns and five interceptions weren't all that surprising considering he was indeed an NFL rookie. But he showed enough pocket awareness, despite the fact he was working behind a woeful offensive line, that he could get the ball into the hands of his playmakers.

Foles has a lot of upside and if the Chiefs pursue him, as I expect they will, you'd have to believe that it won't cost KC a big time draft pick. In fact, knowing Kelly has no place on the roster for Foles, I'm sure the same third round pick the Eagles paid for him in 2012 could be had in 2013.

And with the Chiefs likely to get a third round compensatory pick for losing Cornerback, Brandon Carr to the Cowboys a year ago, they could afford to give up the top pick of the third round to the Eagles. However, if they do that, it's possible that with the Chiefs when they're on the clock in round two they could still draft a young college quarterback. And if they do, that will give the Chiefs some options moving forward. Including trading one of them away in the next couple of years. Something Reid has managed very well in his NFL coaching tenure.

Will Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid reunite with Quarterback Nick Foles in Kansas City?
USA Today Sports

Bluntly Reid has shown a gift in developing NFL quarterbacks. And in Kansas City, he's the perfect man to change the fortunes of this franchise in that regard.

We've had some great quarterbacks in Kansas City. We've also had some terrible ones through the decades. With Reid in tow, that trend is going to change.

And with Reid's familiarity with Nick Foles, the two could be a match made in Heaven. But will that happen? And is this really the right move?

If you consider that potentially the 49ers, who hold the key to the Chiefs quarterback decision, might want as high as a first round pick for Alex Smith, you'd have to think that would be a crazy move by the Chiefs.

And I don't think Reid nor his new General Manager, John Dorsey, will make that leap.

So that leaves the Chiefs with honestly only a few options outside of the NFL draft, which for my money is the biggest rolling of the dice this franchise could take, in order to find the next great Chiefs quarterback.

That's why Foles makes more sense.

Sure he's not the veteran I'd like to see in Kansas City but he's not entirely green either. Plus his familiarity with the Chiefs new coaching staff (remember many of them hail from Philly), Foles would have a huge jump in his learning curve in Kansas City.

What's clear now is that he isn't going to be given a legitimate shot at the starting job in Philly. One for his lack of understanding in Kelly's new offense and second Vick just restructured his 2013 salary for the lofty price of $10 million.

That means for one year anyway, Kelly is convinced that Vick is the answer for the Eagles fortunes. And in fact, Vick might just be that. But so might his former Oregon Quarterback, Dennis Dixon, the writing could be on the wall. Though reports in Philly suggest prying Foles from the Eagles could be pricey, it appears that Kelly has made his decision. Thus regardless of the February denials, the door is ajar to get Foles in Kansas City before the NFL Draft begins in April.

So would this be a move that Chiefs fan can back?

Honestly, I'm not sure they can even remotely answer that question until we see what cast Reid can put around Foles or any other quarterback for that matter.

But I do know this; Andy Reid has rarely failed developing quarterbacks into Post Season winners. And I won't bet against him doing the same with Foles should he be the Chiefs opening day starter.

In my book, this is the Chiefs best play for the short and long term success. If that's not enough for all of you, he has a great first name and that puts him top shelf in my book.

This article appears courtesy of Warpaint Illustrated the Magazine. So check out this free preview and order your new 32-page color issue today!

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