Matt Barkley, We Hardly Know You

Will Matt Barkley ever have another chance in Philadelphia? Or should he be shipped out as soon as possible? (While he is still worth something)

With the big Eagles-Giants game now hours away, I want you to reflect on who took the most snaps for the Birds the last time these two teams played each other.

Not Michael Vick. Not Nick Foles. It was Matt Barkley.

And it was awful. God awful.

For a quick recap, it was in Week 8 last year. Mike Vick went down with an injury, (gasp) and Matt Barkley had to enter the game.

The rookie could not produce one single scoring drive. Josh Brown netted five field goals for the G-Men in a 15-7 loss for the Birds at home. The lone score came with 4:11 remaining in the game when Zak DeOssie sailed a snap over punter Sean Weatherford's head that was picked up by Najee Goode for a two yard touchdown.

Matthew Montgomery Barkley, what has become of you?

Cue the “Behind the Music” theme song.

Barkley was the first quarterback in USC's prestigious history to start a season as a true freshman.

In his second career college game, and his first game on the road, he took the Trojans to Ohio Stadium to battle the highly ranked #8 Ohio State Buckeyes.

The result?

In front of a filled-to-the-brim stadium, Barkley orchestrated an 86-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to defeat Brutus and company 18-15.

From then on, the analysts were enamored by the young signal caller. In the spring of 2012, Barkley was projected to be the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by a myriad of experts.

As quickly as he became the apple of everyone’s eye, the quicker he sank like a lead rake.

Deep huh?

Things took a turn on November 17th of his senior season. The QB suffered a shoulder injury in a road loss to the rival UCLA Bruins. The injury caused him to miss USC's Sun Bowl appearance over a month later.

The experts that so highly touted Barkley for his poise and pocket presence dropped him out of the first round. Then out of the second. Then Barkley was not chosen until the 98th pick overall, early on the third day of the draft in round four.

The Eagles traded up with the Jaguars to acquire the selection. The choice came as a huge shocker, as the Birds already had four quarterbacks on the squad (Mike Vick, Nick Foles, G.J. Kinne, and Dennis Dixon).

Mike Mayock immediately stated that, “Matt Barkley is the best value for the Eagles on the board.”

Numerous rumors surfaced that with the pick, Vick or Foles were going to get traded to make room for the young gun.

As we all know, that did not turn out to be the case. Kelly cut ties with Kinne and his former QB at Oregon, Dennis Dixon.

The former USC hero, the former Heisman favorite, the former projected number one overall selection, has never started a game in the NFL.

His NFL career stats through Sunday: 3 appearances, 300 yards, 0 touchdowns, 4 interceptions

Can Barkley honestly admit he has a chance to be the franchise quarterback in Philadelphia? Nick Foles has captivated this city in such a short time.

I’m not saying it’s time to erect a tombstone reading, “Here lies Matthew Montgomery Barkley’s career hopes in Philadelphia.” Strange things can definitely happen.

Mark Sanchez’s contract expires at the end of the season, and his chances of coming back to Philly are slim, as he wants his role as a starter back. Therefore, one can assume the Eagles will be shopping for a veteran QB to keep in the wings in case the star goes down.

Barkley is signed through the 2016 season. Perhaps if he continues to learn Chip Kelly’s playbook and style, he would be polished enough to be placed in the second string slot ahead of that future veteran signing.

The final verdict is nowhere near out on Matt, but just for giggles, look at the Eagles’ last opponent in the St. Louis RamsAustin Davis.

The guy was undrafted in 2012, cut by the Rams, cut by the Dolphins, drafted by the Red Sox, and is now the number one man in St. Louis. He has started the last three games for the Rams and has gotten better with each contest. Let’s not try to remember his 375 yards, 3 touchdowns, and near 27 point comeback last Sunday.

It's interesting to think about how much different Barkley’s career would be with another team. The Oakland Raiders were slated to select him later in that fourth round. Who knows? Maybe Barkley would be a starter in his home state right now.

Or maybe this isn't Barkley’s fault at all. Maybe it’s because the 2013 quarterback draft class is straight up cursed.

I’ll leave you with this. Surprisingly, only three quarterbacks were selected before Barkley’s slot at 98. Hold your breath, cause it’s about to get foul up in here.

16th overall: E.J. Manuel, who just got benched

39th overall: Geno Smith, who just got benched

73rd overall: Mike Glennon, who just got the starting job from an injury to Josh McCown.

Maybe Barkley isn’t having that bad of a career after all.


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