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Washington setting up boring QB battle between Colt McCoy and Case Keenum

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Washington setting up boring QB battle between Colt McCoy and Case Keenum

It looks like Washington will have a starting quarterback battle on its hands this summer between Colt McCoy and Case Keenum. 

I know … exciting stuff. 

According to reports, Washington is about to trade to pick up Case Keenum from the Broncos. Remember, Keenum became expendable because the Broncos traded for Joe Flacco. 

This has quickly become a mediocre quarterback carousel. 

Yeah, it’s a mess. 

But the deal to get Keenum won’t exactly set back the franchise. In fact, it won’t really hurt them much at all. 

So the terms of the deal aren’t horrible for Washington. They have to pay Keenum a little bit of money and they’ll get him for a minimal pick swap. In actuality, this move makes some sense for Washington. There seems to be a pretty good chance Keenum will beat out McCoy for that starting gig in 2019 as Alex Smith is still far away from playing again — if he ever does play again. 

So, maybe, the Skins actually made a move to (minimally) improve their team on Thursday. But the idea of a McCoy vs. Keenum quarterback battle during training camp is going to be a hard sell for fans. Keenum, who has already likely seen his peak in the NFL, is probably a slightly better version of McCoy. 

At least Washington didn’t pay a ton for Keenum, but their interest in him over a guy like Nick Foles doesn’t make a ton of sense. The only way it makes sense is if they draft a quarterback, which still seems to be in play. 

Washington has the No. 15 pick in this year’s draft, which may or may not allow them to draft the next franchise quarterback. They might need to move up higher in the first round to get that quarterback, but if they evaluate one and think they can find the next franchise QB, they have to do it. 

Let’s take a quick look at the starting QBs around the NFC East right now:

Eagles: Carson Wentz 
Cowboys: Dak Prescott
Giants: Eli Manning 
Redskins: McCoy/Keenum 

The Eagles clearly have the best QB in their division. Say what you want about Wentz’s ability to stay healthy, but this is a guy who was in the MVP race not that long ago and who threw 21 touchdowns in limited action between coming back from a torn ACL and suffering a stress fracture in his back. 

The next-best situation actually has to be the Cowboys and Prescott. No, he’s not an elite QB, but he’s at least serviceable and is still just 25. The problem will come when the Cowboys have to pay him big money. 

Then the Giants have a 38-year-old and declining Manning. For whatever reason, they just won’t move on. 

And now Washington will have Case Keenum or Case Keenum-Light starting in 2019. Yikes.

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Cross off the Broncos: Updated top 5 landing spots for Nick Foles

Cross off the Broncos: Updated top 5 landing spots for Nick Foles

I guess we can cross Denver off the list. 

This offseason, as we’ve tried to figure out where Nick Foles might end up in a trade or as a free agent, the Denver Broncos have been on the top of most lists. Not anymore. 

That is certainly an interesting decision by the Broncos for plenty of reasons. We don’t know the exact compensation yet (NFL Network reports it’s a mid-round pick), but Flacco has a huge salary that might need to be adjusted. And I wouldn’t have thought he’d be a better target than Foles. Oh well, cross Denver off the list, I suppose. 

There are still several teams that would make a ton of sense for Foles, but we’ll need to know how the Eagles proceed. After Foles bought back his chance at free agency, the only way the Eagles can trade him would be if they slap a franchise tag on him first. There are plenty of hurdles along that route, including salary cap space, a lack of leverage and the possibility that a move such as that would violate the CBA. 

I still think Foles will eventually become a free agent, which is what he’s going to want. He’d get a chance to earn a longer-term deal and pick where he wants to play in 2019. 

I think these are the top five options left: 

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags need to move on from Blake Bortles and former Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo is now their offensive coordinator. The Jags had a terrible season in 2018 but had a playoff team just the year before.  

New York Giants: This makes a ton of sense to me. Foles could be reunited with Pat Shurmur, who understands how to use him. And the Giants have plenty of weapons for a quarterback in Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram.  

Washington Redskins: It looks like Washington isn’t going to have Alex Smith back this season — maybe he never plays again — so they’re going to need a QB. Dan Snyder would love a splash. 

Miami Dolphins: If Miami is ready to move on from Ryan Tannehill, Foles might be their best option. Miami’s new coach Brian Flores was on the other side of Foles’ incredible Super Bowl LII performance.  

Oakland Raiders: Jon Gruden’s team has a ton of cap space if they want to lure Foles to the Raiders. They still have Derek Carr, but I could see them moving on. They also have three first-round draft picks if the Eagles do end up using a franchise tag. 

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Exploring top landing spots this offseason for Nick Foles

Exploring top landing spots this offseason for Nick Foles

We’ve already examined all the factors that are going to go into the Eagles’ decision about Nick Foles (see story), but now it’s time to figure out where he’s going to land. 

While oddsmakers left the Eagles on the board, it seems pretty clear that Foles is going to move on to another team one way or another this offseason. I still think the most likely way he leaves is as a free agent, but there could also be a trade if the Eagles can work one out and Foles is agreeable. 

Anyway, let’s try to figure out where Foles will land with the help of some odds. 

OK, let’s go team by team: 

Miami Dolphins
It seems like the Dolphins are ready to move on from Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback after six seasons and a 42-46 record. Cutting Tannehill would leave a ton of dead money ($13 million) but would also save $13 million in cap room. If the Dolphins really want to move on, the dead money will be worth it. 

Keeping with the theme of 13, that’s where the Dolphins pick this year. Now, just a few years ago, the Eagles were able to move from 13 to 8 to 2 to draft Carson Wentz, but unless the Dolphins are willing to do that, they’re kind of in no man's land in the middle of the first round wanting a QB in a QB-deficient draft. So maybe they need to go the free agency route. 

Adam Gase is gone and the presumed new head coach will be the Patriots’ Brian Flores. He’ll likely be hired whenever the Patriots’ season is over, either this weekend or in a couple weeks. Maybe he’ll sign the guy he watched outduel Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII. 

Washington Redskins 
Last offseason, they picked up Alex Smith, but his injury is really significant, so it’s time to find somebody new. It would make more sense for them to try to get a young quarterback to build around, but they have the 15th pick. 

And Dan Snyder can probably talk himself into thinking they’re a QB away. Remember when the Redskins got off to their 6-3 start in 2018. Well, then they had crazy injuries, so he might look at his team and think it's a lot closer than it actually is. 

Jacksonville Jaguars 
These odds actually came out before we learned Jacksonville was about to hire John DeFilippo as its offensive coordinator, so you can argue it should be even higher on the list now. Flip coached Foles for just one year in Philly, but that year ended with a parade on Broad Street. 

The Jags had a disastrous 5-11 season in 2018, but that came after they were 10-6 the year before. So if they think there’s still enough talent in that locker room to be a playoff team, they might just be one QB away. While Foles threw some interceptions this year, he ain’t Blake Bortles in that respect. He could give the Jags the chance to win close, defensive games as long as he doesn’t make mistakes. 

They do have the seventh pick, though, so maybe the Jaguars ought to think about drafting a QB. 

Denver Broncos
Case Keenum is still under contract in Denver, but it shouldn’t let that change anything it does at the quarterback position. In fact, John Elway told Peter King that Keenum was more of a short-term fix. That doesn’t sound good for Keenum. 

Foles is still just 29, so it’s not like he couldn’t be a longer-term fix. And picking at 10th in the draft doesn’t guarantee the Broncos will be able to draft the next QB either. Foles might be as good an option as any. 

Philadelphia Eagles 
Howie Roseman said on Tuesday that the Eagles would like to keep Foles, but how realistic is that? They’ve committed to Carson Wentz being the quarterback, so can they afford to have an insurance policy of over $20 million? The problem here is that’s money they could use elsewhere to build a team around Wentz. And is it fair to the franchise quarterback to always be looking over his shoulder? Even Wentz admitted there’s an added level of pressure after all of Foles’ success. 

The flip side of this is that Wentz hasn’t stayed healthy. He’s been injured in both of the last two seasons and Foles has stepped in for the playoffs. We’d have to just trust that Wentz is going to stay healthy next season. As insurance policies go, Foles is the best one. 

New York Giants 
Eventually, the Giants have to move on from Eli Manning, right? They really should move on from the 38-year-old quarterback now and I think Foles would make a lot of sense. 

The Giants clearly have some offensive weapons and could use a steadying force like Foles, who has played for head coach Pat Shurmur before. 

The big fear about Foles is that he’ll only work in Philadelphia. Well, why not go to a landing spot with an offense that at least has some similarities? Remember, Shurmur was in Philly for Foles’ Pro Bowl 2013 season under Chip Kelly and comes from the Andy Reid tree, which means his offense has similarities to Doug Pederson’s in some ways too. From a purely football standpoint, I like the Giants as a landing spot. But there are some emotional hurdles to get over. 

Oakland Raiders
Head coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock seem to love Foles and they might be ready to move on from Derek Carr in Oakland or wherever the heck they’re going to play this season. Mayock and Gruden both have ties to Philly and are both very familiar with Foles. 

The Raiders also have three first-round picks, so if the Eagles end up trying to trade Foles instead of letting him walk, the Raiders have the firepower to get a deal done — if that’s the way they want to go. 

It doesn’t mean much, but Foles’ seven-touchdown game came against the Raiders in 2013. 

Carolina Panthers
Apparently, Cam Newton might be in danger of missing the 2019 season because of a shoulder injury. So if the Panthers think he’s not around in the 2019 season, they’ll need someone to play quarterback. Enter Foles? 

The problem here is that Foles wants to go to a good situation and I’m not sure this is it. Newton has one more year left on his contract after 2019, which means Foles would have to play well enough to make the Panthers change their organizational direction and go with him instead. Don’t know why he’d choose that as a free agent. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
The Bucs hired Bruce Arians as their head coach, but it seems like they’re sticking with Jameis Winston at QB. If there’s a change, maybe it would make sense for Foles. But if there isn’t, not sure why they’re on the list. 

A bonus one from me: Cincinnati Bengals
I’m not convinced the Bengals are going to stick with Andy Dalton, which would make Foles an attractive option, especially for new head coach Zac Taylor, who is the brother of Eagles QBs coach Press Taylor. The Bengals still have A.J. Green and Joe Mixon, so it might not be that bad of a landing spot for Foles.

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