Sam Bradford

Recent Eagles trade could be template for Foles

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Recent Eagles trade could be template for Foles

While the Eagles decide whether or not to trade Nick Foles, the name that keeps popping up is Sam Bradford.

According to multiple reports, the Eagles are using the 2016 deal that sent Bradford to the Vikings for first- and fourth-round draft picks as a template for discussions involving Foles. Peter King of SI.com goes on to say NFL teams may not be willing to meet such lofty demands this time around.

“The Eagles got first- and fourth-round picks for Sam Bradford 17 months ago and feel Foles is better, so it’ll likely take at least that to pique their interest, and that’s likely not happening,” King writes.

King adds the Eagles already received at least one offer for Foles termed “respectable” by league sources, though clearly less than the current asking price. Geoff Mosher for FanRag Sports reports a second-round pick was on the table.

Of course, nobody expected the Eagles to negotiate the haul they did for Bradford, either.

The circumstances are obviously different. Bradford was the starting quarterback at the time of the trade, while Foles is expected to reprise his role as backup next season — King says the Eagles are “confident” Carson Wentz will be healthy in time for Week 1. Bradford was also under contract for two years whereas Foles has only 2018 remaining on his current deal. Even then, the price for Bradford was too high until Vikings signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater suffered a catastrophic injury months later at training camp.

That doesn’t mean the Eagles are crazy to request a similar return. In fact, they might be content to work from the same playbook that led to that set of circumstances — wait it out and see what happens.

Unlike Bradford, Foles isn’t clamoring for a way out of Philadelphia, nor does he have a history of serious knee injuries. At an affordable $7.6 million, Foles also accounts for significantly less against the salary cap than Bradford’s $18 million in 2016. From another team’s vantage point, the fact that Foles only has one year left is a non-issue, as a contract extension would surely follow a swap. And while the Eagles hope Wentz is back for Week 1, there’s still no guarantee, perhaps creating some semblance of leverage.

The Eagles can slow-play Foles talks the same way they did Bradford. If teams aren’t willing to play ball for a first-round pick now, circumstances can always change after free agency and the draft play out, come training camp or as late as mid-season.

Why settle now? The Eagles will have to pay Foles a roster bonus worth $3 million on March 18, so there is some coin on the line. But the Eagles were willing to eat $11 million of Bradford’s contract in ’16, as long as the right deal came along.

Other than money, the Eagles have nothing to lose by sticking to their guns. If they wait, a desperate team may eventually come around. Should a deal never come to pass, they have the best backup quarterback in the NFL — which worked out pretty well last season.

The completely improbable timeline of Nick Foles and Case Keenum

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The completely improbable timeline of Nick Foles and Case Keenum

Nick Foles and Case Keenum are former teammates, former backups and two guys who were basically thrown into the garbage heap as NFL quarterbacks. 

And both will start in the NFC Championship Game this Sunday at the Linc. 

The Foles-Keenum storyline is one of the biggest of this week and rightfully so. Back even a few months ago, did anyone think this was going to be the quarterback matchup in the NFC Championship Game? No way. But here we are. 

The two quarterbacks are similar in a lot of ways. They both came into the league in 2012, they both are extremely religious and they both began this season on the bench. 

They were even teammates together with the Rams not that long ago. 

"It's pretty wild, absolutely," Foles said this week. "We were on the same team not too many years ago. I've said over and over again, Case's success and the way he plays doesn't surprise me because he and I were together and we prepared together. We were around each other every day. 

"But I think the big message there is no matter what happens, you've just got to keep believing in yourself, keep working hard and just never give up."

Here's a look at a timeline from the intertwining careers of Foles and Keenum as the two former teammates prepare to face off in the NFC Championship Game: 

April 27, 2012 — Foles is drafted in the third round (88th overall) by the Eagles out of Arizona. 

April 28, 2012 — After going undrafted, Keenum, a star at the University of Houston, stays close, signing with the Texans. He'll spend his entire rookie season on the practice squad. 

Nov. 11, 2012 — Foles makes his NFL debut when Mike Vick leaves the Cowboys game with a concussion. Foles completes 22 of 32 passes for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He will make his first start the following week against Washington. 

Oct. 6, 2013 — In his second season, Foles enters the game after Vick suffers a hamstring injury. Foles lost the competition for the starting job in camp but finally gets his shot. He'll become the starter for the rest of the way. 

Oct. 17, 2013 — Texans head coach Gary Kubiak announces that Keenum will start at Kansas City three days later. Keenum is the Texans' third-string quarterback but gets the start over backup T.J. Yates. Keenum will start the next eight games, going 0-8 in the middle of the Texans' disastrous 2-14 season. 

Nov. 3, 2013 — Foles has the best game of his career. He throws seven touchdown passes while completing 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards against the Raiders. The Eagles win 49-20 and Foles' jersey and cleats get sent to the Hall of Fame in Canton. 

Dec. 2, 2013 — Amid constant questions about the Eagles' future at quarterback, head coach Chip Kelly quips that Foles will be his starter for the "next thousand years." 

Jan. 4, 2014 — Foles plays his first playoff game. The Eagles lose 26-24 to the Saints, but Foles isn't the problem. He completes 23 of 33 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. He leaves the field with a lead, but Drew Brees leads the Saints on a game-winning drive. 

Aug. 31, 2014 — Keenum is released by the Texans to make room for incoming quarterback Ryan Mallett. Keenum is claimed off waivers by the Rams the next day. 

Oct. 28, 2014 — Keenum is waived by the Rams but will re-sign with their practice squad two days later. 

Nov. 2, 2014 — Foles breaks his collarbone at NRG Stadium in Houston, ending his disappointing 2014 season and first stint with the Eagles. During this time, Keenum was away from the Texans, on the Rams' practice squad. 

Dec. 15, 2014 — The Texans sign Keenum off the Rams' practice squad and he leads them to two wins as a starter — over the Ravens and Jaguars. 

March 10, 2015 — Foles is traded to St. Louis as a part of the Sam Bradford deal, ending his first run with the Eagles.

March 11, 2015 — The Rams trade to get Keenum back, sending a seventh-round pick in 2016 to the Texans. Keenum and Foles become teammates after being acquired one day apart. 

Aug. 7, 2015 — Foles signs a two-year extension with the Rams for $24.5 million. 

Nov. 16, 2015 — The day after Foles completed just 47 percent of his passes with an interception in a 37-13 loss to the Bears, head coach Jeff Fisher benches him in favor of Keenum. 

Nov. 22, 2015 — Keenum starts his first game for the Rams, a 16-13 loss to the Ravens. He completes 12 of 26 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown but suffers a concussion late in the game. 

Nov. 29, 2015 — With Keenum's concussion, the Rams go back to Foles and things don't get any better over the next two weeks. In losses to the Bengals and Cardinals, Foles completes 55 percent of his passes without a touchdown and four interceptions. 

Dec. 13, 2015 — Keenum takes back over as the Rams' starter. He starts the last four games of the year as the Rams finish 7-9. 

April 18, 2016 — After moving to Los Angeles, the Rams sign Keenum to a one-year deal.

April 28, 2016 — The Rams draft Jared Goff with the first overall pick. The Eagles take Carson Wentz at No. 2. After the Rams draft Goff, Foles requests to be released.

July 27, 2016 — Foles gets his wish and is released by the Rams. 

Aug. 3, 2016 — After pondering retirement for a week, Foles signs with the Chiefs and Andy Reid, the coach who drafted him four years earlier. 

Aug. 30, 2016 — Teddy Bridgewater tears his ACL in a non-contact injury during practice in Minnesota. The Eagles will trade Bradford to Minnesota four days later. 

Sept. 12, 2016 — Keenum begins the season as the Rams' starting quarterback, ahead of their first overall pick Goff. 

Nov. 15, 2016 — Almost exactly one calendar year after Foles was benched for Keenum, Keenum is benched for Goff, who is named the starter for the upcoming game against the Dolphins. Keenum won't start again for Los Angeles. 

March 9, 2017 — The Chiefs decline the second-year option on Foles' contract, making him a free agent. 

March 13, 2017 — Foles signs a two-year deal to become Wentz's backup in Philadelphia. 

March 31, 2017 — Keenum signs a one-year deal to be Bradford's backup in Minnesota. 

Sept. 17, 2017 — Keenum gets his first start for the Vikings, who lost 26-9 to the Steelers. He will then end up going 11-2 over the rest of the regular season and keeps his starting job. 

Dec. 10, 2017 — Foles takes over after Wentz tears his ACL late in the Eagles' 43-35 win over the Rams in Los Angeles. The next day, head coach Doug Pederson announces Foles will be the starter for the rest of the season. 

Jan. 13, 2018 — Foles completes 76.7 percent of his passes for 246 yards in the Eagles' narrow 15-10 win over the Falcons in the divisional round. 

Jan. 14, 2018 — Keenum throws a prayer of a pass with seconds left against the Saints in his first playoff game. Stefon Diggs comes down with it, Saints safety Marcus Williams whiffs and the Vikings win in a "Minnesota Miracle," 29-24. 

Jan. 21, 2018 — Foles and Keenum, two former teammates and backup quarterbacks, will meet in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. 

'Good chance' Jon Gruden returns to Raiders

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'Good chance' Jon Gruden returns to Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Jon Gruden says he had a good talk with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis about returning to the organization for a second stint as coach and believes there is a "good chance" it will happen.

Gruden gave an interview to ESPN Radio on Wednesday to discuss his pursuit of the Raiders job that opened when Jack Del Rio was fired after a disappointing six-win season.

Gruden has been out of coaching the past nine years while serving as ESPN's analyst for "Monday Night Football." He is scheduled to work the network's playoff game Saturday in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Tennessee Titans and could come back to the Raiders as soon as next week.

Gruden coached Oakland for four years from 1998-2001 before going to Tampa Bay (see full story).

Giants: Interim Spagnuolo interviews to be head coach
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have started the interview process for their head coaching job by starting with the man who ran the team for the final month of a disastrous season.

Interim coach Steve Spagnuolo was interviewed by new general manager Dave Gettleman, co-owner John Mara and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams Wednesday, three days after the Giants (3-13) ended the season with an 18-10 win over Washington.

Co-owner Steve Tisch will meet with the candidates later in the process.

Spagnuolo posted a 1-3 record after being promoted from defensive coordinator to replace the fired Ben McAdoo on Dec. 4. He has head coaching experience, having guided the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11.

The likable Spagnuolo, who was promised an interview after being the interim coach, has had two tours as Giants defensive coordinator. He held the position in 2007-08 and helped the franchise win a Super Bowl. He returned in 2015 working the first year under Tom Coughlin and being retained by McAdoo (see full story).

Bills: McCoy (ankle) misses practice, uncertain vs. Jags
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Bills running back LeSean McCoy missed practice Wednesday because of a right ankle injury and it's uncertain whether he can play Sunday at Jacksonville in Buffalo's first playoff game in 18 years.

Coach Sean McDermott would only list the Bills' top offensive threat as day to day and declined to say whether McCoy would be able to practice at all this week. McCoy did not speak with reporters during time designated for interviews, as team officials said he was being treated by trainers.

McCoy was carted off the field after being hurt on the opening drive of the second half of Buffalo's 22-16 win at Miami on Sunday.

The win coupled with Baltimore's 31-27 loss to Cincinnati clinched Buffalo's first playoff berth since the 1999 season. As the AFC's sixth seed, the Bills (9-7) will face South Division champion Jacksonville (10-6) in a wild-card game.

McCoy leads Buffalo with 1,138 yards rushing, 59 catches and eight touchdowns, including two receiving (see full story).

Vikings: Bradford explains mindset on latest comeback
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The worst-case scenario fear surfaced in Sam Bradford's mind at midseason, in the aftermath of the 30-year-old quarterback's latest surgery on his left knee.

This procedure was an arthroscopic cleanup, not another reconstruction, but that didn't quiet the question about whether he'd be able to resume his career.

"That was a battle I fought for a few weeks," Bradford said. "But it seemed like each day where it got better, each week where it felt like I was making true progress and could do a little bit more, those thoughts started to leave my mind. I started to become more confident in how I felt on my knee and what I was able to do."

Bradford returned to practice with the Minnesota Vikings this week, the earliest he was eligible to do so after being placed on injured reserve on Nov. 8.

The Vikings can put him back on the active roster for the playoffs at any time, with a decision required by Jan. 23 if they advance to the Super Bowl.

Packers: Capers out as defensive coordinator
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have announced the departure of veteran defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and inside linebacker Scott McCurley were also let go.

The moves made earlier this week were announced by coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday.

Packers president Mark Murphy said on Tuesday that McCarthy has the authority to fill the coordinator position without waiting for a new GM. Murphy is leading the search for a replacement for general manager Ted Thompson, who is moving to an advisory role with the team.

Capers had been defensive coordinator since 2009. Green Bay was fifth in overall defense in the Super Bowl-winning season in 2010.

But the defense slipped to 22nd in each of the past two seasons despite being stocked with high draft picks. Injuries have plagued the cornerback position.

More changes to McCarthy's staff could be coming after the team finished below .500 and missed the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Raiders: Headquarters land deal offered by city near Vegas
HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Oakland Raiders came one step closer Wednesday to securing the land the team needs for its new headquarters and practice facility near Las Vegas, and at a steep discount.

Officials in suburban Henderson approved a resolution that allows the city to move forward with a direct sale of 55 acres (22 hectares) to the Raiders for more than $6 million -- half the land's appraised value. The city is using a Nevada law that allows for no-bid sales at under-market prices when they are considered to be in the public interest.

"This is an opportunity to take the city of Henderson to a new level," Assistant City Manager Greg Blackburn said during the city council meeting ahead of the resolution vote. "It's hard to put a dollar value to what this does to help us for the future."

The Raiders have promised that the venue will create an estimated 250 full-time jobs not counting players. The team will spend about $75 million to build the complex.

The team wants to kick off its 2020 season at a 65,000-seat domed stadium built partially with taxpayers' money across the freeway from the Las Vegas Strip. The team in May paid $77.5 million for the 62-acre (25-hectare) site and hosted a glitzy groundbreaking ceremony in November (see full story).