The team most of us considered the main suitor for Nick Foles went in another direction Wednesday.
Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs agreed in principle to a trade with the 49ers for quarterback Alex Smith, FoxSports.com reported. The 49ers will get Kansas City's second-round selection this April, 34th overall, and a conditional 2014 pick. The trade can't be official until free agency starts March 12.
This development could mean the Eagles were not just posturing, and really do want to hold onto Foles, at least until Reid's successor, Chip Kelly, gets a look at last year's rookie QB on the practice field. The Chiefs did ask the Eagles about trading for Foles, and were told last week that the Birds weren't ready to trade him.
If the Chiefs had been scouting out, say, a draft weekend move, last week might have been a prelude to more serious bargaining. But if they have already traded for Smith, the Chiefs clearly were ready to get down to business right away when they contacted the Eagles. Reid left the Eagles on excellent terms; there is no reason why the sides would have misunderstood each other. If Reid made it clear he was looking to make a deal now, and the Eagles said "no thanks," that would seem to mean they are keeping Foles.
It also could mean the Chiefs weren't willing to trade the 34th pick in the draft for Foles, who was the 88th selection last year, and that the Eagles weren't willing to trade Foles for what they were offered. Smith, the first overall pick in 2005, has a much more extensive resume.
In any case, Reid is the only NFL decision-maker who definitely sees Foles as a viable starting QB, and Reid now has a QB. So what's the remaining market for Foles, if he is available? In Jacksonville, as we've noted, Gus Bradley hired Frank Scelfo, Foles' University of Arizona quarterbacks coach and closest advisor, to coach the Jags' QBs. But the immediate goal there is to develop Baine Gabbert, whom Jacksonville took 10th overall two years ago. The Jags might be interested in Foles next year, if Gabbert flunks what looks to be his final chance to establish himself as a starter, but for now, there is no indication anyone else will quarterback Jacksonville in 2013.
Foles might not have shown enough in his six 2012 starts to entice a strong trade package from any team that doesn't have someone who knows him well on its staff.