One question surrounding the NFC East this year is which group of underwhelming teams, the Philadelphia Eagles or Washington Redskins, is going to wind up winning the division when the season ends.
But with neither team likely to actually make it out of the first round en route to the Super Bowl, the more intriguing question surrounding these two teams is if one player in particular, Robert Griffin III, will be swapping uniforms when the season ends.
According to the NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the Eagles are on a short list of NFL teams interested in the services of the vilified former first round quarterback. And furthermore, the Eagles are the destination that makes the most sense for RG III to land when all is said and done.
“The Eagles make perfect sense. Coach Chip Kelly will tell anyone listening that the only way to get a top-tier quarterback outside of the draft is to capitalize on an injury and move in. It’s what he did with Sam Bradford last offseason in an experiment that has yet to completely play out. It’s what Payton did with Drew Brees and what the Broncos did with Peyton Manning. Griffin’s movement skills would also bring a little more liveliness to Kelly’s offense. His injury history would be less concerning than Bradford’s, though not by much.”
The aforementioned Sam Bradford, the current quarterback for the Eagles and prize off-season acquisition by Kelly, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. His tenure thus far has fit right in with the majority of the NFC East: underwhelming and at times shockingly bad. But riding a two-game win streak that include victories against the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, the Eagles are actually poised to make a run in the dreadful NFC East.
With the Giants self-destructing yet again late in the fourth quarter against the Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys being eliminated by the NY Jets Saturday night, the NFC East has become a two-team race down the stretch. And even though Griffin’s current team, the Redskins, defeated the Bills on Sunday behind starter Kirk Cousins, the Eagles will meet Washington next week in a showdown that could find the Eagles heading into the playoffs with a home field game on their schedule in January.
If that’s the case, Chip Kelly would have to decide between re-signing Sam Bradford or going out yet again to find a new QB to run his highly touted hurry-up offense. According to Bleeding Green Nation, Kelly and the Eagles are open to bringing Bradford back under a long term deal.
“We’ve always wanted Sam here,” Kelly said earlier in the week at a press conference. “We wouldn’t have traded for him if we thought he was going to be here for a year.”
Chip continued to praise Bradford’s resilience during this trying season.
“I think Sam, as a whole, has progressed as the season has gone along. I know it takes a long while to play quarterback in this league. There’s so many different things you have to get…But I’ve said it, and I’ll continue to say it, I continue to see improvement from Sam on a weekly basis that gets you excited about him.”
Griffin, meanwhile, is on the books for an injury guaranteed $16.1 million in 2016, making his release an all-but forgone conclusion at season’s end. The Redskins can cut ties with the former number two pick and focus their attention on re-signing surprisingly effective Kirk Cousins, who was drafted in the fourth round the same year.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]