Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been some truly crazy trades and moves that many still don’t understand to this very day. No one can forget the Mike Ditka and Ricky Williams’ marriage, but that’s another story for another day. It appears as if Chip Kelly, when still head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was on the verge of pulling off a trade with the Tennessee Titans so he could land quarterback Marcus Mariota, and it was insane.
Before the 2015 NFL Draft, Chip Kelly wanted to move up and get quarterback Marcus Mariota from the University of Oregon. This was not kept a secret and it was something that every single sports fan in the world knew.
One issue is that the Eagles were picking 20th in the first round last year. Mariota was not expected to last on the board past the number two pick which was held by the Titans. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were set to take Jamies Winston from Florida State, and they did.
Fox Sports‘ Peter Schrager was recently on the Herd with Colin Cowherd and spoke about just how badly Kelly wanted to move up 18 spots in the draft to select Mariota. It wasn’t just a little bit of a thought either.
“Last year the Eagles offered the Tennessee Titans a 2015 first-round pick, a 2015 second-round pick, a 2016 first-round pick. They said ‘take any of our quarterbacks’ — that’s Bradford, that’s Sanchez, that’s whoever — ‘and take anyone on our defense; we want that No. 2 pick.'”
To bring back to everyone’s memory what the Philadelphia Eagles had to offer, it was a lot. If Tennessee had taken the deal, they would have ended up with at least five players, and quite possibly a sixth or a seventh. In all, the Titans would have received:
- Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez
- An Eagles defensive player of their choosing
- 20th pick in 2015 draft
- 47th pick in 2015 draft
- 13th pick in 2016 draft
It’s quite possible that the Titans likely could have gotten more from the Eagles as well, and all they would have had to do was ask. Chip Kelly, at the time the head coach of the Eagles, probably would have been happy to send them whatever they wanted.
What package are #Eagles talking about to go to No. 1 or No. 2? Two 1st rounders, a 3rd rounder, Fletcher Cox, Boykin, Kendricks, more. Wow.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 30, 2015
This reported offer has never been confirmed, and it’s said that Fletcher Cox was never on the table as part of a trade to the Titans. It’s kind of hard to believe that though, because anyone that has ever heard anything from Chip Kelly knows that he’d pretty much be willing to do anything.
Kelly has said that the Eagles never really came close to completing a trade for the pick where they could take Marcus Mariota. He has said that Philly had conversations with both the Buccaneers and Titans, but nothing ever came from those talks.
“We didn’t offer any players to anybody. We didn’t get into any discussions. It was just a really steep price. It was like driving into a nice neighborhood and looking at a house, and they tell you the price and you walk away. We didn’t walk in the front door and take a look around.”
Chip Kelly is now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, so even if he had landed the second overall pick from the Tennessee Titans and drafted Marcus Mariota, it may have been a short relationship. The trade offers leaking out now are going to be denied, and not that it matters now, but it was almost the next craziest NFL trade in history.
[Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]