Sam Bradford deal doesn't take Marcus Mariota off Eagles' radar

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a deal to acquire quarterback Sam Bradford in a trade with the St. Louis Rams.

But does anyone really believe the fragile Bradford is the answer to all the Eagles' quarterback concerns? Yes, Bradford has experience running a spread offense, but the idea that because Bradford ran the spread at Oklahoma means he magically will be able to run Chip Kelly's spread is ludicrous. OU's spread and Kelly's spread are not the same; saying all spread offenses are the same is like saying all pro-style attacks are the same. Kelly's version of the spread is different than Rich Rodriguez's version, which is different than Gus Malzahn's, which is different that Urban Meyer's. They have the same basic tenets, yes, just like pro-style attacks have the same basic tenets. But they are not interchangeable.

Get this: Bradford ran the ball 77 times at OU in his career. He's not a runner; heck, you do not want him to run, especially now that he has had back-to-back seasons ruined by ACL injuries. Kelly's ideal version of a spread quarterback is a guy who can handle the read option. That's not Bradford.

Gee, let's think a minute about a recent Heisman winner who was proficient in the read option in an offshoot of Kelly's offense. Oh, yeah: Oregon's Marcus Mariota. He had 135 carries in 2014 -- or nine carries per game -- and ran for 770 yards and 15 TDs.

You have to figure Mariota remains intriguing to the Eagles, as he fits Kelly's offense vastly better than Bradford (or Mark Sanchez, who was pressed into starting duty for Philadelphia last season and seems likely to return). Will they attempt to trade up and get Mariota? Bradford gives the Eagles a bargaining chip, though how attractive he might be is a "beauty-is-in-the-eyes-of-the-beholder" kind of thing. Perhaps some version of Bradford, a package of draft picks for this year and future years (as well as another player) could be used to move up in the first round to nab Mariota.

Philadelphia has signed free-agent cornerback Byron Maxwell, with the expectation that he fills a big hole at that spot. In turn, that takes cornerback off the board as an early draft necessity. The trade for Kiko Alonso means inside linebacker isn't an early draft concern, either. The Eagles certainly could use an edge rusher, but the top four guys seem likely to be gone early, well before the Eagles are on the clock with the 20th pick in the first round. Wide receiver is a position concern, too, but it seems likely the top three receivers will be off the board at No. 20 and there is no clear-cut No. 4 receiver.



What this all means is that the Mariota talk is not going to go away -- and in truth, the Bradford trade might even intensify it. After all, the Eagles are trading away a guy who has had success in the offense (Nick Foles) for a guy who can't stay healthy and seems somewhat ill-suited for the team's offensive attack.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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