The Philadelphia Eaglesare in the headlines again with the signing of quarterback Tim Tebow, who will join Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne as the Eagles' quarterbacks. If there is any truth to the Eagles' rumored interest in drafting Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who Eagles coach Chip Kelly coached in college, it should be unwavered by Tebow's presence. Here are three reasons why:
1. Roster longshot
Unless the Eagles are convinced Tebow will make the 53-man roster this fall -- and how can they be? -- there is no reason for the Tebow signing to affect any of Kelly's draft thoughts. As much as Tebow's name recognition might resonate, he'll be in no better position to make the club in training camp than if Kelly had just signed an anonymous offensive guard who barely made the transaction wire. Moreover, Tebow will be competing with Barkley and Kinne for a clipboard. Mariota would be competing with Sam Bradford for starting snaps.
2. Quarterback only?
On his way out of the NFL, from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets to the New England Patriots, Tebow always maintained that he was only interested in playing quarterback. But after two full seasons out of the league, it's fair to wonder if he'll be more flexible with his second shot at the NFL. If Kelly is entertaining any thoughts of trying Tebow in a different role if he doesn't win a quarterback job, that's all the more reason to make no April assumptions about October impact. And by extension, all the more reason to draft without consideration of it -- whether that means a big move for Mariota or a seventh-round flier on a quarterback sleeper.
3. Money not an issue
Tebow's contract reportedly will be for the minimum one-year salary, which he'll have to make the team to even earn. So beyond whatever minimal bonus might go along with that, the Eagles have no financial stake in their newest quarterback. And thus, zero salary-cap concern when the draft comes around. Bradford has just one year left on his contract, and the rest of Philadelphia's quarterbacks aren't expensive, either. Conceivably, a Mariota deal could be the only quarterback contract of significance on the roster by 2016.