Philadelphia Eagles Rumors: Marcus Mariota Drafted if Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez Released? Chip Kelly Praises QB as Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper Frustrated in Offense

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Dec 15, 2014 12:19 PM EST
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Nick Foles
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles rushes out of the pocket during a 2014 home game."

The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the many teams facing potential quarterback drama to end their season and likely will headline their offseason as well. The team has  some decisions to make between Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez while many speculate head coach Chip Kelly is actually eyeing Marcus Mariota for his future franchise star. With Foles getting healthy and the Eagles in need of help to make the postseason, is Sanchez's time as a starter done for the year?

Sanchez did not look good in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He failed to follow up a poor performance against the Seattle Seahawks as the quarterback went 17 of 28 for 252 yards, two interceptions and four sacks. It was not a good display as Philadelphia no longer controls their playoff fate. With Foles on the sidelines, many speculate just how much longer the Eagles will keep him out. Kelly says that he is not speculating a quarterback change until he knows the health of Foles in the coming days.

When we get the results on it, then we'll make decisions on it," Kelly said, via WIP.com. "I don't know where he is, so to waste my time trying to think of 27 different variations of how this happens. Can he do this? Can he take a hit? Can he not take a hit? He can play, but he can't do this? It's a waste of time. Tell me if he's ready to go and then we'll make decisions."

According to NFL.com, there is belief that Foles will get medically cleared this week with the chance to play in Week 16. While Kelly denies any knowledge of that, it can be assumed that Sanchez will be benched if Foles is healthy. Sanchez no longer has the hot hand for the Eagles after two straight losses. He is struggling to connect with receivers and interceptions are an issue once again. Foles could get the start, but is he the future.

There is growing speculation that Kelly wants the Eagles to make a move for Mariota in the draft. Kelly has plenty of experience with Mariota, recruiting him to Oregon before he left for the NFL. While it seems highly unlikely considering the quarterback could be draft No. 1 overall, Kelly's gushing comments on the Heisman winner do not help stop the talk.

"I think Marcus will be successful whether he's an NFL player, a banker, a teacher, a fireman, a policeman," Kelly said.  "I've said it before about some other players, but if you can buy stock in a human being, you buy stock in that kid because he'll always be successful in anything he does. . . .  I felt lucky that I had an opportunity to coach a young man like that."

The chances Sanchez is re-signed are slim to none. Philadelphia will instead decide if Foles is the man for the future as he will be needing a contract extension or if getting someone in the draft is the better choice. Due to the standings, Mariota will likely not be that better choice, but stranger things have happened.

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