There is No “Winner” From the Nick Foles-Sam Bradford Trade


When the St Louis Rams traded Sam Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles, Rams fans were super excited to have a fresh start at the quarterback position. Fans have a love/hate relationship with trades. They love them when they acquire someone worth having, but hate them when a good player leaves. However, it doesn’t end there. People will talk about trades for years. I still read once a week about the notorious trade for three first-round picks from Washington from 2012. Three years have passed, yet I still read about that trade all the time. Who won? Who lost? So on and so forth.

Now, the same thing is happening with the Nick Foles and Sam Bradford trade. Many sports writers are already talking about who is winning the trade, either the Eagles or the Rams. It’s not that complex in this case. There is no winner, nor a loser from this trade. These teams made a blockbuster trade because it was best for both sides.

Nick Foles needed the Rams as much as the Rams needed Nick Foles. Nick was in a three way quarterback split with Mark Sanchez and Michael Vick. Foles never got the chance to be a consecutive starter throughout a season (though he might have last year if not for the injury), with Chip Kelly switching back and forth many times to find the right fit for his team. Nick has been given that opportunity. He is the man in charge in St Louis, and no one is going to take his job away from him. Foles came in and won over the entire locker room almost immediately, and stole Jeff Fisher’s heart in the process. The Rams needed a quarterback that could come in and lead this team. Sam Bradford has talent, but his leadership abilities were never quite as high as St Louis needed them to be. Players love Nick Foles’s leadership abilities, and without a significant veteran presence on offense, it’s exactly what the Rams needed. The Rams also needed a break away from Sam Bradford. Jeff Fisher had put all of his eggs in the Bradford basket for two years in a row and the result was disastrous both times, so moving on is what St Louis needed to do.

Oct 4, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles (5) passes the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Rams won 24-22. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles, on the other hand, needed a quarterback they could put their trust in. Chip Kelly cannot simply switch out quarterbacks anymore, since Bradford is being paid just over $15 million this year against the salary cap, and coaches aren’t fond of just sitting players with that kind of cap hit. So now Chip Kelly has a guy to work with, someone he can put his trust in week in and week out. The Eagles needed a quarterback with great accuracy. Someone who can hit their less-than-stellar receivers with quick short passes and great long throw accuracy, something Bradford legitimately has. The Eagles have way more veteran depth on the team, so Bradford’s lack of leadership isn’t as big of a deal for them.

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There are probably way more factors involved, but the moral of the story is this: these teams didn’t make this trade to try to gain a huge advantage over each other. They made the trade because it was best for both sides. People are going to argue over stats and wins, but none of that matters because the stats wouldn’t be the same for either player if they had stayed with their original teams. If Bradford was in St Louis still, he would be in a hospital at this very moment (imagine that Clay Mathews hit on Bradford instead of Foles). Bradford would likely not have even lasted that long with how the offensive line has played. Where would Nick Foles be? Likely in the same scenario he has been for the last few years. Battling position out with Mark Sanchez and getting benched, then re-promoted every other week.

Now, if either quarterback leads his team to a Super Bowl in the next few years, then maybe we can talk about winners and losers. Until that happens, there will never be a winner nor loser from this trade.

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