Rams Trade for Nick Foles
In somewhat of a shocker, Nick Foles was traded to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford on Tuesday. The Rams also received the Eagles’ fourth-round pick in 2015 and second-round pick in 2016. The Eagles also receive St. Louis’ fifth-round pick in 2015 and will earn additional compensation if Bradford doesn’t play or is limited in 2015.
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The move is one that has left many puzzled, especially considering the promise Foles showed during the 2013 season. He finished that season – his second in the NFL, and one with just 10 starts – with a stat line that still boggles the mind: 2,891 yards, 27 touchdowns, just two interceptions, and an NFL leading 119.2 passer rating. He led all fantasy quarterbacks in points per drop back (PPDB), with an extremely impressive 0.73 – the highest number in PFF Fantasy’s history.
The 2014 season wasn’t as kind to Foles, as he – and his offensive line – suffered through an injury-plagued season. Foles played in just eight games, and saw his numbers from the 2013 season regress across the board: 2,163 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, an 81.4 passer rating, and his PPDB (0.41) dropped to 24th.
Foles is going from the most quarterback-friendly offensive system in the NFL to one that has failed to see a quarterback throw for more than 3,700 yards or 22 touchdowns over the last three seasons. Granted, the Rams have had their share of bad injury luck, but Bradford hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
The Rams do have a new offensive coordinator for 2015 – Frank Cignetti – but he is an in-house hire who served under former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Things aren’t expected to change dramatically from a schematic standpoint.
The Rams do have several young, underrated receivers on their roster who look primed for a breakout. Brian Quick was headed for a 1,000-yard season before an injury sidelined him in Week 7, and perennial underachieving tight end Jared Cook will still be around to make plays one week … and infuriate fantasy owners the next.
Talented young running backs Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham will also be back, and can provide an outlet for Foles. Cunningham was third on the team in receptions last season with 45. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin remain in the mix, Lance Kendricks was just re-signed, and Kenny Britt could be next.
Expectations for Foles should be tempered for 2015 as he will no longer be in the most ideal fantasy situation for a quarterback in the NFL. He goes from a quarterback-friendly system run by an offensive genius in a soft division to a defensive-minded head coach in the toughest division in football, with a rookie offensive coordinator calling plays.
Foles has shown flashes of excellence – and his 2013 was exceptional – but it was always clear that he was playing beyond his abilities. Expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,900 yards and 23 touchdowns is a safe bet for the former Arizona Wildcat. He’s worth a look as a back-end QB2.
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