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Could Browns help lead Eagles to Marcus Mariota?

3/9/2015

The Philadelphia Eagles' signing of Mark Sanchez to a two-year deal Sunday night will fuel the intrigue of Chip Kelly possibly making a serious run at Marcus Mariota in the NFL draft.

Could the Cleveland Browns help him do just that, while getting a quarterback (and possibly more) in return? I know that question has been asked in more than one NFL circle in this context:

Eagles give up the No. 20 pick plus Nick Foles for the right to move to Cleveland's No. 12.

Deals are typically more complex than that -- Philly could sweeten the deal with a mid-round pick -- but it's a point of reference.

Browns get more quarterback help while keeping two first-rounders, picks 19 and 20. The Eagles get eight spots closer to Mariota, using No. 12 overall and future first-rounders to snag Mariota. NJ.com reported the Eagles quietly shopped Foles at the Senior Bowl, with the Rams, Titans and Texans showing interest.

Josh McCown very well could be the starter in 2015, but I'm told the quarterback room in Berea is not complete. A draft-week move could be coming, either via trade or by using a mid-round pick on one.

The question: Would Foles be worth the decision to move back eight spots in the first round? Some would debate no. Foles' numbers -- 14-4 as a starter, 40 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, a 100.5 passer rating -- say yes. Depends how the Browns' personnel folks feel about Foles' game.

Hard to imagine a quarterback better suited for Kelly's offense than Mariota. If the cost of getting him is too steep, the Eagles likely will commit to Foles and Sanchez as the 1-2 combo for 2015.

The McCown signing gives the Browns breathing room in free agency. They don't have to dip into a weak quarterback pool if they don't want, instead adding depth to key positions and allow a free-roam approach to the draft aiming for the best available players.