Report: Eagles Expected to Show Interest in Jake Locker


The life of a backup Quarterback is quite peculiar. While Nick Foles was struggling with turnovers early in the season, some advocated that Chip Kelly hand the reigns over to Mark Sanchez. Sanchez would ultimately get the reigns for good during the Eagles Week nine win against the Texans, when Foles suffered what turned out to be a season-ending broken collarbone. Though he impressed in games against the Panthers, Cowboys (the Thanksigivng game) and Giants, Sanchez’s lack of a performance in any of the Packers, Seahawks, Cowboys (the Week 15 game) or Redskins games ultimately helped doom the Eagles playoff chances.

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So while Sanchez performed quite admirably when being asked to play much more than a backup ever should, and he perhaps proved he is one of the best 32 players at his position in the league, it’s a near lock that he won’t get a starting job in free-agency this off-season. And despite some success in and a seemingly love for Chip Kelly’s system, it seems likely that Sanchez will move on to backing up somewhere else, this time in hopes that he can land a long-term starting job.

So where do the Eagles go at the backup position?

Regardless of whether Nick Foles, Marcus Mariota or another option starts for the Eagles next year, the team needs to make a decision on the backup spot. Matt Barkley appears unlikely to get the role, despite a strong work-ethic, which leaves the Eagles again searching free-agency for their backup.

Earlier this off-season, our Mike Lacy wondered if a return from Michael Vick was possible. Beyond those two, free-agenct options will dry up quickly. Ryan Mallet and Brian Hoyer figure to land jobs similar to Sanchez, where at the very least will feel they have a chance to start or become the starter. Matt Flynn is expected to return to Green Bay. Tyrod Taylor’s mobility would make him an interesting fit, but I’m not sure the Eagles would be confident enough in his passing to make him the backup Quarterback. That leaves the Eagles with options like Matt Moore and Jake Locker, both who will do little to create a Quarterback controversy, but if healthy could be serviceable backups.

According to Mark Eckel of, the Eagles are expected to be interested in Jake Locker’s services.

"According to the agent, who requested anonymity , there will be interest from the Eagles and head coach/personnel czar Chip Kelly in the 8th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft."

As Eckel points out, Locker doesn’t stray too far from “home” for Kelly. In an off-season where two USC Quarterbacks he dueled with in his Pac-10 (12) days may leave the team, Kelly may opt to replace one of them with Locker, who played at Washington.

In 30 career games, Locker has thrown 27 touchdowns to 22 interceptions. The biggest issue with those numbers they come over the course of four years, where Locker has struggled to stay on the field consistently due to injuries. Locker has also run for 644 yards, so in the event that the Eagles would need to call on him, Chip Kelly would be able to open the zone-read part of his playbook back up. At least until Locker got hurt himself.

What bringing Locker in as a backup may also do is force the Eagles to take a hard look at keeping Matt Barkley as the third-string Quarterback, rather than flipping him for a late-round draft pick, which the team is widely expected to do this off-season. Due to Locker’s injury history, if both him and Foles went down, the Eagles would seemingly rather take their chances with Matt Barkley than G.J. Kinne or any other option that they would go with.