What if the Philadelphia Eagles signed Tyrod Taylor instead of Bradford?

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
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Tyrod Taylor, Chip Kelly’s perfect quarterback?

Though some fans may forget it now, as Tyrod became the first quarterback to take the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs this century, but back in 2015, Taylor was a totally unproven backup for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who was understandably eager to find a landing spot that would allow him to compete for a starting job and really showcases his talents on a national stage.

And while it’s now nothing more than a very minor footnote in Philadelphia Eagles’ history, Taylor made his ideal destination clear going into free agency. He wanted to be an Eagle.

After watching his Virginia Tech predecessor Michael Vick put up Gotti numbers running Kelly’s offense, Taylor envisions himself to be a perfect fit in such a scheme.

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And in hindsight, he very well may have been.

Though a bit short for the position at 6-foot-1, Taylor ran a very respectable 4.51 40-yard dash at the 2011 NFL Combine, over half of a second faster than Foles’ incredibly slow 5.14 40. This, when coupled with Taylor’s 62.4 percent career completion percentage, and very solid five yards-per-carry as a runner may have made the former Hokie an ideal fit to run such a scheme in the NFL.

Too bad the team turned him down to instead sign Tim Tebow.

Ugh, that decision aged poorly, even if Taylor had never developed into a solid starting quarterback.

But would a Tyrod Taylor-lead Eagle squad really have been that much more successful than one helmed by Bradford?

Yeah, probably.

Now granted, we’re not talking 14-2 better, but assuming good health, I could easily imagine the team picking up a couple more wins with Taylor under center as opposed to Bradford, as his athleticism would have added that extra element to Kelly’s offense that it never quite regained post-Vick.

But more importantly, would that have been enough to save Kelly’s job?

In his three years in Philly, Kelly didn’t exactly make a lot of friends. From shipping out some of the team’s all-time fan favorite players like the DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy for nothing, to effectively stripping Howie Roseman of his job, very few people actually wanted Kelly to succeed in 2015.

However, Philly does love a winner, so a playoff berth in 2015 likely we would have given Kelly at least a few more years to continue to shape the roster in his image and try to bring a championship to his adoptive home.

This likely means that Doug Pederson would still be the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, Billy Davis would still be the team’s defensive coordinator, and more likely than not, Carson Wentz would be calling plays for another franchise (maybe the Broncos?), a mental image that surely sends shivers down many Philly fans’ spines.

Now granted, had the Eagles not selected Wentz second overall, the Dallas Cowboys likely would have traded up to select Paxton Lynch in the first round, as he was by all accounts the apple of Jerry Jones‘ eye, leaving Dak Prescott available for another team interested in his services in the fourth round, a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, who loved the former Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback during the pre-draft process, but that’s extrapolating out an interesting concept to an almost fantastical extent.

Simply put it’s a good thing Kelly didn’t take up Taylor on his offer to play quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.

While bringing in Taylor on a much cheaper contract would have likely made the team better in the short-term, as they could have invested financial capital in other areas, and would have either kept Foles on as a backup or traded him for another position of need, like a speedy wide receiver (they were linked at the time to Tavon Austin, which would have been a certified nightmare) Philly likely wouldn’t have Pederson installed as a head coach right now, and by extension they certainly wouldn’t have won their first Super Bowl in franchise history only seven glorious months ago.

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No, over his four-year tenure in the NFL, Chip Kelly made one thing clear: he was never going to compromise his scheme to better fit his players. And in a league like the NFL, where you may have to completely retool your entire offensive scheme to go from a potential Hall of Fame gun-slinging second-year quarterback to a run-pass-option heavy dink-and-dunk offense helmed by his back up, that flexibility is as good as gold.