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Chiefs may face tough road trading for QB

  • Kansas City Star
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at 7:52 p.m.

— The Chiefs’ Andy Reid was Philadelphia’s coach when the Eagles drafted Nick Foles. General manager John Dorsey was Green Bay’s director of college scouting when the Packers drafted Matt Flynn.

But if the Chiefs have plans to acquire either of those players and install him as the starting quarterback next season, they might have to make an overwhelming trade offer.

The general managers for their respective teams said at the NFL Scouting Combine that they had no plans to trade Foles or Flynn.

“This is a young, talented player who didn’t even have a chance to play with all our frontline guys on the offensive line or skill-position players,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said of Foles, who was drafted last year in the third round and started six games after an injury to Michael Vick.

“He’s a talented guy. We just drafted him last year. I think this is a different situation than we’ve had the past couple years where we had quarterbacks. We like the player, we like a lot of things about the player, he’s a young player in the league and we’re trying to accumulate good players. We’re not in the business of trying to get rid of our good young players.”

The message from Seattle general manager John Schneider regarding Flynn, who was signed by the Seahawks as a free agent last year but spent the season as a backup to rookie Russell Wilson, was much the same.

“I think we have a great setup,” Schneider said. “I feel very blessed that we have two quarterbacks, two starting-caliber guys. What happened last year didn’t really have a reflection on what Matt did. …It was really what Russell did in terms of just kind of stepping forward and taking charge.

“We’re always going to listen to (trade offers) and if we’re not doing that, we think we’re not doing our job. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will do something with Matt.”

San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke was less definitive about the 49ers’ plans for Alex Smith, another veteran quarterback the Chiefs could be interested in acquiring. Smith, once the first pick in the draft, was benched last season in favor of Colin Kaepernick.

“We’re going to look at all options available,” Baalke said. “Are we going to trade him for sure? That hasn’t been decided.

“I can’t say enough good things (about Smith). If you ask anyone in the organization, they’ll say the same thing. He is a pro’s pro. Have nothing but great respect for him, his family. And we’re certainly going to do everything in our power to make the best decision for everyone involved.”

Plenty of players have been traded after a team has publicly declared it wouldn’t do so. The statements from all three general managers could be nothing more than negotiating tactics.

But Reid said that at least in the case of Foles, he didn’t believe the Eagles had any intention of trading him.

“Nick is the property of the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Reid, who was fired by Philadelphia at the end of last season. “I think they like him. I drafted him along with Howie, and I know Howie likes him.”

At quarterback, the Eagles also have Vick and Dennis Dixon, who played for new Eagles coach Chip Kelly in college at Oregon. Both are mobile quarterbacks and seem to be a better fit in Kelly’s offense than Foles, more of a pocket passer.

But Kelly indicated he would tailor the offense to Foles’ strengths if he wins the starting job. Kelly has yet to commit to a starter.

“I want to coach Nick,” Kelly said. “I want to get a chance to spend time with him. I’ve said it before: I was a big fan of his, the way he plays the game, his toughness, his ability to throw the ball. Very accurate. I want to get a chance to get him on the practice field.

“You’re always going to listen (to trade offers). But that doesn’t mean anything.”

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