The Matt Barkley era ends in Philadephia before it ever really began. Per reports, the Philadelphia Eagles have given up on their third string quarterback and have agreed to trade him to the Arizona Cardinals.

Barkley appears to have lost his preseason battle with the polarizing Tim Tebow, and will go to Arizona to compete over the next week for a job with Logan Thomas. The deal is for a conditional draft pick that is expected to be a seventh rounder for the Eagles provided Barkley is on Arizona’s roster for at least six games. If Barkley can show enough upside to convince the Cards’ to give up on the major experiment that Thomas has turned out to be, he should be able to nail down a spot on AZ’s quarterback depth chart.

Cardinals QB Woes

Arizona had a rude awakening under center in 2014, as a very good team was ruined by injuries and subsequent horrid quarterback play. Starter Carson Palmer (knee, arm) twice miss extended runs in the season, which gave way to backup passer Drew Stanton getting solid exposure. Stanton also went down eventually with his own knee injury, however, and Arizona had to try to win defensive battles with Ryan Lindley and Logan Thomas pitching in. It didn’t work out so well, as a hot start helped the Cardinals still make the playoffs, but Lindley’s ineptitude helped punch their ticket out in their first game. Barkley may not be starter material, but in Arizona he doesn’t have to be. Rather, he just needs to give the Cardinals a stronger last line of defense at a position that brought their entire team down a year ago. He’s undoubtedly more experienced and game-ready than Thomas was/is, so it’d be a relative shock if he didn’t render the raw passer useless going forward.

Tebow Time?

As for the Eagles, it seems they’ve been hell bent on getting Tim Tebow on their final roster this entire time, but they needed him to show growth as a passer and beat out Barkley. He surprisingly did that, as he looked quite solid in his first preseason game, regressed over his next two and then closed out his August run in style with a borderline great performance this past weekend. Barkley is arguably a better traditional pocket passer in comparison to Tebow, but the gap is not as wide as some may think, while Tebow undoubtedly brings more to the table from a tangibles aspect. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly seems to have a specific plan in using Tebow, and it will be interesting to see how that unfolds. Update: The Eagles have cut Tebow, leaving them with just one quarterback (Mark Sanchez) behind Sam Bradford for 2015.

None of this hurts or helps either team enough to change their playoff or Super Bowl aspirations, as both teams are solid NFC squads with a shot at the playoffs already. The move simply makes Arizona’s quarterback room a little better, while allowing Philly to move forward with the gadget quarterback they needed an excuse to keep around.

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