The NFL's 10 Biggest What-Ifs of the Last 10 Years – Sports Illustrated


We are conditioned as human beings to relive the past, even though any spiritual advisor or truly enlightened guru-type would advise that the here and now is more critical for personal happiness.

Sports are one of the few aspects of life where revisiting the how and why of something can be enjoyable and somewhat healthy. There were good times. There is room to speculate. There are conversations to be had with old friends and new. That’s why we’re here today, to facilitate such conversations in the absence of football on the near horizon.

The last decade of NFL football has brought us some universally incredible moments. But for fans of some teams in particular, it has also brought the kind of fortunes that make us wonder….

WHAT IF….

1. Chip Kelly got Marcus Mariota?

The Eagles had the 20th pick in the 2015 draft, following a 10-6 season that left them just out of the playoffs. Jameis Winston was the first player off the board, and there was rampant speculation that Kelly would trade up for the QB who he had coached to a 12-1 record during his freshman year at Oregon. The Eagles reportedly went as high as offering the Titans two first-round picks (2015 and 2016), a second-round pick (2015), “any quarterback on their roster and any defensive player on their roster” to trade up to No. 2. That, by the way, would have included Sam Bradford and a potpourri of extraordinarily talented defensive personnel, like Fletcher Cox.

If the Titans had swung the deal, it would have most certainly guaranteed Kelly more than one partial remaining season in town. In addition, it would have prevented the Eagles from hiring Doug Pederson and it could have eliminated part of the valuable player core that won the team its first Super Bowl in 2017.


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