Another report of a failed attempt by the Browns to dump Josh Gordon emerged today.
At the time, Gordon was set to serve a two-game suspension for a positive drug test, while Foles was the backup to Michael Vick. Former Eagles team president Joe Banner was running the Browns at that point.
Banner and the Browns recognized the risk of keeping the troubled Gordon and were looking to improve the situation at quarterback. According to Sheridan, the Eagles also saw the high risk Gordon presented and liked Foles, thus passing on the offer.
Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell started the 2013 season as the team's top two quarterbacks. Browns fans know how that turned out. Weeden completed 52.8 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards, eight touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Campbell fared a bit better, passing for 2,011 yards, 11 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Neither signalcaller returned to Cleveland in 2014.
Foles would have looked good in Orange and Brown in 2013. The Arizona grad enjoyed a breakout season. Foles completed 64 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,891 yards, 27 touchdowns, and just two interceptions.
At the same time, Gordon appeared to break out as a star in 2013. One of the lone bright spots on a 4-12 team, Gordon hauled in 87 passes for 1,641 yards and nine touchdowns, earning a spot in the Pro Bowl.
Both Foles and Gordon crashed back to Earth in 2014.
Gordon experienced a disastrous offseason, nearly incurring a season-long suspension for violation the league's substance abuse policy. He eventually played in five games, recording just 24 catches for 303 yards and no touchdowns.
Foles' flaws also became apparent last season. The third-year quarterback threw 2,161 yards and 13 touchdowns in the first half of the season, but also tossed 10 picks. He suffered a broken collarbone on November 2 against the Texans and missed the remainder of the season.
The trade would have significantly altered each team's path. The Eagles would be stuck with the now-suspended Gordon, while the Browns would have a potentially viable starting quarterback heading into this season. The Browns might not have drafted Johnny Manziel, instead selecting a wide receiver or a player at another position.
"What if?" is an often-asked offseason question for Browns fans. In this instance, the question is particularly intriguing.