If the Eagles decide to move quarterback Michael Vick, the St. Louis Rams are mentioned time after time again as the most likely trade partner.
Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur have ties to Philadelphia and saw what Vick could do in the Eagles offense. Rams general manager Billy Devaney was the assistant general manager in Atlanta when Vick was the quarterback there. Current Rams quarterback Marc Bulger will be 33 years old later this off-season and is coming off of an injury-plagued 2009 season.
It turns out that the Rams could be acquiring a new quarterback, but not one who is currently a Philadelphia Eagle.
Chris Steuber of Scout.com and an extensive draft contributor to PhiladelphiaEagles.com reports that the Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had "exploratory discussions" on a trade that would send quarterback Josh Johnson, the No. 3 overall pick and either a second- or a third-round pick to the Rams for the No. 1 overall pick.
Steuber cites a source who said that the Rams are "very-high" on Johnson and the Rams would "insist" that he's involved in a trade. The Bucs' motivation to do the deal is because they want Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
"They feel that Suh's presence in the trenches is exactly what they need and that he would give them the legitimate playmaker they've lacked on the defensive line since the departure of Warren Sapp," Steuber wrote. "While the Bucs like (Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald) McCoy, they have Suh graded much higher and would be willing to make this move to land him."
What makes Steuber's article even juicier is that if the Rams dropped down to No. 3, they would hope that McCoy falls past Detroit who holds the No. 2 overall pick. If McCoy is off the board, Steuber reports that the Rams - who theoretically have already acquired Johnson - "would then entertain the notion of drafting one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft, Oklahoma's Sam Bradford or Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen."
The bigger question for the Eagles becomes who would be interested in Vick's services? Then again, do the Eagles even want to deal him in the first place?
UPDATE: Rams general manager Billy Devaney told fans during a chat on the Rams' web site this afternoon that he has not had any talks with the Bucs.
"I am being completely honest when I say I have not talked to anyone in Tampa Bay. I'm not saying that won't happen at some point but to date there is absolutely nothing going on," Devaney said.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:25 p.m., February 22