The Thinking Behind the Manziel Visit

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Peter King mentioned in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that the Eagles were one of the teams that met with quarterback Johnny Manziel at the combine. Howie Roseman was asked to explain that decision on Thursday.

“We do interviews for a wide variety of reasons at a wide variety of positions,” said Roseman, who did not confirm that a meeting with Manziel took place. “We get 60 formal interviews at the combine, we get 30 players we’re allowed to bring in here.

“We’re trying to get as much background as possible on as many guys as possible. You never know when opportunity is going to come to get a player. It may be now in the draft, it may be in free agency, it may be via trade. If you look through your notes and you haven’t met the guy and the head coach is coming down your hallway and he’s going, ‘Hey, how was this guy when he came out?’ and you’re kind of going…help. It’s just part of the process.”

Would they take Manziel if he slid down to 22? Don’t know. If they stick to their “best player available” mantra, then maybe. The point is that they want to be armed with all the information available to them should such a situation arise.

If you remember, the Eagles higher-ups — including Jeffrey Lurie — all took a plane ride to Morgantown, West Virginia to work out Geno Smith last March, then passed on him twice in the draft. In other words, there’s a difference between being thorough and being highly interested.

D’Qwell Jackson and cap casualties

Part of the preparation for this time of year is identifying players around the league that could end up being cap casualties. Roseman said that cap manager Jake Rosenberg hands the GM a preliminary list of candidates in October so they can begin doing their homework.

“We go over it as a staff and see kind of realistic guys and we have grades on those guys right away because what you see happening is, the guys that are good players, they go out on visits quickly, and I think you’re seeing that today with D’Qwell [Jackson],” said Roseman. “If you’re now circling back and trying to go through the evaluation and talking to coaches, the guy may be signed, so we try to be proactive in the process.”

Jackson will reportedly visit with the Titans, Broncos and Cardinals in the coming days. While Roseman mentioned him by name, we’re told that the Eagles have not expressed interest in the linebacker to this point.

Trade winds?

We mentioned last week that Brandon Graham could end up being traded if the stars align. Roseman was asked about dealing players that are not considered scheme fits in the name of stockpiling picks for what is largely considered a talent-rich draft. (The Eagles currently have seven picks for May’s festivities.)

“It’s hard to make trades in this league, but I think we’d be open if something was a win-win situation,” he said. “And certainly when you see guys who aren’t scheme fits and you look at other teams that may work for them, and they may have a player that is a scheme fit for you, maybe you hope things can work out. And then when you add in draft picks obviously that’s appealing, too. We’ll get a better sense when we get into the league year because now you’re two weeks away and it’s like, are you really going to try and figure out a trade now? Everybody is trying to figure out free agency and the draft, but yeah, certainly makes the offseason interesting.”

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