What They’re Saying About the Eagles’ Trade
The Eagles made a controversial splash yesterday when they traded with the Browns for the second overall pick in the draft. Naturally, opinions on the move were divided. Here are some of the more interesting reactions from around the web.
Former Redskins GM Charley Casserly admires the anticipatory nature of the move.
In the big picture the Eagles are a team that’s never been in the top ten. I think int’s been fifteen years, only been there once. So what are they doing? They’re looking at the quarterback landscape going forward.New Orleans, San Diego, maybe New England, Arizona, the Giants, etc.—all have old quarterbacks. People are going to be dying for quarterbcks in the next couple of years. Now, the beauty of this is that they don’t have to play him right now. They can go play [Sam] Bradford. They can go play Chase Daniel.So the point is they got a year here to develop this guy, and goes what if he develops faster, and a contender goes dow, you go trade Bradford at the end of the year and maybe you get that [second round pick] back.
If it’s [Carson] Wentz, at this point at time, I’m okay with it, because I believe in the future of Wentz, I believe in developing his skill set, and what he’ll bring to our league. And I think if you’re Howie [Roseman] in Philly, you’re probably thinking, hey we’re not that far away. We were a bad team last year, but we should have won 12 games.
What a glorious return to power! Roseman broke free from the nether regions of the NovaCare Complex and in a matter of four months has undone just about everything ex-coach Chip Kelly installed — in addition to acquiring the draft’s No. 2 pick.
By giving away five picks, are they mortgaging the future? To a degree, yes. But I would argue that any future tied to Sam Bradford was hopeless anyway. Since 2010, 20 quarterbacks have attempted at least 2,000 passes. Among that group, Bradford ranks last in passer rating, yards per attempt and touchdowns. He’s been afforded every excuse in the book, but expecting him to suddenly be a different guy after six seasons and 63 starts would be foolish.
The Eagles signed Bradford and Chase Daniel not knowing for certain whether they’d be able to pull off a trade. It’s completely fair to question those signings, but now they’re in position to sit a rookie QB for a year, and they can part ways with Bradford after 2016.
Howie Roseman had two options: build a roster so good that it could make up for mediocre quarterback play or take a big swing on a quarterback who could make up for other deficiencies on the roster. He chose the latter. Now he has to hope that the organization’s evaluation (presumably of Carson Wentz) is correct.
Given the loss of draft capital, the Eagles’ margin of error in terms of decision-making is small. But for the first time since Donovan McNabb, they will have a young quarterback they can commit to and invest in.
The Eagles made the right move going for a franchise quarterback, the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane writes.
If the Eagles followed the same template in 1999 as their trade-up for the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, they would have given up Doug Brzezinski, John Welbourne, Corey Simon and Quinton Caver, and passed on David Boston, to move up six spots for Donovan McNabb.
It is a deal, hypothetically speaking, that most impartial observers would make without pause. McNabb developed into arguably the franchise’s greatest quarterback, while the other four Eagles, despite varying levels of success, came nowhere near to equaling McNabb’s impact on the team’s longest period of sustained winning.
Bill Barnwell broke the trade down extensively in a piece for ESPN.com.
To make this sort of move not knowing whether the Rams will draft Jared Goff or Carson Wentz is virtually unprecedented. Most of the rumors have linked the Rams to Goff and the Eagles to Wentz, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s how it goes down on draft day, but what happens if Los Angeles pulls an upset and goes for the higher-ceiling quarterback in Wentz? Do the Eagles take Goff and pretend that’s who they wanted all along? Do they trade the pick away?
I suppose it’s possible the Eagles love both quarterbacks and think both Goff and Wentz represent significant value, versus the $50 million or so they will earn over their first five cost-controlled years in the league, but this is an enormously risky move under normal circumstances, let alone this set. Let’s assume the Eagles are taking Wentz, but if the Rams change their mind, it could be a fascinating night on April 28.
Eagles fans who sat through the steady, seemingly underwhelming competence of the Andy Reid era and the desperate attempts to overcome bad quarterback play that marked the Chip Kelly era will appreciate this move. It’s a bold, aggressive play to try to find the most valuable asset in football: a franchise quarterback on a rookie contract. It’s a shot across the bow of the past six years of post-Donovan McNabb Eagles football. It’s also a shot that misses more often than it hits.
Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus gives the Eagles a C+ for the deal.
…this is a fascinating move in that [the Eagles] may not even know which quarterback they’re going to get. If they’re perfectly comfortable with either Goff or Wentz, then it makes sense to get in position to grab their future QB, but it’s unlikely that they have identical grades on both signal-callers. If they also have intel on the Rams’ intentions, and they feel confident about the remaining quarterback that will be there at No. 2, then this trade makes sense in the grand scheme. But like all massive trades to get a QB, the risk is enormous, and ultimately the quarterback’s performance will dictate whether or not this grade will be an “A” or an “F” in the future.
The other element of risk is that, even if they do get their guy, the Eagles have to be prepared for their roster to regress before it gets better after giving up so many draft picks. It’s the same issue the Washington Redskins ran into when they traded up for Robert Griffin III in 2012, and it’s the same chance the Rams are taking in moving up to grab their future quarterback this offseason. Most rosters cannot handle a loss of top draft picks for multiple years, so the new Eagles QB should be looking to lead his strongest roster of surrounding talent four or five years down the road. And if that quarterback is Wentz, it just may be perfect timing — if he can live up to his immense potential.
Andrew Brandt, writing for the MMBQ, tries to understand the deal in the context of the Bradford/Daniel contracts.
Also, people: The Eagles are not trading Bradford or Daniel this year; stop with that suggestion. The Eagles are responsible for $20 million in bonus money whether the players are traded or not. Lurie is not paying an $11 million signing bonus to Bradford— with half of it already spent, the other half due September 1—for him to play for someone else. Similarly, Lurie is not paying $9 million in bonuses to Daniel for him to play elsewhere. These players are here for the short term, although both appear to be signed to be eventually replaced the by the second pick in the 2016 draft—who will be getting a $16 million signing bonus.
Lawyer that I am, I try to see both sides and understand the Eagles’ position, even if I disagree with it. With a weak division and a fan base with, shall we say, high expectations, Philadelphia did not want to sacrifice this season and felt that Bradford can carry them to a solid level of success. As for his price tag, they paid $2 million more than the franchise tag number if he’s around for one year, and $2 million per year less than the tag number is he’s around two years. Regarding Daniel, his signing has always appeared a nod to new coach Doug Pederson, as big a Daniel fan as there is in the league. (Pederson and Daniel were together in Kansas City from 2013 to ’15, as offensive coordinator and backup QB, respectively.) And speaking of Pederson, the Eagles have a lot of coaches schooled in quarterback development. They will provide a strong opportunity for Goff/Wentz to—eventually—be successful.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports identified Bradford, Daniel and Roseman as “losers” in the trade.
Howie Roseman: Have loved almost all of the moves Howie’s made this offseason, but now the Eagles are in short supply when it comes to their draft selections. They will use their only top-75 pick on a quarterback and will have just seven selections in this draft. They don’t have a first-round pick next year or a third-round pick in 2018.
If Wentz isn’t the franchise quarterback Roseman thinks he is, this is going to blow up in his face badly. If Wentz is great obviously Roseman moves into the winners portion here. But he just hitched his career to a kid from North Dakota State with 612 career college passing attempts.
Colin Cowherd didn’t like the deal for either team, according to FOX Sports.
“I predicted that because of the resentment toward Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles would overcompensate to prove they don’t need Chip Kelly and they would sell the farm and they would move up past a point I would be comfortable with.”
Colin then explained why he thought the Rams’ trade for the No. 1 pick made sense, and why it didn’t make sense for Philly to move up.
“Philadelphia’s got an atrocious defense, no star running back, not a veteran head coach…” he said.
“This Philadelphia roster right now is not very good. And so a young quarterback’s gonna come in, (Philly’s) not gonna have many picks in the next couple years, and he doesn’t have much around him.”
Spotrac has the details of what it would cost to trade Bradford.
Sam Bradford #Eagles Dead $
Trade Pre 6/1: $11M
Cut Pre 6/1: $18M
Trade Post 6/1: $5.5M in 16 & 17
Cut Post 6/1: $12.5M in 16, $5.5M in 17
— Spotrac (@spotrac) April 20, 2016
Paul Domowitch thinks the Eagles’ trade smacks of arrogance.
After snookering the Miami Dolphins out of the eighth pick in the draft last month, they should have sat on their hands, selected one of the three of four appealing options that figure to be on the board at No. 8 next Thursday – Ronnie Stanley? Ezekiel Elliott? Vernon Hargreaves? – and taken a well-deserved bow.
Instead, they overdosed on testosterone and decided to show the rest of the NFL how smart they are.
I’m concerned that a big part of this move has to do with Chip Kelly and Roseman’s need to get rid of any evidence of the man who publicly humiliated him.
I applauded Roseman when he was able to find gullible buyers for Kelly’s two biggest free-agent blunders: Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray.
But this move? This move was unnecessary. This move is dripping with arrogance. This move cost the Eagles valuable draft picks that could have been used to address other needs, not the least of which is offensive tackle, where 34-year-old Jason Peters, an eight-time Pro Bowler, seemed to hit the wall last season.