Howie Roseman's latest deal will provide the Eagles the opportunity to draft either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff with the No. 2 selection.
by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hate the deal.
Think it’s a potentially disastrous move that could pave the way to a franchise-detonating decision, not to mention collateral damage linked to it, that proves disastrous beyond repair.
Would rip it, pan it and condemn it for days, weeks, months, possibly years to come.
If not for one thing …
The Eagles, by giving up five picks Wednesday to Cleveland – first-rounders this year and next, a third and fourth this year and a second in 2018 – in order to move up six spots in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft, from eighth to second, and get a throw-in selection for the future (fourth next year), did exactly what they wanted.
They positioned themselves in a place to nab one of the two individuals who has been pretty much universally anointed as a potential “franchise quarterback.” Now sitting behind only the Los Angeles Rams, they’ll be able to slap an Eagles cap and jersey on Carson Wentz or Jared Goff just moments after the Rams make one of them the overall No. 1 choice.
Frankly, am much more of a Paxton Lynch believer here, and am firmly convinced that Philly GM in Reality Howie Roseman and new head coach Doug Pederson got caught up in the Wentz craze so much so that they shirked common sense altogether, paying a pretty hefty price in the process, in order to have nothing more than a 50-50 shot to land him.
What’s that, LA took Wentz? Oh, well, that Goff kid was considered right there with him by the vast majority of NFL player-personnel “experts,” in particular area homeboys Jaws and R-Diddy, so we’re OK with him.
Ugh, the mind boggles …
But it also admires Roseman and Co. for having the cojones to go for it. Clearly, the love/lust for Wentz, the largely unproven, supposed prodigy out of FCS level North Dakota State, they have is real, very real, and they acted on it.
That alone deserves some serious kudos.
It’s not often that a person in position of power, especially in a second go-round with it in the same organization, has the chutzpah to pull the trigger on such a daring, boom-or-bust move. Particularly when it wasn’t exactly required.
Not for nothing, but the Birds were kinda set at QB for the next couple seasons had they just stood pat at their No. 8 spot in next Thursday night’s first round. Whether me or you liked Sam Bradford or not, or had any modicum of respect for his newly signed backup, Chase Daniel, the team was gonna be OK at the position.
Mediocre most likely, but professional without question.
Since reclaiming his spot atop the Eagles’ non-owner pecking order, Roseman has been a whirling dervish with trades, signings and the general restructuring of an organization that had started to go off the rails under Chip Kelly before the coach got canned and resurfaced in San Francisco.
Prior to Wednesday, the most critical and tactical move he made was dumping Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso on Miami. Critical because it rid the Eagles of two high-priced players who didn’t seem to fit in Philly, and tactical because the return “investment” from the Dolphins was a move up five spots in this year’s draft, from 13 to eight.
If you listened to Roseman discuss the deal with the Browns, that transaction with Miami made their dream of acquiring Wentz (OK, or Goff) something more than a figment of a wild imagination. His thinking was that once the Eagles got within the top 10 they’d have a shot to move up to either the first or second spot.
Turns out he was right, and the damn son of a gun actually had the guts to follow through with things to boot.
Will never agree with the trade because the potential payoff, to me, won’t be worth the price. But someone shooting for what they deem to be the stars, or, in this case, star, just can’t knock that.
Not now. Not ever.
Just a little fun here with presenting today’s originally planned column alongside the new one that factored in up-to-date changes. Consider this an inside peek at what would have landed “on the cutting-room floor” in a previous journalist life:
It doesn’t make any sense.
Unless this latest wheeling-and-dealing scenario making the “sources say” rounds is some sucker play by the Eagles’ braintrust, headed by stealth GM Howie Roseman and new head coach Doug Pederson, trying to throw everyone off their player-preference scent, it just doesn’t.
Two first-round picks and three third-round picks go to Cleveland for the right to move from the eighth slot in next week’s NFL draft up to No. 2 … all to pick a guy who may be available should they just stand pat?
To pick a guy whose value is the same, or less than, anyone who would be available should they just stand pat?
To pick a guy whose position really, truly, is not exactly one of immediate, pressing need which could be easily addressed should they just stand pat?
Not for nothing, but even a Sam Bradford critic such as myself is pretty confident is proclaiming that neither of the hot-commodity quarterbacks, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, is an obvious upgrade to what Captain If Only likely will provide the Birds for the next two seasons.
Frankly, can’t say either screams “better than (Bradford backup) Chase Daniel” at this point.
For all the bitching and moaning about Bradford done on this site, there is only one QB coming out that seems a clear-cut improvement right here to the Eagles’ incumbent behind center – now, next year and for years to come – and that’s Paxton Lynch, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound junior-eligible talent out of Memphis.
Athletic. Fluid. Confident. Smart. Experienced. Big arm. With touch. Coming off a college career that saw him carry the non-power 5 Tigers into the top 25, beating SEC dynamo Mississippi in the process as he shredded arguably the nation’s most NFL-type-talent-laden defense, Lynch was, and is, worthy of some serious attention.
Initially, he got it, including from the Eagles as it was put out there that they had sincere interest in him, and that he, indeed, was “their guy.” But with the hype and hoopla in regards to Wentz and Goff spring-boarding to “tween-age girls fawning over the latest boy band” levels, such talk has all but disappeared. If anything, in fact, word now is that the Birds merely see Lynch as a project, that he would be nothing more than a consolation gift should the real prizes, Goff and Wentz, be gone by the time they’re on the clock a week from Thursday.
But what if that’s only a smokescreen? What if the Eagles actually are fueling the fire of Wentz/Goff love in order to insure Lynch remain unfettered and available to be chosen at No. 8? What if they’re suggesting other players at other positions to further solidify that possibility?
If so, the Offseason Owned by Howie looks even better.
Heck, even the Birds ultimately didn’t select Lynch (or Goff or Wentz) at 8, they could draft for need (offensive line, secondary, linebacker) right then and grab a “QB of the future” in a later round … all without trading five draft picks in order to move up six spots.
Better yet, they could trade down, hopefully pick up, at minimum, a second-round pick that they lost in the trade to acquire Bradford last season, and still fill a pressing need AND get a QB. Now that makes sense.