Original Post: April 20, 2016
The top of the 2016 NFL Draft has been shaken up again. This time around, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles making a bold gambit to change the future of their franchise.
The Eagles acquired the No. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft in a trade with the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday, the Eagles announced. The Browns will receive Philadelphia’s No. 8 overall pick, third- and fourth-round picks in this draft, next year’s first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2018. The Eagles also got back the Browns’ fourth-round pick next season.
The Eagles are making this pick to draft a quarterback, executive vice president Howie Roseman confirmed in a news conference Wednesday. We’ll have to wait to find out which quarterback it will be. The Los Angeles Rams acquired the No. 1 overall pick in a blockbuster trade with the Tennessee Titans last week. California quarterback Jared Goff and North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz are now fully expected to be the first two selections of the draft. NFL Media columnist Michael Silver has indicated Goff likely will be selected first by the Rams.
The Eagles would clearly not make this deal if they didn’t fully believe in both quarterbacks. They might have a good read on what the Rams will do at No. 1, but you don’t make a franchise-altering move like this unless you are fully on board with either quarterback.
“It’s hard to be great if you don’t take some risks,” Roseman said.
This marks yet another bold move by Roseman since he took the reigns of the organization back from former coach Chip Kelly. It certainly gives the Eagles a loaded quarterback room. Sam Bradford — a former No. 1 overall pick himself — is set to make $18 million this year as the team’s presumptive starter. Chase Daniel, who was the backup in Kansas City last season, is one of the highest-paid backups in the league.
The Eagles are already talking up the benefits of sitting a rookie quarterback for a year and possibly two, citing Donovan McNabb, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers as quarterbacks who had the luxury to start their careers on the bench.
Now both Bradford and Daniel will be expected to keep the seat warm until the “quarterback of the future” — presumably Wentz — is ready. Bradford is essentially in Philadelphia on a one-year deal. He could wind up being traded next offseason, with Daniel in place as the Eagles’ long-term backup.
While the Eagles have an enviable “problem” with too many quarterbacks, the Browns are still searching for one to believe in. Josh McCown and Robert Griffin III are in place in Cleveland. The Browns would not make this move if they were truly in love with both Goff and Wentz. Perhaps the Rams’ trade really did box in Cleveland. Silver reported the Browns preferred Goff, and his expected choice at No. 1 had them re-evaluating their options of this draft.
“These picks will play a major role in building our team for long-term sustained success,” said Sashi Brown, the Browns’ executive vice president of operations, in a statement. “We want to assemble a young nucleus of talented players and this trade positions us really well. There is a good depth of talent in the first round and we felt we could make a larger impact to our roster by adding more draft picks and that’s why we made the decision to trade down.”
Cleveland’s roster has so many problems that we can’t fault it for making a safe trade. The Browns still get the No. 8 overall pick this season, and pick up extra first-, second- and third-round picks. They very well might draft a quarterback later in this draft, and can continue to fill out their roster with extra picks over the next few years.
The Browns are just starting a full-scale rebuild and will try to improve their overall team first before finding their quarterback. The Eagles are pushing their chips on the table right now.
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