NFL Philadelphia Eagles Sports Spotlight

Philadelphia Eagles: Trading for the #2 Pick Even Crazier than it Seems


Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Eagles traded up to the number two pick in the NFL draft in order to draft a quarterback. Previously, The Los Angeles Rams had traded a haul to get the number one. While on paper, the Rams trade was the bigger haul for the Titans, who owned the number one pick, the Eagles have actually invested a higher portion of their future into the number two pick.[Jeff]

 

First, a look at the trade itself:
Cleveland receives from Philadelphia
2016 first round pick (8 overall)
2016 third round pick (77 overall)
2016 fourth round pick (100 overall)
2017 first round pick
2018 second round pick

 

Philadelphia receives from Cleveland
2016 first round pick (2 overall)
2017 fourth round pick

 

Five picks to move up six spots and even get a pick back? It’s a hefty price, especially since Philly is giving up five top-100 picks. But the problem with this trade is that below the surface, it’s even dirtier than that. The roster and draft capital that went into executing this trade was enormous, including trades on trades to end up with the number two overall pick.

 

First, the 2016 pick. The Eagles moved up from the number 13 pick by trading Kiko Alonso, Byron Maxwell and the number 13 pick to Miami in exchange for the number 8 pick. Just a year ago, superstar LeSean McCoy was traded straight up for Alonso, making the exodus of talent and opportunity for that pick:
Kiko Alonso
LeSean McCoy
Byron Maxwell
Number 13 overall pick

Yikes.

The third round pick was acquired from the Lions by trading the #113 overall in last year’s draft. That one isn’t so bad! A net positive for Chip Kelly the General Manager. But how did they end up with the #100 overall pick? Well, they moved DeMarco Murray and the #113 in this year’s draft (they really don’t like that pick) to move up to #100. #100 was shipped out in this trade, and that #113 they flipped to Tennessee? It went to Los Angeles to even out the deal for the #1 pick. Their own pick worked against them to move the Rams up to #1.

 

So that #100 pick? It’s actually:
Number 113 overall pick
DeMarco Murray

 

The exporting of talent to acquire the #2 overall pick then changes to:
Kiko Alonso
LeSean McCoy
Byron Maxwell
DeMarco Murray
Number 13 overall pick
Number 113 overall pick
2017 first round pick
2018 second round pick

 

We won’t know what the 2016 pick will be until next January, but the Eagles are hoping to convey one in the twenties. If their scheme falls on its face, however, they could be sending two top-45 picks to the Browns over the next two seasons in exchange for their pick of quarterback. Except they don’t get their pick of quarterback, they get whichever quarterback out of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz the Rams do not select. The Eagles are tying up all this capital into moving up to the number two overall pick, and they don’t even get their choice of quarterback!

They get whichever one the Rams like less.

 

In executing this trade, the Eagles have reportedly incensed starting quarterback Sam Bradford, who they inked to a two-year, $35,000,000 deal earlier this offseason. He’s demanded a trade from the Eagles, since they have made it clear he is not their long-term starter. They are unlikely to trade him, as they want whichever of Goff/Wentz they end up drafting to sit and learn for a year behind Bradford and free agent acquisition Chase Daniel. While that may be the plan, that certainly is going to create tension in the locker room and could lead to an explosive situation down the line. The only answer could be trading Bradford.

 

All this exodus of talent has salary cap ramifications, as well. By shipping out Maxwell and Murray, they accelerated their pro-rated cap hit into this season, meaning that the Miami defensive back and Tennessee running back will count for $8.8 million in dead, unusable money against the Eagles’ 2016 cap situation. If they acquiesce to Bradford’s demands in the name of locker room health, they accelerate his signing bonus into this season, meaning an additional $18,000,000 in dead cap space.

 

Eagles former and current GM Howie Roseman is making a huge gamble that whoever is left at #2 will become the franchise cornerstone for the next 10+ years. He’s gambling a massive amount of talent, picks, cap space, and ultimately the biggest gamble of all: his job.

 

All of this to hope that the Rams don’t take the quarterback they really want, leaving them with the other one as a consolation prize.


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