When the Minnesota Vikings lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the season, the team was in scramble mode to find a replacement. The Vikings chose not to wait until the 53 man roster cuts shook out, as they’d most likely only find a back-up. With the Philadelphia Eagles feeling they have quarterback-of-the-future Carson Wentz on the roster, they only needed to bridge the gap. Sam Bradford would’ve been that bridge now the Eagles have the rookie on the fast track.
With the trade, the Eagles are forcing rookie quarterback Carson Wentz progress ahead. The team appears more confident in the rookie than veteran Chase Daniel. A career back-up for Drew Brees and Alex Smith, Daniel has little experience as a starter. Truth be told, Daniel has, in his career, the same number of passes most quarterbacks do in a small handful of games. However, head coach Doug Pederson is from the Andy Reid tree of coaching. If the Eagles use the “good but not great” approach the Chiefs have with Alex Smith, Daniel buys the team some time should rookie Carson Wentz struggle early on.
With their regular season schedule in their favor, Eagles fans have hope. Only two opponents in the first five games had winning records last season. Add in the fact that the Eagles don’t face a division winner until they face the Vikings in week 7, and Wentz/Daniel will be fine. The Eagles will also have the benefit of an early bye week to get either quarterback a few more reps in the offense so even if Wentz or Daniel comes out and plays mediocre Pederson should have an early break to make the necessary adjustments.
While fans might be upset at trading away their most able-bodied quarterback, getting a first round pick for Bradford was needed. Philadelphia traded their first round pick in 2017 to move up with the Cleveland Browns to draft Wentz. Moving back into the first round will be key for the Eagles as they’ll likely be moving on underperforming players from the Chip Kelly era. If Bradford continues to struggle, the Eagles put themselves in a very good position to get a top pick. Rather than keep Bradford to cut at a later date, the Eagles decided to move on early and received two picks. Even if they stayed with Bradford and he struggled, the team would get nowhere near the desperate Vikings first pick in the draft.
The 2017 NFL draft will be held in Philadelphia next year and the Eagles position themselves to make a splash. While no one will admit it, the Chip Kelly left Eagles in rebuild mode and the team may struggle this year. While they have the strength of schedule to still succeed, they also have to think about building for the future. Doug Pederson might have an uphill battle this year but has been put in a position to succeed. Kudos to the Eagles for getting more than they could have at the end of this season for a quarterback they were never 100% sold on.