Eagles Bank Their Future on Trade with Browns

Well, now your NFL mock draft looks like your NCAA pool looked after the first round of the college basketball tournament – a worthless pile of shredded scrap paper.

The Los Angeles Rams and the Eagles shook things up in a big way by trading for the first and second overall picks, respectively, in next week’s NFL draft and that has had a domino effect on the rest of the league – and, of course, your mock draft. As for the Eagles, it’s a move that, for better or worse, will impact the franchise for the next decade or so and nobody knows for sure which it will be.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman looked everyone right in the eye and said that the Eagles will take a quarterback with their No. 2 pick and he doesn’t care which one it is – Jared Goff of California is expected to go No. 1 to the Rams, leaving Carson Wentz of North Dakota State for the Eagles.

The Eagles swapped picks with the Rams, giving L.A. their No. 8 pick, and the Rams also get the Eagles’ first-round pick next year and nobody knows how high or how low that will be. But if the Eagles are bad in Doug Pederson’s first year as coach and that 2017 pick ends up in the Top 10, then this deal will get even more scrutinty.

But even that doesn’t really matter. For the Eagles, the trade was a great one if Wentz ends up being their quarterback for the next decade and leads them to a Super Bowl or two. Otherwise, this gamble will blow up in the Eagles’ facemasks, because you can’t give up as much as the Eagles did and just end up with OK QB.

The safe move – and one I campaigned for – was to use the No. 8 pick (or a few slots higher, if necessary) for the best offensive lineman available and give yourself a foundation player for the next 10 years. That, of course, was assuming the Eagles were willing to forge ahead with Sam Bradford at quarterback and simply build up the team around him.

Apparently, the safe move was never an option. Roseman has been wheeling and dealing ever since the off-season began and rarely, if ever, has a general manager shown so much energy in such a short amount of time. He re-signed his own players, he got rid of players who might have been viewed as malcontents (and you know who they are), he signed some solid free agents to replace the players he got rid of, and he even managed to push the Eagles into the coveted Top 10 on draft day, moving from 13th to eighth.

And now this. And even though it has absolutely nothing to do with this trade or the draft in general, it is interesting that Roseman was able to do what Chip Kelly – the man who shoved him aside in a power struggle – could not do last year, which was to trade up for the second pick so he could select the quarterback of his dreams. Last year, of course, the one Kelly dreamed about was quarterback Marcus Mariota and this year Roseman is dreaming about, well, whichever QB the Rams don’t want.

Anyhow, here is what the hardest working man in show business has done in just three months. Some of these moves were franchise-altering and others were just roster-filling, but for sheer volume it’s an impressive list:

January 18: Doug Pederson is hired as coach.

January 25: Tight end Zach Ertz signs five-year contract.

January 26: Tight end Brent Celek signs three-year contract.

January 29: Tackle Lane Johnson signs six-year contract.

February 2: Defensive end Vinny Curry signs five-year contract.

February 8: Wide receiver Riley Cooper released.

February 10: Linebacker Najee Goode signs one-year contract.

February 22: Safety Malcolm Jenkins signs five-year contract.

February 24: Linebacker DeMeco Ryans released.

March 1: Quarterback Sam Bradford signs two-year contract.

March 8: Buffalo cornerback Leodis McKelvin signs two-year contract.

March 9: Cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso traded to Miami; Eagles trade 13th overall draft pick for eighth overall.

March 9: Running back DeMarco Murray traded to Tennessee for two fourth-round picks.

March 9: Houston offensive lineman Brandon Brooks signs five-year contract.

March 10: Buffalo linebacker Nigel Bradham signs two-year contract.

March 10: Kansas City quarterback Chase Daniel signs three-year contract.

March 11: Quarterback Mark Sanchez traded to Denver for 2017 conditional draft pick.

March 15: Cornerback Nolan Carroll III signs one-year contract.

March 23: New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle signs one-year contract.

April 4: Jacksonville offensive lineman Stefan Wisniewski signs one-year contract.

April 20: Acquires No. 2 overall pick in 2016 draft from Cleveland for No. 8 pick as well as first-round pick in 2017 and a second-rounder in 2018 and third-rounder in 2016.

Whew! That’s more personnel juggling than some general managers do in a decade and Roseman did it in just a few months, which is even more remarkable considering he didn’t reclaim his role as general manager until late December.

And now comes the hard part – making it all work.

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