Read the headline and then repeat it a few times. We’re in the midst of the silly season in the NFL, where folks like myself have nothing better to do than sit back and find an outlet for our wildest fantasies
That’s not a shot at those suggesting the Eagles might actually be putting together a play for one of the top two quarterbacks on their board. We’ve got space to fill and clicks to generate, and if Doug Pederson is going to do us the favor of scheduling private workouts with Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, we sure as hell aren’t going to ignore the surface-level implications of such a move. I mean, I guess I’m doing the same thing, except I’m telling you the answer to the question in the headline.
Are the Eagles looking to make a play up the board to draft a Quarterback of the Future?
No. Hell no. It makes no sense. Unless Howie Roseman and Pederson are the two least rational people on the planet, everything that they have done thus far this offseason tells us that there is a ZERO percent chance that they are planning to make a play for Wentz or Goff. And everything we know about Roseman tells us he is the opposite of irrational. You do not survive as long as he has without being an extremely cold, calculating, meticulous decision-maker.
So . . . no. Hell no.
If the Eagles thought there was even a chance that they might make an aggressive play for Wentz or Goff, there’s no way they would have signed Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel to contracts. They would have signed one, and they would have used the remaining money to add to other areas of the roster that might ease a young QB’s transition into the NFL. That alone eliminates virtually any rational scenario in which the Eagles are secretly plotting for either Wentz or Goff. Forget about everything else.
If you are the general manager of a team that likes one of these two QBs enough to make him the centerpiece of your plans moving forward, you do not waste the kind of money the Eagles spent on Bradford and Daniel, especially because you will need that money to address whatever position will go unaddressed with the first-round pick and whatever other picks you trade in order to use those picks on acquiring said quarterback. Think about it: The Eagles allocate, what, $18 million in cap space on Bradford and Daniel while reserving their first-round pick for a QB? They don’t have a second-round pick.
They might need to trade one of their third-rounders to move up to No. 1 or No. 2 and assure themselves a chance at whatever one of those QBs they covet. Suddenly, a team that went 7-9 and has a roster that desperately needs youth/depth/speed at offensive line, wide receiver, running back and cornerback will have less opportunity to address those areas.
It just makes no sense.
What does make sense is to see as much college talent in person as possible, regardless of whether you think you have a realistic chance of drafting that talent or not. I mean, you’re a football coach. What else do you have to do in March?
If I was a GM/coach, I’d hold a private workout with any quarterback willing to grant me one, if only to improve my baseline knowledge of the position to enhance my evaluations of other QBs both this year and in the future. Additionally, holding such workouts generates headlines from people who desperately want to believe that they were correct about Bradford when they wrote him off after Week 3 of the regular season and that the Eagles have been scheming to replace him with a True Winner this whole time, and that in turn gives GMs of teams that might actually trade up for Wentz or Goff something to think about.
It’s interesting that one such team is the 49ers, Chip Kelly’s new team, which picks at No. 7. Wentz is THE perfect quarterback for Kelly’s system, and he’s got the tools to be successful right away in Kelly’s intuitive, paint-by-numbers offense. He’s a better prospect, and a better fit, then Marcus Mariota, regardless of what the peddlers of that narrative would like for you to believe. The most obvious scenario is that the Titans are going to trade the No. 1 overall pick to someone, that someone is going to covet Wentz, and there is going to be a huge bidding war to determine who that someone is. Therein lies another reason why an Eagles trade-up makes no sense: What are they going to trade? As long as one other team likes Wentz/Goff (Wentz most likely) as much as they do, it’s virtually guaranteed that said team can make a better offer to move up.
Again, the Eagles don’t have a second-round pick. They know a team like the Niners is going to be able to offer a more attractive package. It’s simply irrational to think that they have a serious chance of being the team that makes the offer that moves them into franchise QB range. In order to make such an offer, they would need to seriously diminish the chances that the franchise QB has enough talent around him to actually be successful once drafted. By working out Wentz and Goff, not only does Pederson add to the observational data points that he will evaluate other QBs based on, while also doing his due diligence, he makes people like Kelly and Jeff Fisher and Jerry Jones and Sean Payton think that they might need to account for the Eagles when the bidding war erupts for the No. 1 overall pick.
That’s what’s going on here. It goes on every March/April in the NFL. Where there is smoke, there is usually a logical explanation. That the Eagles are thinking about moving up for a QB is about as illogical as you can get.