An NFL general manager has a fine line to walk in today’s game, balancing competing to win as many games as possible right now while positioning the franchise for future success. The NFL Draft is a team’s best opportunity for the latter, and on Monday Howie Roseman did what many had speculated he would do.
He made a trade.
But it wasn’t a trade for an established veteran quarterback this year, it wasn’t a trade for a high-end receiver or a defensive player, and it wasn’t a trade in which he earned a few spots in this year’s draft. Instead, Roseman took advantage of the New Orleans Saints’ desire to acquire a second pick in this year’s draft and gave himself even more capital next year, while retaining several first-round picks. turn now.
The deal was too good to pass up.
THE EAGLES RECEIVE
2022 first-round pick (No. 18)
2022 third-round pick (No. 101)
2022 seventh-round pick (#237)
2023 first-round pick
2024 second-round pick
THE SAINTS RECEIVE
2022 first-round pick (No. 16)
2022 first-round pick (No. 19)
2022 sixth-round pick (No. 194)
At the end of the day, Roseman traded 19 for 18 and gave up No. 16 this year in exchange for an extra third round this year, a 1st round pick in next year’s draft and a a second-round pick in 24. Roseman takes the very strong chance that the Saints are pretty bad this year and their first-round pick in 23 is in the top 10.
As Lieutenant Aldo Raine told SS Colonel Hans Landa at the end of Inglourious Basterds, “Yeah, I’d do that deal.”
But no one should lose sight of what acquiring another 2023 first-round pick does for Roseman and the Eagles.
This gives them another bite at the QB apple.
Next year’s draft is said to be much stronger for quarterbacks (it would be hard not to be better than this year’s draft), and so, while still having several first-round picks this year, Roseman now has two picks in next year’s premier. turn he can use to select a QB, move on to the draft, or use the picks to trade for a veteran who might be available next offseason (if there is one).
What does this say about how the Eagles feel about Jalen Hurts? While he doesn’t make it clear that they aren’t sure of him as the franchise’s next QB, certainly no one should lose out on what Roseman can attempt next offseason, especially given their apparent interest. for upgrading to position with Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson this spring.
And keep in mind that Jalen Hurts was never drafted to be the starting quarterback for this team. When he was selected in the second round two years ago, the Eagles signed on Carson Wentz as a franchise QB. Hurts was brought on board to be a backup. Of course, given the way he played last year, it’s clear that Hurts will never be this team’s backup caller again, but it’s also clear that his future in Philadelphia remains uncertain.
At the end of the day, any GM worth their salt would have made this deal, the Saints just gave up too much to acquire an additional first this time around. And it was never likely that Roseman would just stand up and use his three first-round picks on players in April, as Pro Football Network’s Mike Kaye told me in a recent edition of Eye on. the Enemy.
“Yes, you’re kicking the box, but you’re building long-term durability. And to me, you don’t want to have three 5th grade options in a few years. You don’t. It’s a lot. That’s a lot of leverage, but those first-round picks really matter. And he has to nail them. Why don’t you take the pressure off a bit and prepare for the future in case Jalen Hurts doesn’t work out by trading until 2023 and I think 2023 will be a better draft class because the bar is set quite low. ”
But the Eagles will never be content with being “just OK” at quarterback when it comes to throwing the ball, either. Jeffrey Lurie, Roseman and Nick Sirianni don’t want to be a first team, and unless Hurts shows real progress as a pitcher this year, they’ll remain a heavier team with him under center. As we have seen, it is difficult to recruit receivers in Philadelphia in the current scenarioand that’s not a recipe for long-term success in a passing-heavy league.
So while Hurts has the 2022 season to prove himself as a passer, Roseman’s decision to get an additional first-round pick next year was shrewdly made with the idea of trying to get up to speed. level at that position a year from now, if Hurts’ progression as a pitcher doesn’t materialize.
This is a back-up plan, and you don’t create a back-up plan if you don’t think you’ll need it. It would be foolish to think that Roseman isn’t hedging his bets with this move, and it’s no slight against Hurts. That’s what any smart GM would do.