I’m just now coming around on the Doug Pederson era. Not because of Doug Pederson, necessarily, but because Howie Roseman did OK at the start of free agency… if we set aside the fact that he and Pederson single-handedly created a quaterback controversy between Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, which is maybe the most saddeningly medicore sentence I’ve written since blogging Ruben Amaro’s 2012 deadline deals. But I’m coming around.
Until I was reminded that Chip Kelly nearly gave up his two large-ish testicles and more for Marcus Mariota last year.
“Last year, the Eagles offered the Tennessee Titans, and I know this. A 2015 first round pick, a 2015 second round pick, a 2016 first round pick and they said ‘take any of our quarterbacks.”
“That’s Sam Bradford, that’s Sanchez, that’s whoever. And, they said, take anyone on our defense. We want that No. 2 pick. We want Marcus Mariota.”
Idda done it. That’s a lot to give up, sure, but look at what the Eagles are facing now: 2-3 years of some combination of Bradford and Daniel, most likely while they wait to draft a real franchise quarterback, while Pederson tries to find the rope and learn if he can be an NFL head coach. Alternative: Chip Kelly and Marcus Mariota.
Sure, you can win with defense – hello, Broncos – but it’s an offensive league, and your chances for sustained success are wildly increased with a franchise quarterback. Mariota has already proven himself to be the real deal, and if I said to you today that you could have him in exchange for Nelson Agholor, Eric Rowe, Marcus Smith (2014 first round pick substituted for upcoming pick), and anyone on defense other than Fletcher Cox, you’d do it in a second, right? Rowe may turn out to be the best of the bunch, but I’m not sure he has true star potential. As we’ve seen this offseason, you can quickly obtain defensive talent, and athletic receivers are more of a commodity than starting quarterbacks.
I can’t tell if he agrees with me or not, but Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton didn’t express total disdain for the alleged offer, either:
All of this is spilled milk now. It’s in the past. But for the sake of debate and discussion, would you have done the trade Schrager suggests here if you were the Eagles? So let’s say instead of Nelson Agholor, Eric Rowe, having their first round pick at No. 13 this year, and Bradford, the Eagles would have Mariota. Would you do that? The former Oregon Ducks quarterback certainly flashed franchise potential as a rookie. Meanwhile the Eagles are merely hoping Bradford can be something he’s never been in his career: well above average.
Again, NOT THAT CRAZY. It sounds like a lot, but when you consider that Eagles first round draft picks since 2001 have included – caution: SAD ALERT – Freddie Mitchell, Jerome McDougle, Shawn Andrews, Brodrick Bunkley, Danny Watkins, and Marcus Smith, trading two top picks and more for a chance at obtaining a franchise quarterback is a reasonable consideration. And, I’d argue, that with the exception of Fletcher Cox and Lito Sheppard, none of the Eagles’ first rounders since 2001 have become genuine game-changers. The concept of first round picks is often better than the picks themselves, lest you target a true potential star.
Alas. No deal. It’s the Pederson-Bradford-Daniel show now. Sweet.