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Eagles-Buccaneers blockbuster trade was rumored imminent, until it wasn't

Were the Eagles and Buccaneers on the verge of a major deal?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The "Marcus Mariota to the Eagles" rumors just don't stop. Now it's Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas of ESPN with an interesting story. According to Yasinskas, the Eagles and Buccaneers were about to make a blockbuster deal involving the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft... until they weren't.

"The rumors started to really fly on Friday. All along, there’s been speculation that the Philadelphia Eagles might try to trade up for the No. 1 pick in the draft to use it on Oregon's Mariota. It all is logical. Mariota played for Eagles coach Chip Kelly in college and would be a perfect fit in Philadelphia’s up-tempo offense. It was pure speculation, I thought.

Until my phone started ringing Friday. Two different members of the Philadelphia media called me to say they were hearing rumblings that a trade was imminent. These are trusted media members and the content of both calls contained the same details.

The Eagles were about to trade quarterback Nick Foles, running back LeSean McCoy and three first-round draft picks to the Bucs for the No. 1 pick in the draft. It sounded believable.

So I called someone within the Tampa Bay organization that would know if something was cooking. He said the rumor was untrue. Meantime, my friends in the Philadelphia media poked around some more with their Eagles’ sources. They got the same response I did. No trade was imminent and no one would say if there even have been any talks between the two teams.

Scrap that rumor -- for now. If something is going to happen, it probably won’t come until much closer to the draft. Deadlines push people to action and the draft isn’t until the end of April. The rumors are likely to continue to circulate."


This story from Yasinskas comes at an interesting time. There was a report last week that the Eagles are determined to make a strong play for Mariota. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice continues to become more convinced the Birds could move up to No. 1 in this year's draft prior to when it starts on April 30. So perhaps there really is something to all of these rumors. Then again, Yasinskas indicates that nothing is really cooking right now.

The 2015 NFL Draft is just under 60 days away. There's still plenty of time for a deal to be worked out, if it happens, but it would seem the Eagles would prefer to get a deal done sooner rather than later. Free agency begins in a little over a week. I would imagine a potential blockbuster trade like the one proposed here would impact Philadelphia's free agency plans. Recall that the Washington Redskins trade with the St. Louis Rams up to No. 2 in order to draft Robert Griffin III in 2012 occurred in March.

The price mentioned here obviously isn't cheap. Three first round picks, Nick Foles, and LeSean McCoy is a significant haul to move up to No. 1 overall. There's a lot of risk there. So let's put it to a vote. Would you be OK with this deal if it ended up coming to fruition?

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