Update: Check out our NFL Draft 2015 preview.
The NFL offseason is filled with crazy rumors. Sometimes they turn out to be true, but other times, well, not so much. It goes without saying that everything should be taken with a grain of salt until reputable sources are confirming them.
In the meantime, here's a crazy rumor that emerged on Monday night. This comes from an exclusive story by Chat Sports writer Mack Ferguson. According to Ferguson, the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles are involved in trade talks. Here's what he had to say:
"According to a source very close to an agent involved in the trade talks, the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles have engaged in multiple discussions to send Browns QB Johnny Manziel, who is currently in rehab, and draft picks, to the Eagles in exchange for Eagles QB Sam Bradford, who was recently acquired via trade from the St. Louis Rams. According to our source, both sides are very motivated to get a deal done, with each side valuing the other’s QB more than the QB currently on their rosters."
Ferguson goes on to say that there are some factors preventing a deal from happening. One of them is Bradford's reluctance to sign a long-term deal with Cleveland. Another one is that the Eagles apparently want a first round pick from Cleveland along with Manziel.
The reason why the Eagles are so determined to get a first round pick, according to Ferguson, is because Philadelphia still wants to acquire Marcus Mariota.
"Our source went further and said that the Eagles are also hell-bent on moving up into the top 2-4 picks in the NFL Draft to select Marcus Mariota (who played under Eagles coach Chip Kelly at Oregon) and need the Browns 1st round pick to be a part of the deal so they can then use it as part of a deal to move into the top 4."
OK, so there's a lot to digest here. Before I give my own thoughts, let me note that our friends over at Dawgs By Nature broke down this trade rumor on their site.
DBN points out that Ferguson has broken some stories before, including one involving Jim Harbaugh returning to Michigan. At the same time, DBN also points out that their own source claims these Manziel trade rumors are false.
Here's my take on all of this.
Why this makes sense
It's no secret the Browns want Sam Bradford. Cleveland reportedly offered the No. 19 overall pick for him. The Browns haven't had a good quarterback in forever and Bradford could be worth the risk for them. The Browns can afford to spend a first round pick on Bradford considering they own picks No. 12 and No. 19 overall this year.
When it comes to trading Manziel, recent reports indicate the Browns are ready to give up on him despite picking him at No. 22 in the 2014 NFL Draft last year. Manziel is currently in rehab.
Chip Kelly heavily recruited Manziel while at Oregon. Manziel once stated "Coach Kelly said I was perfect for their system, and I knew I was going to accept as soon as they offered." Of course, Manziel ended up staying in the south and playing for Texas A&M instead. Manziel opting not to play for the Ducks caused Kelly to go with a different quarterback...
...named Marcus Mariota. Prior the Sam Bradford trade, there were plenty of rumors about the Eagles being interested in moving up for Mariota. Those rumors have since died down a little bit, but not completely. Kelly has denied he intends to use Bradford as a trade chip, but it's hard to fully trust him considering how much he's gushed about his college quarterback.
Why this doesn't make sense
Along with Nick Foles, the Eagles traded a second round pick for Bradford. There's also been some talk about the Eagles being interested in extending his contract, so Philadelphia might genuinely want him around as a long-term option after investing in him.
If the Browns already offered a first for
If the Eagles really want Manziel, they could have just drafted him last season at No. 22 instead of trading that pick away to the Browns. Manziel hardly seems to fit the type of culture that Kelly values in his players.
There's certainly a lot of risk involved here when it comes to the Mariota aspect. If the Eagles are trying to ship Bradford out and take on Manziel in order to get a first rounder from Cleveland, Philly would have to be 100% certain they are getting Mariota. Otherwise, the Eagles would only be left with Mark Sanchez if another team drafts Mariota somehow.
Chances of this happening: 2/10
There are some aspects of this rumor that make sense. The Browns probably do want to get rid of Manziel. They also want Bradford. The Eagles want Mariota.
But I just don't think it'll happen. More likely than not, Mariota is out of reach and the Eagles are willing to give Bradford a shot.
Some updates, for what it's worth:
Didn't sound like the Eagles were interested at all— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) April 7, 2015
I was told (again) yesterday evening the #Eagles are NOT trying to move Sam Bradford. Was told Manziel rumor "totally false."— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 7, 2015