The internet was set ablaze yesterday when trade rumors connecting Johnny Manziel to the Philadelphia Eagles emerged. The unconfirmed rumors involve the possibility of Philadelphia sending Sam Bradford to Cleveland in exchange for Manziel and a first round draft pick.
While the rumor hasn't gained much mainstream traction, now Bleacher Report NFL Insider Jason Cole is weighing in on the topic. Here's what Cole had to say in a recent video. Bold emphasis is mine:
"The latest rumor involving the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns, with quarterback Sam Bradford, also involves another quarterback. That’s Johnny Manziel, who once upon a time, verbally committed to the University of Oregon and Chip Kelly.
Now, according to multiple sources including Chat Sports, there’s been discussion of a trade between Cleveland and Philadelphia. This is basically a resuscitation of trade talks from before when the Cleveland Browns had expressed interest in Sam Bradford previously. Now, the latest rumor is that Manziel is part of that trade talk, sending Manziel, along with draft picks, to Philadelphia where he would finally be united with Chip Kelly, who he once wanted to play for.
However, in talking to a source within the Browns organization, yes, there has been some discussion of Manziel possibly being traded. But that’s not what the Eagles are really looking for. Because if the Eagles are going to make this trade, and send Bradford on to get Manziel on to get draft picks back, the whole point is to put together a package of draft picks that will eventually get them to Marcus Mariota. That’s the plan as of now for the Eagles. Johnny Manziel is not in the front of their thinking."
This makes sense. As I noted yesterday, Manziel likely isn't a culture fit for Kelly's roster. There's also the fact that Kelly passed on him last year despite having the chance to draft him.
Manziel is essentially a non-factor in the rumored trade. For the Eagles, it's all about the draft pick. And the draft pick is all about them getting Mariota.
One of the problems with this rumored trade, however, is that the Eagles have already seemingly turned down a first round pick from Cleveland. Perhaps Philadelphia really wants to keep Bradford. But maybe the Eagles want pick No. 12 and not pick No. 19, the latter of which is what the Browns reportedly offered.
Kelly has denied the team is going to use Bradford as a trade chip in the 2015 NFL Draft, but until Mariota is off the board it's going to be hard to rule out entirely.