If reports are to be believed, the Philadelphia Eagles tried to trade up to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft but fell short as the runner-up to the Los Angeles Rams. According to Howard Eskin, it wasn't the only time the Birds tried to move up this offseason.
"I have been told when [the Eagles] moved up to number eight [in a trade with the Dolphins], they actually had worked out a deal with San Diego," said Eskin in appearance on NFL Network on Tuesday morning. "A deal in place, obviously not finalized, for the third pick because at that time [it was] thought the quarterback might get to number three, whatever quarterback that might be. So yes, were they in the picture with Tennessee? They sure were."
Getting up to No. 3 would have helped the Eagles' chances of landing a quarterback, but it wouldn't have necessarily guaranteed them one. The Titans were shopping the No. 1 pick and as it turned out they were able to sell to Los Angeles. There's been speculation about the Browns drafting a quarterback but recent reports indicate Cleveland would rather not take a quarterback at No. 2 and instead trade down.
In any case, the Eagles and Chargers did not end up making a deal. But this report serves as more evidence that the Eagles tried to move up. It's hard not to think the Eagles could still try to move up in order to get a quarterback. Eskin seems convinced Philadelphia will make another run at a top pick.
"They will try to move up," he said. "Howie Roseman made one interesting comment, if you take out anything of what he or Doug Pederson said yesterday. He said the owner [Jeffrey Lurie] is supportive of being aggressive to trade up for that quarterback which they’ll call a franchise quarterback, which you don’t know if the quarterback will be a franchise guy, but by that statement it tells me the owner is really, really in favor and they may have to overpay because of what [Los Angeles] did at number one."
"They will try everything and probably give up more, and I don’t know if I would be in favor of that, of giving up all those draft picks," Eskin continued."
In order to guarantee they'll get one of Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, the Eagles will need to trade to No. 2. The Birds might just be in luck because as previously noted the Browns are reportedly looking to move down. One NFL source has identified Philadelphia as a likely trade partner if Cleveland trades down.
"I think they have a real good chance — a real good — a real good chance of moving up into number two with Cleveland," Eskin said. "Assuming that Cleveland is not locked in to the quarterback that slides to two and it also depends on what [the Eagles] offer."
It remains to be seen what a trade up to No. 2 would cost. The Rams gave up a ton of picks to go from No. 15 to No. 1. Moving up from No. 8 to No. 2 shouldn't be as expensive but it might be if there are multiple teams bidding for the pick. On the other hand, it seems like Cleveland might be desperate to move down, which could hurt their leverage.
We'll find out soon enough if there's anything to these Eagles trade up rumors or if they're all for naught.
UPDATE: Tim Kelly of Eagledelphia actually first reported this exact story last Thursday (4/14/16).
In fact, according to a source close to the team, the Eagles believed they had the parameters of a draft-night trade in place with the San Diego Chargers at No. 3, which would have allowed them to select whichever quarterback the Cleveland Browns didn't take with the No. 2 pick.
(Hat tip to BGN reader @PhillyFreck215)
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