A year ago everyone was wondering if Chip Kelly was going to trade a bunch of picks so that the Eagles could trade up for Marcus Mariota in the 2015 NFL Draft. Though he tried, it didn't happen, and Kelly is gone now. But if that trade did happen, the Eagles wouldn't have been able to (and wouldn't have needed to) been able to trade up this year to the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. In this sense, Kelly's failed desperation made the Eagles' trade for a potential franchise quarterback this year possible.
But this isn't the only way Kelly "helped" Howie Roseman and the Eagles. Some of Kelly's failed acquisitions from NFL free agency last offseason also helped the Eagles this year. Here's how.
It all started when Kiko Alonso (hat tip to the LeSean McCoy trade), Byron Maxwell, and the No. 13 pick were traded to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for the No. 8 selection. That move put the Birds in the top 10. Then the Eagles slightly improved their fourth round pick from No. 113 overall to No. 100 when DeMarco Murray was traded to the Titans.
The No. 8 pick and the No. 100 pick were among the five picks Philadelphia sent to Cleveland to move up to No. 2. The others include a 2016 third round pick that Kelly received from the Lions in the draft last year after trading out of the fourth round completely. Speaking of that third round pick ... remember Asante Samuel? Remember how he was traded for a seventh round pick? Remember how that seventh round pick was spent on Bryce Brown? Remember how Bryce Brown was traded for the 2015 fourth round pick I referenced earlier? So, yeah, in a way Samuel helped the Eagles get this year's No. 2 pick as well.
Roseman deserves credit for being creative and helping the Eagles move up in the draft. Getting the picks in these trades wasn't even the only purpose of the deals. Simply dumping the bad contracts of Murray and Maxwell made it worth it. The picks were a bonus and they ending up helping the Eagles more than people thought they might.
Of course, if the quarterback the Eagles draft at No. 2 doesn't pan out, this article can be re-titled "Howie Roseman traded Chip Kelly's mistake for a big one of his own."
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