The Eagles made a surprise trade on Tuesday morning by acquiring Dorial Green-Beckham. Philadelphia's primary player personnel decision maker, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, addressed the roster move shortly after practice on Tuesday.
"We felt like it was an opportunity to increase the competition level at the wide receiver position," said Roseman. "We’ve gotten a chance to see some of young offensive lineman as well and want to give them a chance here to grow and develop. We felt like the timing was right now when we have some time to work with [Green-Beckham], as opposed to doing something at the final cuts."
The Eagles' desperate need for more talent at receiver was apparent, and there's no denying the 6-5, 237 pound Green-Beckham has skill.
"Big, tall, strong, physical receiver," said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson of the team's newest pass catcher. "Can make plays. There’s not a ton of current game film on him so we had to dive back into his history to watch some games. I really liked him, really intrigued with him. Obviously, his size and speed. Looking forward to getting him in here and getting him going."
At first glance, the trade appears to be a big win for the Eagles. Philadelphia only needed to trade away Dennis Kelly, a career backup offensive lineman, in exchange for a potential talented starter at receiver. But the questions about Green-Beckham's character and work ethic create room for skepticism.
"We’ve spent a lot of time here in the last few weeks behind the scenes doing some background work," Roseman said. "He comes in with an opportunity. No promises have been made. We felt comfortable at this time to bring him in here and give him an opportunity to compete."
Another concern with Green-Beckham is how quickly he fell out of favor in Tennessee. Just one year after being a second round pick by the Titans, the organization was ready to move on.
"That’s obviously a better question for [the Titans], but our eyes are open," said Roseman. "We understand. It’s been very public about coaches comments about him and that he needs to get more consistent. We’re going into it with our eyes open about that. Obviously a high pick, 40th overall, incredibly talented guy. He’s got to make the most of this opportunity."
It's worth noting the Eagles were not able to contact Green-Beckham prior to the trade. This isn't a situation similar to the lead up to the NFL Draft, where teams can interview players with character concerns. Instead, Roseman said the Eagles relied on feedback from Green-Beckham's college contacts, such as ones at Missouri.
"Obviously he’s made some mistakes, but he’s a good-hearted kid," Roseman said."[We heard] that he has the right intentions. And if that if you get a chance to really spend some time with him, you’ll see that. He’s not a locker room cancer at all. That his year off from football, he was doing whatever he could to help the football team even while he wasn’t playing. All positive feedback."
It remains to be seen if the good things the Eagles had to hear about Green-Beckham show up during his stint in Philadelphia. The second-year receiver has a lot to prove both on and off the field.