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The Eagles’ decision to tank in Week 17 was further vindicated

Sometimes, it pays to lose.

Washington Football Team v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Remember all that consternation about the Philadelphia Eagles tanking in Week 17 to assure themselves a higher pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?

We said at the time that it was the right call.

And time has clearly only made the Eagles’ decision to lose look smarter.

Had the Eagles gone all out to beat the Washington Football Team and won, they would’ve been picking No. 9 overall in this year’s draft. Would that have been a disaster scenario? No, not necessarily. Based on Thursday night’s results, Patrick Surtain II would’ve been available to them at that spot. He could’ve helped to fill a big need at cornerback.

But would you rather have Surtain II ... or ... everything the Eagles got for trading down to No. 12 (Miami Dolphins’ 2022 first-round pick, 36-spot improvement from No. 156 to No. 123 this year) AND DeVonta Smith?

Of course, you have to factor in the Eagles surrendering No. 84 to move back up from No. 12 to No. 10. But that juice is worth the squeeze for a premium talent at a major position of need.

An underrated angle to all of this, perhaps, is how the Eagles messed with one of their NFC East rivals. New York Giants were pretty annoyed when Philly didn’t try their hardest to help get Big Blue into the playoffs. The Giants took another L on Thursday night by missing out on Smith, who they clearly wanted at No. 11 prior to trading down and reaching for Kadarius Toney instead. (Dave Gettleman actually did well for what he extracted from the Chicago Bears but shut up.)

And so while the Eagles drew a lot of heat during a Sunday night in early January, many are singing their praises now. One last gift from Doug Pederson (and Nate Sudfeld!) on his way out the door.

The idea that a small step back to take a bigger one forward really shouldn’t be so unconscionable.

Poll

Which option would you rather have?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    DeVonta Smith, Dolphins 2022 first-round pick, 36-spot improvement in Day 3 this year
    (4683 votes)
  • 5%
    Patrick Surtain II and "pride"
    (268 votes)
4951 votes total Vote Now