By Barbara Harrison
Just in case you are tired of all the rumors about the Eagles trading up so they can draft Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, get ready for this.
ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas posted a piece this morning that knocked down the talk that the Birds were working on a deal to get THE FIRST pick in the draft by trading with the Tampa Buccaneers.
Read for yourself:
The rumors started to really fly on Friday.
And I didn’t put too much credence in it.
Until my phone started ringing Friday. Two different members of the Philadelphia media called me to say they were hearing rumblings that a trade was imminent. These are trusted media members and the content of both calls contained the same details.
The Eagles were about to trade quarterback Nick Foles, running back LeSean McCoy and three first-round draft picks to the Bucs for the No. 1 pick in the draft. It sounded believable.
So I called someone within the Tampa Bay organization that would know if something was cooking. He said the rumor was untrue. Meantime, my friends in the Philadelphia media poked around some more with their Eagles’ sources. They got the same response I did. No trade was imminent and no one would say if there even have been any talks between the two teams.
Scrap that rumor — for now. If something is going to happen, it probably won’t come until much closer to the draft. Deadlines push people to action and the draft isn’t until the end of April. The rumors are likely to continue to circulate.
But for every reason why such a deal would make sense, there are an equal number of reasons why I don’t see it happening.
Let’s start with Tampa Bay’s side of things. Would the Bucs really part with the No. 1 pick instead of using it on Mariota or Florida State’s Winston? I think that might be a stretch. Winston and Mariota might be franchise quarterbacks. The Bucs would be giving up a franchise quarterback and plugging in Foles as the starting quarterback.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Bucs had something close to Foles in Josh McCown and they let him go. They still have something close to Foles in Mike Glennon.
Then there’s McCoy. He’s a great running back. But the Bucs already have Charles Sims and Doug Martin. All indications are the coaching staff and front office are deeply invested in Sims, who they drafted last year. I don’t see the Bucs suddenly giving up on Sims. Plus, I’m not so sure the Bucs want to take on McCoy’s big contract.
The three first-round picks would have to be attractive for the Bucs. They have plenty of holes besides quarterback. But this is where the potential deal hits a major roadblock.
With that in mind, let’s flip over to Philadelphia’s point of view. No matter how smitten Kelly is with Mariota, the Eagles might not have the firepower to make such a trade. At the moment, the Eagles have the 20th overall pick in the draft. That’s all they have.
They would have to make another trade first to get another first-round pick for this year. Yes, Philadelphia could offer its first-round picks in 2016 and ’17. But the Bucs can’t sit around and wait for those drafts. Coach Lovie Smith needs to win now.
Besides, giving up three first-round picks, would mean the Eagles would be mortgaging their future on Mariota. Three picks and two players would be a very steep price.
I’m not saying such a deal can’t happen. But let’s file that trade away for the moment and wait for something that’s stronger than a rumor.