Howie Roseman is never afraid to be aggressive when it comes to making trades.
Some of them work and some of them don’t.
Roseman spent most of the last decade in charge of every Eagles trade. He has been the Eagles’ GM or de facto GM from 2010-14 and 2016-now.
Here’s my ranking of the top five trades in Roseman’s time as the Eagles’ GM:
5. Trading Kevin Kolb to Arizona
Back in July of 2011, the Eagles shipped Kolb to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick. While with the Eagles, Kolb had started just seven games and with the emergence of Mike Vick had become expendable. So the Eagles flipped him to the Cardinals who were banking on the hope that Kolb could become their guy.
Kolb started 14 games for the Cardinals over the next two seasons. He had a 6-8 record and 17 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Kolb was out of the league not long after because of post-concussion syndrome.
Meanwhile, the Eagles got DRC, who played two years in Philly. They also got the 51st selection in the draft, which they turned into Vinny Curry (at 59) and Brandon Boykin (at 123).
4. Cutting ties with Donovan McNabb
Roseman was the Eagles’ GM for technically just a few months before the Eagles traded away the best quarterback in franchise history. While the credit for this move should undoubtedly go to Andy Reid, Roseman was a part of it. It wasn’t just that the Eagles got back three draft picks, including a 2nd-rounder, when they traded him away on Easter Sunday, it was that they made the shrewd decisions to move on from McNabb when they spotted the decline.
The Eagles used the three picks they got from Washington on Nate Allen, Trevor Laws and Quintin Demps. Meanwhile, McNabb played just 13 games with the Redskins in 2010 and was out of the league two years later.
3. Trading for Darren Sproles
In March of 2014, the Eagles were able to send a 5th-round pick to New Orleans for Sproles, who was one of the most exciting offensive weapons and return men in the league. While Sproles was good in New Orleans and San Diego before that, he ended up being a Pro Bowler in each of his first three seasons with the Eagles. Sproles put together a borderline Hall of Fame career and the Eagles got the best seasons from him.
Meanwhile, the Saints used that 4th-round pick on linebacker Ronald Powell, who lasted one year in New Orleans.
2. Dumping Sam Bradford
With the 2016 season days away, the Eagles decided that Carson Wentz was ready to be their starter. The problem was that they still had Bradford under contract and had been preparing him to start. But Teddy Bridgewater suffered a horrific injury on Aug. 30 and the Vikings found themselves in desperate need of a starting quarterback.
Give the Eagles a ton of credit here: They were very opportunistic. They were able to get back a first-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2017. Remember, the Eagles weren’t supposed to have a first-round pick in 2017 after trading up to get Wentz, so this move recovered that pick.
Eventually, that first-rounder became Derek Barnett and that fourth-rounder became Josh Sweat. Bradford played in 17 games for the Vikings in 2016-17 and posted a 9-8 record.
1. Unloading Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso
The trade with Miami in 2016 was the first step toward the Eagles’ landing Carson Wentz at No. 2. They unloaded two players who weren’t in their future to move up from the 13th draft pick to the 8th. This trade put them in a position to eventually trade up to the No. 2 spot to get Wentz. The price to trade up from 8 to 2 was steep — ultimately it was worth it — but the master stroke was moving two players they didn’t want as the first step to getting their franchise quarterback.
This is a trade Roseman has talked about a lot. It came together because of Roseman’s long-standing relationship with then-Dolphins GM Mike Tannenbaum and began at the NFL combine that year. It wasn’t a complete loss for the Dolphins as Alonso played three full seasons for them, but Maxwell was cut two games into the 2017 season.
Honorable mentions: Trading for DeMeco Ryans, Trading for Jay Ajayi, trading for Tim Jernigan, dumping DeMarco Murray.
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