Russell Wilson is the one that got away.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has admitted as much over the years.
Back in 2012, the Eagles wanted to take Wilson out of Wisconsin but got a little too cute. The Eagles took two players (Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry) in the second round and hoped they’d be able to draft Wilson with the No. 88 pick. But the Seahawks ruined that plan when they took Wilson at No. 75.
Since then, Wilson has gone on to be an eight-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer.
But did Friday’s trade back from 6 to 12 in the draft give the Eagles the necessary ammo to correct an organizational mistake? Well, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky thinks so.
Here’s what Orlovsky said about the Eagles’ trade with the Dolphins on Get Up:
“I think what transpired Friday puts them into the Russell Wilson conversation for the now and the future. OK, this is a bad football team so I like the fact that they’re not making panic decisions but the reality is they now have a young quarterback, Jalen Hurts, and probably four first-round picks over the next two seasons, this year and next year. We know that they’ve sniffed around Deshaun Watson. If you have sniffed around Deshaun Watson, you for sure better be sniffing around Russell Wilson. And now this at least gives Philadelphia two options. They can, one, figure out what they have in Jalen Hurts. I’ve said that for weeks now. Or, two, they can go, ‘We’ve got Jalen Hurts,’ to Seattle and, ‘You could take our four first-round picks over the next two years and give us Russell Wilson if he’s willing to come to our organization.’”
The Eagles were one of the teams that had been keeping an eye on Watson even after lawsuits against the Texans’ star quarterback began to mount, according to the Houston Chronicle.
So that report, along with a report that the Eagles were interested in Zach Wilson from BYU before ultimately trading down, certainly makes it seem like the Birds aren’t 100 percent in on Hurts long-term.
And then there’s Wilson’s unhappiness in Seattle. While it was never reported that Wilson demanded a trade, the 32-year-old quarterback hasn’t exactly tried to hide his displeasure with the Seahawks organization. And in late February, his agent told ESPN that if the Seahawks were to trade him, he would only play for these four teams: Cowboys, Saints, Raiders and Bears.
It was an interesting group of teams, but Wilson has power because of a no-trade clause. So if he didn’t want to play in Philly, then it doesn’t matter how many picks the Eagles could theoretically throw at Seattle. But if Wilson was willing to put the Bears on his list, perhaps the Eagles could convince him to add them as well.
Because that part of Orlovsky’s thinking is true. The Eagles have a ton of ammo in the way of draft picks. As a reminder, here’s a look at their draft picks in the top two rounds over the next two seasons:
2021: No. 12, No. 37
2022: Own first, Dolphins’ first, own second, Colts’ conditional second
And as we know, that Colts’ conditional second-round pick can turn into a first-rounder if Carson Wentz plays 75% of their offensive snaps or 70% and the Colts make the playoffs.
The problem here is that while adding Wilson would help the Eagles and give them their franchise quarterback, they might struggle to build a team around him. Right now, they are staring at four first-round picks as they try to build, but if they had to trade all (or most) of them to Seattle, then they’re left with most of their current team and Wilson. But at that point maybe they could go hard in free agency and try to build a winner during Wilson’s window.
This is obviously more of an idea from Orlovsky but the overall premise is that the Eagles have options because of all these picks. And he’s right that the potential to trade for a quarterback — this offseason or next — is definitely there.
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