The Eagles’ extensive division with the Saints this week was not really about an improved quarterback next year. It turned to the basics of reallocation of assets and balance and ongoing team building.
And that makes perfect sense.
Philadelphia and New Orleans exchanged first-round picks for 2022, and along the way, the Eagles picked an additional first-round pick in 2023 and a second-round pick in 2024. The Eagles have been widely praised for the trade, and not without reason. Only I would not focus so much on the relative strengths and weaknesses of any draft position group as part of a post-trade calculation.
After talking to many sources with knowledge of each team’s thinking, here’s what I would argue. For the Eagles, it was about the relative advantage of having three first-round swings in one particular first round, rather than what could be achieved by having the flexibility to move up and down future draft tables that come with having already many first rounds. – a round choice in the aftermath. In terms of team building, if you manage to make all three first-round picks, you are staring at possibly three fifth-year options with big pay rises coming all at once, as opposed to having it spread over many years.
“It’s really about trying to balance your agenda and be in the best position to implement a short-term and long-term plan,” is how one source put it. And I completely understand that.
Also, consider the rare dynamics of this first round. Eight teams control half of the first round, with two selections each. When you look at the teams ahead of the Eagles, the Giants, Jets and Texans control six of the first 13 picks alone. Trying to make fun of it and identify the players who will fall for you is difficult under normal circumstances and strange under these. Consider how much this move could have on future trades and the implications of what it means for the actual selection of players. Could there be more certainty in 2023, as fewer teams have many choices?
“I would think it was Howie (Eagles GM Howie Roseman) in mind when he got this,” one NFL GM told me. “I’ve never seen a draft like this before, as so many teams have so many chances in the first round. Never. Never. Never. This is new to all of us. This is unique.”
As for the Saints, I would not conclude that this was a full-back for them, or that they had enough funds to jump ahead of QB-needed league rivals like the Falcons or Panthers. New Orleans can be a difficult team to read, but I’ve talked to a lot of GMs who think that this business is more about going all in right now (like splitting them up for Marcus Davenport a few years ago) than finding their future QB or to beat someone for it.
“The Saints generally play their cards very close to the West, but I don’t think it’s about going up to get a fullback,” said another GM. “They really like Jameis (Winston) and I think they’re looking at NFC and they think they have as good a shot as anyone, especially if they land two influencers with these options. I think it’s more like the type they did. “when Sean (former coach of Sean Payton) was there, but it’s about finding a full-back for two or three years on the road.”
Two top-10 QBs?
News: NFL rankings are largely higher in this category of fullbacks, but the media and the three teams I spoke to earlier this week all believe that two senders are in the top 10. At least two.
There has been a lot of anger in tearing these kids down, but the bosses I talk to who are not in the market to draft the top QB – and therefore have less to gain or lose by lying about their real feelings to them – continue to state that the race on them starts rather early. Possibly, with the Lions in second place overall, and certainly when the Panthers (sixth overall) and Falcons (eighth overall) are on the clock.
“You kids (in the media) are harder on these kids than we are (in the Scout community),” said one senior executive. “I do not care what anyone whispers, (Kenny) Pickett and (Malik) Willis are legitimate defenders. Willis, if everything goes together, could be very special, and Pickett played as a choice in the first round last year. I’m doing mock draft right now, two of them are in the top 10 and four of them are going on Thursday night.This is not as bad as some are doing.
Follow the money
The NFL is fooling fans into following salary cap figures as if they were a real indication of their intention to win the Super Bowl, and as if it were a significant measure of actual spending. It’s not.
Please, please, please, look at the actual wage figures. That’s where it’s. And given that the bills have broken through this week, giving top receiver Stefon Diggs a huge extension with a $ 70M guarantee, I want to encourage all of you to keep an eye on the estimated money committed to the 2022 season as a much greater measure of experimentation owner to win the Lombardi Cup but how much – or how little – any team had on paper at any given time (because it’s a soft hat and always variable, no matter what).
According to Spotrac, as of Wednesday morning, 15 teams were predicted to exceed the $ 208 million salary cap in actual spending (almost half of the division), with some teams far exceeding that number. Here are the top five spending pennies in the NFL so far on Spotrac:
- Browns $ 252 million
- Rams $ 242 million
- Dolphins $ 234 million
- Bills $ 232 million
- Saints $ 232 million
Keep in mind that each owner receives approximately $ 360 million a year just for the rights of their game to be broadcast nationally. Do not fall for okeydoke. Want to know if your team owner is really going for it or not? Track your money and keep track of your spending. Not everyone will spend a lot of work, but it’s better to back off if you think you’re going to do something that matters if you’re in the bottom third of spending.
More insider comments
- There are definitely some strong divisions within Oregon’s bride-loving Kayvon Thibodeaux. Is he really someone who will top 10 bags regularly? How high is the ceiling? He has not directly massaged every team properly through this process. Still enough talent to keep him in the top 10-12 picks, I suspect, but opinions differ.
- Despite the Achilles injury he suffered in his professional day, it is likely that David Ojabo, who is on the Michigan team, will hear his name called in the first round, as far as I understand. A strong team that chooses at the end of that round will want to get the fifth year option on it, knowing that 2022 will probably be a rehabilitation year for the red shirt. Too much chance to drop on day 2.
- The market for senior passports – and there is no shortage of them out there yet – seems likely to be severely affected by the depth of this group of passengers. A big purchase can be expected right after the draft among the OLB / DE senior teams in the beginning of May, among the teams that do not get what they need in the selection process.