Eagles Philosophy: The Move for QB

Feb 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; North Dakota State Bisons quarterback Carson Wentz throws a pass during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; North Dakota State Bisons quarterback Carson Wentz throws a pass during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

For better or worse, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of the always polarizing Philadelphia Eagles. Months of reports, speculation, and rumors culminated in Howie Roseman and company taking the deep plunge into the rookie QB market. I had (have) my reservations with the move, but the Eagles have now set themselves on an immutable path; they will select their hand-picked quarterback of the future on Thursday night. The selection is presumed to be NDSU’s Carson Wentz, and although the merits of his selection are debatable, the ideology behind the move is undeniably sound.

Many have posited that the investment in the 2nd overall pick doesn’t make sense given the previous investments in the position, namely the exorbitant contracts doled out to Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel just over a month ago. Idealistically, yes, I completely agree that within the context the trade-up and coinciding liquidation of assets makes little sense; however, it’s important to acknowledge the fluidity and overall magnitude of the situation at hand. In regard to Chase Daniel, I previously covered the significance of his role as it relates to the big picture:

"To supplement the Bradford move, the Eagles wasted little time in bringing career journeyman and former Doug Pederson protege Chase Daniel in to handle back-up duties. A lot has been made of Daniel’s contract, considering the perceived exorbitant pay for what the organization likely hopes amounts to a glorified clipboard-holder. Still, the Daniel acquisition holds merit. Daniel’s impact on the field far transcends a simple back-up role. Pederson himself has discussed the importance of having a competent second-man who can operate in an advisory role. Pederson sees a lot of himself in Daniel, and hopes that he can help bridge the gap for Bradford and the offense as a whole, given his extensive experience and the personnel’s learning curve."

The trade up to No. 2 has done little to change Daniel’s role with the team. Daniel will essentially serve as a player-coach, except now there is also a rookie in the fold. The addition of Daniel is even more significant given the incumbent addition of Wentz whose development is absolutely paramount.

More from Inside the Iggles

The situation that has most significantly changed is that of Sam Bradford’s. Initially, Bradford appeared to be poised to take the field as the unquestioned starter, effectively controlling his fate with the opportunity to persuade the organization to make him “the guy” going forward. Now, it’s a matter of when, not if: Bradford will be moving on from the Eagles. Investing in a veteran contingency plan and then subsequently sinking more assets in a rookie is justifiable; however, the inverse is not. Bradford’s days are numbered, barring some crazy unforeseen circumstance (like Bradford winning multiple playoff games and being a leading MVP candidate). The Eagles are likely expecting the best possible outcome to be Bradford distinguishing himself in 2016 and bringing them back value in a trade, but I digress.

In retrospect, Bradford primary function was set to be exactly what it was following his initial acquisition: a well measured contingency policy. There is little doubt that Chip Kelly had eyes for Marcus Mariota in 2015, but was obviously unable to make the move. Had he been able to, Bradford either would have been allowed to walk, or –much less likely– involved in some sort of tag-and-trade scenario. This time around the Eagles were successful in moving up for a prospective QBOTF, so Bradford is now dispensable. The Eagles had no way of knowing that they’d be able to successfully make the leap from 13 to 1 or 2 to get their man, so taking the best precaution (re-signing Bradford) was always the prudent measure.

Although it might seem haphazard, and is undoubtedly fallible, the Eagles plan of attack is sensible, particularly if the ends justify the means. We’ve all heard the old adage “if you don’t have a franchise QB you have nothing” and it appears that the Eagles organization wholeheartedly agrees with that sentiment. As I’ve previously noted, given the impact of the QB position, it should be treated unconventionally:

"Throughout the entire process to this point, there has been one prevailing trend: stacking contingency policies. The organization is taking a comprehensive approach to resolving the quarterback situation, which is without a doubt paramount until an effective solution is discovered."

In the end, the Eagles held true to this philosophy. They spared no expense, both in cap and draft-pick compensation to ensure that they took what they considered the most effective and comprehensive approach to solving the quarterback dilemma. In the end, it’s difficult to knock their strategy. Quarterback is unique, so tackling the issue at hand requires unconventional tactics. Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman, and the rest of the staff’s jobs are likely resting on the success or failure of this move, so you better believe it was made with caution. Carson Wentz’s qualifications will determine how effectively the plan is executed; however, the Eagles strategy makes sense in theory.

Note: A smaller piece of the bigger picture, this analysis was designed to serve as a complementary/preemptive component for a much larger analysis of the FO/Wentz. Stay tuned.