Now that everyone has had time to process the blockbuster trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, let’s dig into it a little deeper. It sure looks like the Birds won the deal on paper but that’s easy to say in early April before any picks have been made. Both franchises have an orchestrated plan and feel good about where they are at.
For the Eagles, the goal is clear heading into the 2022 campaign: let’s see how much Jalen Hurts improves and go from there. If he takes the next step in his development, they have their long-term answer at quarterback. If not, they have the draft capital to make a move for a new signal-caller in 2023.
It’s a win-win situation. Especially since they can always use those extra picks to load up at wide receiver and offensive line if Hurts winds up being the guy. NFL Media’s Bucky Brooks put everything in perspective when he said “the power is in the picks.” He praised Howie Roseman’s ability to combine short-term and long-term vision.
“Well, they have a quarterback in Jalen Hurts,” Brooks said, “and let’s just say they don’t like what they see in Jalen Hurts this year, they now have the power to pick a quarterback next year when it may be a more talented quarterback class in front of them so this is Howie Roseman thinking short-term but also having a long-term vision that puts the Eagles in play and keeps them in the conversation as one of the power brokers in the draft.”
Eagles play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese agreed, adding that it was “imperative for the Birds to draft blue-chippers at 15 and 18.” Meanwhile, FOX Sports’ Nick Wright called the trade an “absolute theft” for the Eagles. And 97.5 The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano thinks Philly drafts their quarterback in 2023.
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Saints Could Profit From Blockbuster Trade
While the general consensus had the Eagles winning the trade, there was support for what the Saints did. Or what they are trying to do. ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky thinks New Orleans sees an opportunity to make a Super Bowl run this season in a weak NFC. They have a top-ranked defense, top-ranked offensive line, and they got by with mediocre quarterback play in 2022. The Saints are trying to catch lightning in a bottle.
“I just think this move tells me that the Saints see themselves as a legitimate contender,” Orlovsky said, “and that’s why they wanted to go get that extra pick for this year. They see the conference that we have all talked about in the NFC and going, ‘OK we think it’s the Rams, we think it’s the Bucs, and maybe the Packers. They’ve got an elite defense, a dominant offensive line, Michael Thomas is coming back … I think they sit there and go, ‘We can make some noise this year.’
FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd was quick to bring up Howie Roseman’s checkered draft history. It’s nice to accumulate all those extra picks as long as you add impact players, something the Eagles have struggled with under Roseman’s watch.
Chris Dunnells of Canal St Chronicles thought it was a belated April Fool’s joke. It wasn’t. He was still able to see the silver lining for the Saints.
“The biggest takeaway from this trade is that New Orleans Saints front office must really, really like the first-round talent in this year’s draft to make this move now, without knowing how the board falls on draft day,” Dunnells wrote. “This move also communicates that the front office believes the 2022 New Orleans Saints are going to be a contender and they believe, at least right now, that their first-round pick next year will be a low one.”
Tyrann Mathieu Visits New Orleans Saints
How’s this for timing? Tyrann Mathieu – the best safety left out there in free agency – was set to have a “casual visit” with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The Eagles had reported interest in Mathieu along with the Cowboys, Colts, Broncos, Ravens, and Steelers. Nothing appears imminent.