After the blockbuster trade effected by the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams that left the Rams with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, rumors abounded that the Cleveland Browns were looking to deal the second overall selection as well. On Wednesday, the Browns have made that official, trading the second overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles receive the No. 2 pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick from the Browns. The Browns get the eighth overall pick as well as a third-round pick (No. 77 overall) and fourth-round pick (No. 100 overall) from the Eagles this year. Cleveland also receives Philadelphia's first-round pick in 2017 and its second-round pick in 2018.
Philadelphia was reportedly the runner-up in the Rams' and Titans' trade for the first overall pick. The Eagles want a quarterback who can be a cornerstone of the franchise and have been linked to all of the top prospects in this draft. Moving up to the No. 2 spot allows the Eagles to land North Dakota State's Carson Wentz or Cal's Jared Goff. New head coach Doug Pederson has said that both prospects can be franchise quarterbacks.
The Eagles re-signed Sam Bradford to a two-year, $35 million deal with $22 million guaranteed this offseason, and at a press conference following the announcement of the trade with Cleveland, Eagles executive vice president of player personnel Howie Roseman confirmed that Bradford will be the starting quarterback and that the Eagles will not trade Bradford.
"He's a pro," Roseman said about Bradford. "I have no concerns about Sam's professionalism and his competitiveness."
Bradford was in Philadelphia before Pederson was hired, and he has a lengthy injury history and missed the entire 2014 season. In 14 games for the Eagles last season, Bradford threw for 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The Eagles also signed Chase Daniel to a three-year, $21 million contract with $12 million guaranteed this offseason.
Roseman confirmed during the press conference that the team intends to use the second overall pick on a quarterback. He said he doesn't know who the Rams will take first overall, but said the Eagles "know who we're going to get at No. 2."
About the trade, Roseman said this move, coupled with the trade with the Miami Dolphins during free agency, put the team in a position to succeed.
"By making the initial trade with Miami earlier this offseason and with this trade today with Cleveland, we feel that we have put ourselves in the best possible position to draft an impact player," Roseman said via the team's Twitter account. "We will now focus our energy on the next step."
"It's hard to be great if you don't take some risks," Roseman said during the post-trade press conference.
The last time the Eagles held the No. 2 pick, they used it to select quarterback Donovan McNabb.
In a statement released via the Browns' official Twitter account, Cleveland's executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said the team is excited about the outcome of the trade.
Statement from EVP Sashi Brown on trade: pic.twitter.com/s7q2fGd21d— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 20, 2016
After the Browns released embattled quarterback Johnny Manziel at the beginning of the new league year, it was assumed Cleveland would use the second overall pick to address its need at the position. Cleveland subsequently signed Robert Griffin III, the second selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, but Adam Schefter reported the team's plans at No. 2 had not changed.
At some point, though, their plans clearly did change. According to Schefter, the Browns were actually never planning to draft a quarterback with the pick. If the Browns are still looking for a quarterback Hue Jackson can develop behind Griffin, there are other players available later in the draft who fit that bill, like Michigan State's Connor Cook or Penn State's Christian Hackenberg.