Apparently, Robert Griffin III met with the Eagles last night:
Call it due diligence or whatever you may, but really, it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see the Eagles make some sort of blockbuster trade to move up to 2 to get him. Here’s what I wrote way back when it looked like the Eagles would be drafting in the Top 10 and guys like Matt Barkley were still in play:
As a disclaimer, college football isn’t my bag. I’m not going to sit here and pontificate on the merits of Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin III, when really, I’ve only casually watched them play in between folding laundry and napping on the sofa on Saturdays. I’ll leave the scouting work to the folks that have a semblance of a clue about whether those guys look like future Super Bowl winners or not. But the general consensus is that the QB class this year is extremely strong, as there are going to be 5 QBs in this upcoming draft that are looking like first round picks: Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin III, Landry Jones, and Ryan Tannehill.
Michael Vick will turn 32 next June. Over the past two seasons, he has suffered a wide assortment of injuries: ribs, concussion, dirt in the eyes, etc. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the most dangerous players in the NFL, as evidenced by his 2nd place finish in the MVP balloting a year ago. He’s the Eagles’ QB now, and will almost certainly be the guy in 2012 as well.
In August, Vick signed a contract extension that his agent framed as a 6 year, $100 million deal. In reality, as Pro Football Talk put it, “as a practical matter it’s probably worth $48 million over three years.”
Year 1 is already over and done with.
There are currently 6 teams that have a worse record than the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s looking like they’re almost certain to be drafting in the Top 10 of the 2012 NFL draft.
Not to go ultra obvious here, but think of the 5 best teams in the NFL, whoever they may be in your opinion. OK, now, who ya got as your 5 best QBs in the NFL? There’s some overlap there, no?
Would the Eagles dare draft a QB? Two or three years ago, probably not.
Consider Mark Sanchez in 2009. He was drafted 5th overall. His contract: 5 years, $44.5 million. However, with more reasonable rookie contracts under the new CBA, drafting a QB in the first round isn’t anywhere near as costly/risky. Jake Locker, for example, was drafted 8th overall this year. His contract: 4 years, $12.58 million. Compare that with the $5 million Vince Young is making this season.
I think most Eagles fans have stamped in permanent ink that they want a LB in the first round this year. I can certainly empathize with that sentiment, as the Eagles have had a comical cavalcade of LB ineptness over the last decade+. But if the Eagles really like a QB (and I won’t even get into the whole aspect of the possibility of a new head coach), can they really pass on him if they think he can lead them to a Super Bowl, in favor of a linebacker?
Now, in the Jake Locker example I gave above, I was looking at the situation as if the Eagles would be picking somewhere between 5-10. But at 2, RG3 would cost a boatload more, right?
Meh, not really. In 2010, Sam Bradford went #1 overall. His contract: 6 years, $78 million, or $13 million per season. A new CBA later, and Cam Newton was drafted #1 overall. His deal? A comparatively paltry 4 year deal worth $22 million, or $5.5 million per season.
The two usual suspects whenever you hear about teams moving up to 2 to grab RG3 are of course the Redskins (6th overall) and the Browns (4th overall). Of the two teams, the Browns have the most firepower to move up. They have the higher pick at 4, and an additional pick in the first round, due to the Julio Jones trade last year. However, the Eagles also have some legitimate pieces to trade away in their own right. While they draft a little further down at 15, they have 10 draft picks, including an extra 2 from the Kevin Kolb trade, an extra 4, and possibly a decent pick upcoming if/when they deal Asante Samuel.
If the Eagles do indeed fall in love with RG3 (and they’d REALLY have to fall in love with him), it all depends on how much they like RG3 (or rather how much more they like him than the Skins and Browns), and how much they’re willing to give up to go get him.
Long shot? No question. But it’s really not that crazy.