By Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON — The Eagles have had a flare for the dramatic these past two offseasons, but their blockbuster trade with the Browns Wednesday, to move up to No. 2 in the 2016 NFL Draft, may be their boldest move yet.

Philadelphia swaps 2016 first-round picks with Cleveland and receives a future fourth-rounder, while also giving up their third- (77th overall) and fourth-round picks (100th overall) in this year’s draft, and a future first- (2017) and second-rounder (2018) as well.

This comes a week after the Titans orchestrated a similar deal with the Los Angeles Rams, who gave up a king’s ransom for the right to pick first overall in the draft.

On the surface, Philadelphia is gambling — big time — and they are. But they have at least spread their collateral across the next three seasons, taking their biggest hit — the loss of third- and fourth-rounders — now.

Of course, as the Redskins learned from their 2012 trade for Robert Griffin III, the rippling consequences from deals of this magnitude may not be felt for years, and can be felt for years after the fact.

The warning signs are right there in the deal: Trading away future prospects for talent now.

It’s the type of trade that can make or break a general manager’s career, can set a first-time head coach, like Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson, on a sustained path of success or failure.

What makes this year’s draft so intriguing; it has components of 2012, when the Redskins and Colts traded turns working out Griffin and Andrew Luck, but there was still a general consensus that Luck was the more can’t-miss pick when Indianapolis chose him. When April 28 rolls around, it’s anyone’s guess as to who — between California’s Jared Goff or South Dakota State’s Carson Wentz — the Rams will select first overall.

You can toil over the various machinations — perhaps one will succeed and the other will fail, maybe both prove franchise-worthy or busts. What is beyond argument: The Eagles just gambled big, risking their future for the sake of improving now.

We’ve seen how that can work out. Then again, so have the Eagles.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter.


Leave a Reply