The 8 Best And 7 Worst Moves In Philadelphia Eagles History
For every ridiculously bad trade your favorite team has made, odds are that they have hopefully made a few really good trades, too. And what makes a good trade a good trade? Well, perhaps they dumped some high priced veteran off and snagged a great prospect. Maybe they had an under performing player, so they swapped him for some other team’s headache and the change of scenery was just what that player needed. Or, maybe your shrewd and crafty general manager made the right call and acquired that vital missing cog in your sports machine-that one remaining player, the missing piece of the puzzle that lets you party as your team has a victory parade. Every team… or at least, most teams, should have their share of these kinds of trades. Some seem to have more than others, both the bad and the good. Sometimes it’s just about being the big market club, and everyone thinks you are bullying the little guys (looking at you, Yankees!).
So, what team should we look at now? How about those Philadelphia Eagles? One of my favorite teams, as I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. The Eagles are no different -they’ve made some awesome moves, and they’ve made some tremendously boneheaded moves. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
15. BEST: TRADING FOR TERRELL OWENS
Yes, we only had Owens for two years. One was glorious, if cut short by injuries (stupid horse collar, and one more reason for Eagles fans to hate Dallas). When healthy, Owens was an amazing weapon. For his career, just as with his time with the Eagles, he was considered one of the best wide receivers the NFL had ever seen. The problem for Owens was that he loved to hear the hype, believe in the hype, and let it go to his head. So a year after having a great season with Philadelphia-the first year of a new contract, I might add-Terrell Owens was begging for more money. Now, he arguably deserved it, but how he asked for it was just off the wall, and the divorce proceedings soon began. The kicker was, Owens acted as though he was single-handedly responsible for getting the Eagles over the hump and into the Super Bowl-except the game the Birds had lost three consecutive seasons in a row (the NFC Title game), Owens did not play in. But, even though he was a diva, he was still one of the best wideouts to play in Philly.
14. WORST: LETTING KEITH JACKSON LEAVE AS A FREE AGENT
I was only a kid when the NFL embraced free-agency as we know it. And my beloved Eagles suffered quite a few losses (though to be fair, every team does, it’s the nature of that side of the business). Keith Jackson was one of the best tight ends in college (I mean, he was only named Oklahoma’s Offensive Player of the Century). He has garnered a ton of awards and accolades, and his college skill translated well to the NFL. He was a dominant player starting right away in his rookie year. He set the Eagles single season rookie record for receiving yards, a record that stood until DeSean Jackson showed up in Philly. But, as great a player as he was, the issue Philadelphia had was a crappy owner, Norman Braman. So when Jackson had the chance to leave, he flew south to Miami.
13. BEST: HIRING ANDY REID
How’s this for you. The Eagles, and relatively new owner Jeffrey Lurie, need a new head coach. People are begging for the hot names, the re-treads and the like. When the Eagles finally announce their hire, they’ve gone out and hired….Andy Reid? QB coach from Green Bay? Most Eagles fans had no clue who or what they were getting, and it’s a safe bet to say most of them weren’t enamored with this selection at the time. But I’d be willing to bet that most of them would be pretty OK with it now, all things considered. No, Reid never did win the city a Super Bowl, but he had the team close numerous times. Most would probably say that if two things were different, we could have had a parade or two down Broad Street by now. What two things? One, to have Donovan not throw so many worm-burners. And two, for Andy Reid to not undervalue wide receiver talent so long as he did. Mostly the second item. But even with that aside, Reid was (and is) a great coach.
12. WORST: HIRING CHIP KELLY
Let’s be blunt. When Chip Kelly was still at Oregon, making people go ga-ga over his high-powered college offense, every talking head in the sports world was trying to predict and project which NFL team would finally pry him loose from his cozy college job, and then the debate would be about how he’d fare at the pro level. The answer to the trivia question was Philadelphia, hired as the successor to Andy Reid. His first year, using Reid’s roster, he enjoyed a decent debut. But once he gained control over the roster, the wheels came off and it became quite clear that Chip Kelly might have been an offensive innovator in college, but he had no business making professional personnel decisions. The Eagles took a few seasons to make the decision to fire him, and it was a day that made most fans thrilled.
11. BEST: PAWNING SAM BRADFORD OFF FOR A 1ST ROUNDER
I am sorry, but this move was just brilliant. I get it, it’s rather fresh, but no one ever in a million years thought the Eagles could secure a first round draft pick for Sam Bradford. I think most fans were hoping for a second round pick at best, and once he was about to hit free agency in 2016, I think most fans were kind of hoping he’d sign elsewhere. Then came the new contract, and then came the Eagles pulled off a series of trades and landed Carson Wentz. So, when Teddy Bridgewater destroyed his knee in a non-contact drill, the Vikings pain was the Eagles gain, as Minnesota gave up their 2017 first rounder to obtain Bradford. Sam had a decent enough year with the Vikings, but Eagles fans will tell you-Wentz looks legit.