April 24, 2015
Thursday afternoon, speaking on his radio show on WFAN, Mike Francesa cited a source saying the Eagles could be involved in a three-way trade with the Browns and a team at the top of the draft that would net them Marcus Mariota and Johnny Manziel. Francesa is difficult to transcribe because he tends to go off on tangents mid-sentence, but his cleaned-up words are below:
"I happened to be chatting with some folks in the NFL about the draft. This is from a pretty credible source. There is a route being paved by the Eagles to actually go after Mariota. I was not convinced there was, because of how much it would cost, but he has actually tried to create a lane, Chip Kelly, to get from 20 to the top of the draft. Not to one, but maybe two, or three, or four, depending on where he needed to get to, to get to Mariota.
I think he would have to get to two, myself. I still think Winston will be the first player chosen, or traded out of that first pick. I’ll just lay the one out for you that I actually heard. The Cleveland Browns have the 12 and the 19 and they’re interested in Bradford. They’re interested in Bradford. It would include Manziel going back to the Eagles and Bradford going to the Browns, the 12 and the 19 going to the (Eagles), the 20 going to the (Browns)… one spot doesn’t make much difference, but that was the trade as explained to me… and Manziel’s contract going to the Eagles.
If (Kelly) could do that and move up, and give two ones, and next year’s one, to move up that high, they’d be giving up three ones to get that high into the draft, and maybe a player. Do the mathematics on it. It would include next year’s one and two ones.
Now remember, Chip Kelly recruited Manziel to Oregon. He tried to bring him to Oregon. And they tell me, guys that I trust, that he is really after Mariota. I (previously) didn't buy it.
Now one of the guys I talked to said that the Chargers were open to trading Rivers and and the other guy said there’s not a chance in the world. And you know, last night, the GM of the Chargers said ‘Take my word, the quarterback is going nowhere.’"
In February, we reported that the Eagles were determined to go get Mariota. The three-team scenario laid out by Francesa is similar to the one that we hypothesized on over a month ago on how the Eagles could get it done.
One thing I know for nearly 100% certainty is that it will be high drama when the Titans are on the clock with the #2 overall pick.
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