The New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles made a high-profile trade last night, although no player moved from New Orleans to Philly or vice versa. Only the draft picks were involved in the deal.
- What the Saints got: 16th overall pick in draft-2022, 19th overall pick in draft-2022, 194th overall pick in draft-2022
- What the Eagles got: 18th overall pick in draft-2022, 101st overall pick in draft-2022, 237th overall pick in draft-2022, first round pick in draft-2023, second round pick in draft-2024
Who benefits more from this trade?Embed from Getty Images
In terms of draft asset valuation, certainly, the Eagles win. Just cut more or less equal amounts of acquisitions and see what’s left.
We take out the exchange of close first-round picks (18-19) and let’s say the exchange of the remaining late-round draft picks in the upcoming draft – sixth for the Saints and third with the seventh for the Eagles, though even here the Philadelphia lead is drawn.
It turns out that the Eagles gave up an average first-round draft-2022 pick for a first-round draft-2023 pick and a second-round draft-2024 pick. Perhaps this deal would be balanced only by the Saints’ championship in the coming season to make the first-round pick of draft-2023 the last pick of the season.
The conventional wisdom is that a deferred draft pick (next year’s, not this year) is cheaper than the current one. From that point of view, the trade is more equivalent, though the Eagles still have the advantage.
Why would the Saints need this?
New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis has made similar trades and called it “early lineup building.” And even now, after a non-playoff season and the departure of head coach Sean Payton (and franchise quarterback Drew Brees the season before), he refuses to call what’s happening at the Saints a rebuild. The team must remain competitive.
The club entered the offseason $75 million over the salary cap. And while it was possible to get within the cap, such a situation prevented the Saints from actively working on the free agency to close gaps. Picking a player in the draft is a more budget-friendly affair anyway.
It’s hard to say what Loomis wants to do with two first-round draft picks. He has previously argued that with the 18th pick, it’s unlikely that a top quarterback should be acquired. Sure, with the 16th and 19th picks, you could make an upward trade for a point guard, but does that make sense after signing Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton?
Perhaps the Saints management intends to cover two of the three problematic positions – receiver, linebacker (Terron Armstead is gone), and safeties (Marcus Williams is gone, Malcolm Jenkins has finished his career) – with quality performers.
Why do the Eagles need this?
It’s important to remember that Philadelphia had as many as three first-round picks before yesterday’s trade. The club’s general manager Howie Roseman reasoned that it’s better to have two first-round picks in two years than to let a fortune go down now. Especially since, as we found out above, the Eagles even increased their draft capital thanks to the deal.
Experts don’t rate the current quarterback issue very highly, but next year’s draft should see several intriguing point guards enter the draft at once. Right now, Eagles executives are giving lip service to young quarterback Jalen Hurts, but that could change a lot in a year. Two first-round picks would give the Eagles a nice boost, and two first-round picks in the next draft would provide flexibility if Hurts doesn’t play up to his potential and needs to be invested in a new quarterback.