Here’s an intriguing rumor that has emerged with the draft less than three hours away.
As much of the trade chatter focuses on the Eagles trying to swing a deal with the Titans for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, the Eagles also could be trying to go all the way to No. 1.
If the Titans are driving too hard of a bargain for the chance to get Marcus Mariota after the Buccaneers take Jameis Winston, the ideal Plan B could be to get Tampa to ditch its Plan A, offering a haul of players and picks in exchange for a 19-spot climb.
It’s unclear what the Eagles would offer, or what the Bucs would want. The Buccaneers could take quarterback Sam Bradford as part of the process, exchanging the many off-field questions surrounding Winston with a significant on-field question regarding Bradford’s twice-torn ACL.
For Tampa Bay, a chance to back out of the top spot could be enticing, especially if the offer gives them multiple pieces that would allow coach Lovie Smith and G.M. Jason Licht to more quickly build an entire team that fits their vision for the franchise’s offense and defense. It also gives the powers-that-be a way to avoid rolling the dice on Winston, especially if the Eagles make an offer than legitimately can be characterized as something the Bucs couldn’t refuse.
At a time when the Buccaneers want an extra first-round pick, this could be the way to make that happen — in 2015, 2016, and perhaps beyond.
Maybe the Eagles will spark talks with Tampa in an effort to persuade the Titans to be more reasonable in their demands. Regardless, the biggest question mark entering the first night of the draft potential will become a bit more interesting.