The NFL is a copycat league. Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman would prefer to be the cat who gets copied.
Asked how the ongoing spike in veteran receiver contracts could impact the team’s approach to drafting a receiver, Roseman made an interesting philosophical point during a Wednesday press conference.
“[Y]ou have to make a decision on what your priorities are on building the team, whether you’re going to kind of go with the flow or you’re going to kind of figure out what is the most important thing for your team and if there’s some value in being different and figuring out what now is kind of the next area,” Roseman told reporters. “I think we spent a lot of time, Coach [Nick Sirianni] and I talk about this all the time, if we’re going to be the same as everyone else, we’re probably going to finish in the middle of the pack. Sometimes you have to take risks and you have to stand out there and do something different than everyone else. So that doesn’t mean that there aren’t right decisions to make at that position. But at the same time, if you’re doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, you’re probably a step late.”
That comment could be an indication that the Eagles aren’t thinking about making a big trade for 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel, since that would simply be the next step in this new trend of teams paying big money for receivers from other teams. It also may be, in a roundabout way, a hint as to how they could be handling their quarterback position, for now.
I’ve wondered whether the Eagles are considering making a break from the mold of developing a franchise quarterback and then paying one. What if they become the first team who is happy with a lower-tier player, who will command a lower-tier contract? That would leave millions for other positions that often get short shrift if/when a quarterback makes market-level money.
When looking at the list of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, there aren’t a lot of Super Bowl rings in that group. The Eagles won theirs with a backup. Maybe they realize that the key to being a contender isn’t being in contention for richest quarterback in the league.