Friday, April 29, 2011
Posted: 12:47 p.m.
By Reuben Frank
There are no side deals, and there are no pre-arranged trades. The Eagles dont and probably cant plan to trade Kevin Kolb for a player already drafted in the first round on Thursday.
Two high-ranking league officials familiar with the Eagles thinking addressed rampant speculation that the Eagles went into the first round of the draft with a deal already in place with a team seeking a quarterback.
Because of the lockout, the Eagles were unable to trade Kolb before the first round of the draft began Thursday evening. The Eagles expected to get a first-round pick and other considerations if they had been able to move Michael Vicks backup before the draft.
Under the much-speculated pre-arranged deal scenario, the Eagles and a team presumably picking in the top 10 or 12 had made a deal prior to the draft that the team would draft a player the Eagles wanted. Then, once the lockout was officially lifted it could happen as early as Friday the Eagles would formally ship Kolb to that pre-arranged team for the player already taken.
When the 49ers took Missouris Aldon Smith with the seventh pick, speculation heated up. The 49ers dont really seem to need a defensive end, but they are desperate for a quarterback and are known to covet Kolb. The Eagles, meanwhile, are in the market for a defensive end and could certainly use somebody like the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Missouri product.
But the two league sources both said the Eagles absolutely have no plans in place to make such a deal and said the team is simply planning to re-open talks for Kolb once such talks are allowed.
There are a couple reasons such a deal wouldnt be possible anyway.
First of all, if the new CBA or set of rules governing league play in 2011 includes a rookie wage scale, it would be difficult for the Eagles to sign all their players if one of them was a player drafted far higher than they picked. Although specifics of what plan the NFL and players will ultimately agree to are unknown, a teams rookie wage allocation is determined by where each team picks. If the Eagles pick at No. 23 and all of a sudden have a top-10 pick to squeeze into their pay scale, it would be very difficult to get everybody signed.
When trades are made during the draft, the team acquiring the better pick is allotted the corresponding amount of room under the wage scale to sign its players. If a trade were made after the draft, that presumably wouldnt be the case.
And second, with the labor situation in turmoil and chaos reigning, teams right now are extremely wary of doing anything out of the box. If the Eagles or any team made a move that could be later shown to have been plotted prior to the accepted start of the 2011 league year, it could and likely would be used by the player attorneys trying to prove collusion on the part of the owners.
The Eagles currently have the 54th and 85th picks overall Friday and seven more picks on Saturday.
E-mail Reuben Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org
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