Ranking Howie Roseman’s 12 best trades as GM of the Philadelphia Eagles

Jason Kelce eagles 49ers vs eagles
Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Howie Roseman, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce celebrate after the NFC Championship NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. Roseman, the once-exiled executive who was cast aside for Chip Kelly for a year, returned to lead the Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title is back again after hitting rock bottom in 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Since the arrival of Eagles GM Howie Roseman, the draft and trade season is known in Philadelphia as Howie SzN (season)

He has made several deals that make one scratch their head and ponder how he pulled it off. He has improved the team and engaged the fans in his every move.

The 12 best trades by the Eagles, Howie Roseman

12- DeMeco Ryans

The Eagles’ search for a linebacker finally ended with the addition of Ryans.

He had over 100 tackles in his first year and became an onfield coach affectionally called “Mufasa” by then Eagles Head Coach, Chip Kelly

DeMeco Ryans was dealt to Philadelphia from Houston for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick and a swap of third-round choices.

The Eagles used that 3rd round pick to select Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

It’s a home run for the Eagles.

11- Jay Ajayi

The Eagles won a Super Bowl in part to Ajayi’s presence, and he was a big part of the rushing success with Blount and Clement forming an almost unstoppable trio.

With 408 rushing yards in the regular season after his arrival and 5.8 yards per carry, he proved to be well worth a 4th rd pick.

The Miami Dolphins traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick

10- Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

CJGJ played a large role in solidifying the safety position, creating turnovers, and bringing an energy that helped carry the Eagles to a Super Bowl berth in his first stint with the team. He was a gamechanger in the secondary, and will look to be the same in his second rodeo.

The Eagles received Gardner-Johnson and the Saints’ 2025 seventh-round draft pick for a 2023 fifth-round draft pick and the latter of their two sixth-round draft picks in 2024

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GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 12: Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (23) flexes during Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

9- Darren Sproles

The Eagles’ offense and punt return game needed a spark, so they traded for one of the most dynamic running backs in the league in 2014.

Sproles was a member of the Eagles for 6 seasons, dazzling his way to the endzone countless times and showing no signs of aging as the former Saints rusher lived and diced his way to over 1,300 total rushing yards, 1,453 receiving, and 17 total scores across that span.

While injured and unable to play in Super Bowl 52, he was a large part of the team’s chemistry and success.

Philadelphia acquired Sproles from the Saints for a 5th-round pick.

8- Big Play Slay

Darius Slay played a large part in the 2022 Eagles having the best pass defense in the NFL.

He has now been extended through the 2025 season despite what some consider to be a down year in 2023. With that said, the veteran has embraces the rookies of this class and will be a key figure in preparing them to fill some very large boots one day.

This trade the potential to go down as one of the all-time great Eagle trades.

The Eagles acquired cornerback Darius Slay in a trade with the Detroit Lions. Philadelphia traded a third-round pick (85) and a fifth-round pick

7- DeVonta Smith

The Eagles entered the 2021 draft wanting to address WR, but they knew the Giants were too. Since the Giants drafted 11th and the Eagles drafted 12th, they had to make a move to jump ahead of NY if they were to secure the Heisman-winning wideout.

Since that fateful day, Smitty has clipped the 1,000-yard mark twice in 3 seasons alongside A.J Brown, becoming a fan favorite in the process and committing his future to the team that drafted him. DeVonta has been worth the extra draft capital it took to leapfrog NYG.

The Eagles received the 10th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for pick 12 and a third-round pick (84)

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith celebrates after scoring with quarterback Jalen Hurts during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

6- Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz was once deemed to be a franchise quarterback. After his stunning 2017 campaign that spurred Philadelphia to the postseason, his downfall was catastrophic. His contract would be unmovable to most, but this is Howie Roseman we’re talking about…

Carson was dealt to the Colts to reunite with Frank Reich, and the Eagles were able to remove that hefty contract and restructure their shape around future face of the franchise Jalen Hurts. There’s damage limitation, and there’s desperation. Both would consume GM’s with a trade like this, but Howie was able to work some real magic to recoup vital assets.

Howie got one MVP-caliber season(2017), a 2021 third, and a first-round pick back in 2022 for Wentz.

The Eagles traded him to the Colts for a 2021 3rd round pick and what eventually became a 2022 1st-round pick. A year later the Colts traded Wentz to the Commanders.

5- Sam Bradford

Chip Kelly traded for him, and Howie traded him away. It’s the latter that matters here, with the Eagles able to move on from ‘Sammy Sleeves’ in order to build around Carson Wentz – a sentiment that led them all the way to the Super Bowl.

The Vikings saw themselves as SB contenders, they were not and paid the Eagles the price of a 1st rd pick.

4- 2021 1st Round Pick 

The Eagles shocked most of the fan base in 2021 by trading their pick (6th overall) to the Dolphins for the 12th pick. This assured the Eagles wouldn’t be in a position to draft either Jamarr Chase or Kyle Pitts who most thought would be there at 6.

Roseman’s confidence and commitment to his belief resulted in the eventual drafting of DeVonta Smith.

The Eagles net DeVonta Smith and the Dolphins’ first-round pick which they used (in addition to a small trade-up) for Jordan Davis in 2022.

3- Carson Wentz

The Eagles went from 13 to 2 in the 2016 draft to select North Dakota St QB, Carson Wentz. While the move itself in retrospect wasn’t perfect, it did actually contain a lot of value for the Eagles. Philly was able to offload a stinky deal in the way of Byron Maxwell and an injury-plagued Kiko Alonso in the run-up to snag Wentz, resetting their roster and giving themselves room to build.

The Birds dealt Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell to the Dolphins to get to pick 8 and traded pick 8, a 3rd-rounder, a 4th-rounder, and the following year’s first-round pick to the Browns for 2nd overall pick.

Wentz had an (almost) MVP season in 2017 and was a big reason they won their first-ever Super Bowl.

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Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz throws to a receiver in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

2- AJ Brown

The Eagles made a 2022 draft night deal with Tennesse, sending a 1st and a 3rd round pick, plus a newly negotiated $25 million per year average deal, to the Titans for all-world WR, A.J. Brown

He ran into the record book and the Super Bowl during his first year. He broke records in 2023 and has left his mark on the City of Brotherly Love as one of the most talented wideouts in team history. This is an all-time great receiver, and a similar level of trade for the Eagles when you look at what was given up to snag the dominant wideout.

The Titans traded Brown to the Eagles for the Nos. 18 and 101 overall picks in the 2022 draft

1- Jason Kelce

During the 2011 NFL Draft, the Eagles traded back in the 3rd to acquire a 6th-round pick.

The 3rd round pick was Curtis Marsh, but the 6th round pick was Super Bowl winner and future Hall of Famer Jason Kelce.

Though Howie may not have had full autonomy in 2011, when you draft a Hall of Famer in the sixth round (currently only one 6th round pick in the NFL HOF) you get recognized as the best.

Kelce’s career needs no explanation. He”s won everything there is to win and will go down as arguably the greatest center of all time, as well as one of Philadelphia’s most beloved athletes of all time. As far as trades go, none will ever quite match this.

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AP Photo/Matt Slocum