THIS IS what the Eagles should have done:

After snookering the Miami Dolphins out of the eighth pick in the draft last month, they should have sat on their hands, selected one of the three of four appealing options that figure to be on the board at No. 8 next Thursday - Ronnie Stanley? Ezekiel Elliott? Vernon Hargreaves? - and taken a well-deserved bow.

Instead, they overdosed on testosterone and decided to show the rest of the NFL how smart they are.

"We're going to invest in quarterbacks," executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said after the Eagles swapped a batch of draft picks, among them the No. 8 pick, their first-round selection next year and a second-round pick in 2018, to Cleveland for the second pick in the draft, which they plan to use on the Los Angeles Rams' sloppy seconds - either Division I-AA product Carson Wentz or Cal's Jared Goff.

"When you go back and you study - and we as an organization had time to go back and study - what are the keys to winning?" Roseman said. "What are the keys to being championship caliber over a long period of time? I don't think I'm saying anything that nobody in this room doesn't believe. It's quarterbacks."

Hey, anybody who's paid attention to the NFL for more than five minutes understands the value of the quarterback position. You need a good one to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.

My problem with this deal is the Eagles don't need to be doing it. They aren't one of the league's many quarterback-needy teams.

They already have a damn good one: a just-entering-his-prime Sam Bradford, who, at 28, is young enough to be their starting quarterback for the better part of the next decade.

A guy whom owner Jeff Lurie unhesitatingly called a franchise quarterback last year after the Eagles acquired him in a trade with the Rams. A guy to whom he only weeks ago gave a two-year contract that included $22 million in guaranteed money.

A guy who was one of the best quarterbacks in the league the second half of last season. A guy who set single-season franchise records for completions (346) and completion rate (65 percent) despite a league-high 50 drops by his receivers.

Yes, he has two left ACL tears on his resumé. But he bounced back strong from the second one last year and started 14 of 16 games behind a shaky offensive line that didn't do him any favors.

I'm concerned that a big part of this move has to do with Chip Kelly and Roseman's need to get rid of any evidence of the man who publicly humiliated him.

I applauded Roseman when he was able to find gullible buyers for Kelly's two biggest free-agent blunders: Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray.

But this move? This move was unnecessary. This move is dripping with arrogance. This move cost the Eagles valuable draft picks that could have been used to address other needs, not the least of which is offensive tackle, where 34-year-old Jason Peters, an eight-time Pro Bowler, seemed to hit the wall last season.

"What we did in free agency, to the best that we could, was try to fill a bunch of holes," Roseman said. "By getting guys like (guard) Brandon Brooks and (safety Rodney) McLeod and (cornerback Leodis) McKelvin and (wide receiver) Rueben Randle and (center-guard Stefen) Wisniewski, we felt those were young guys who were for us, almost like draft picks. Second- and third-round draft picks.

"Nobody's sitting here thinking we're a completed picture. But for us, we want to get into a position where, in the near future, we have an opportunity to compete every year. And that starts at the quarterback position. By us having the depth chart that we have (at quarterback), we feel we're stronger at that position than we've been in a very long time."

Neither Goff nor Wentz is Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck, which is to say they aren't can't-miss quarterbacks. NFL Network senior draft analyst Mike Mayock, who historically has had an excellent eye for young quarterbacks, has said both are in the conversation with last year's top two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. But I haven't found very many NFL scouts or draft analysts who have echoed Mayock's sentiments.

"Wentz is a very good player, but I saw him make a lot of throws that would've been intercepted if he wasn't playing against I-AA competition," NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger said. "Playing against Northern Iowa and playing against Alabama are two different things. It's like playing two different sports.

"Goff, I think he does a lot of things really well. He's good in the pocket. He goes through his progressions. He has a good arm and can take a hit. But I don't think he comes anywhere close to Jameis Winston. Same with Wentz."

I think a big part of the Eagles' decision to trade up for a quarterback is spurred by money. Cap money.

Bradford's cap number is just $12.5 million this year but jumps to $22.5 million next year in the final year of his two-year deal.

Even if they signed him to a contract extension next year that lowered his 2017 cap number, you're still looking at a contract that probably would be around $20 million-a-year, probably more if Bradford has a big year.

Now, compare that with the four-year, $24.2 million deal Mariota signed last year after he was selected by Tennessee with the second pick. His cap numbers: $4.4 million last year, $5.5 million this year, $6.6 million in 2017 and $7.7 million in 2018. An affordable quarterback contract like that makes it a lot easier to give a quarterback-like contract to your All-Pro defensive tackle.

"That goes to not only the quarterback position but all of the positions that are high-cost positions," Roseman said the other day when I asked him about the benefit of hitting on a young quarterback in the draft. "You pick the position - quarterback, offensive line, wide receiver - all of those positions are more cost-effective in the draft.

"If you get a guy like that in the top 10 who you have for four years plus the option (year), it gives you some flexibility elsewhere, because those are high-money positions."

While there certainly are teams out there who will have interest in Bradford when the Eagles make him available, it would be unconscionable for them to trade him right after he re-signed with them. To his credit, Roseman said that the Eagles aren't interested in trading Bradford right now, and that he will be the team's starting quarterback in 2016. Whomever they select with the second pick will spend his rookie season watching and learning. After that, all bets are off.

Roseman insisted Wednesday that Bradford "still could" be the Eagles' starting quarterback for the long term. But that's nonsense. The 2016 season almost certainly will be his last with the Eagles.

"For us, we look at this as investing in the quarterback position," Roseman said. "When we were really successful, we invested in quarterbacks. Some of them, we turned around in trades that got us assets. (Can you say A.J. Feeley, boys and girls?)

"That was part of the research we did as far as looking at the market as a whole. Looking at the lack of quarterbacks in the league."

Roseman repeatedly bragged on the Eagles' quarterback whisperers - head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich, both former NFL QBs.

"If you commit that you're going to invest in quarterbacks and you have people you feel can teach quarterbacks as well as any place in the National Football League, sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is," he said.

And sometimes you need to just sit on your hands and go with a sure thing rather than take a gamble that could set your franchise back years.

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