Every win matters in the NFL, so the Coin Flip Seen Around The World on Friday that gave the Eagles the 14th pick in April’s NFL Draft instead of the 15th pick was a moment to celebrate.
Howie Roseman and the Eagles’ contingent in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine did their part with fist bumps and a throw-the-arms-up-in-the-air reaction. At the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia, around the tables in the cafeteria, a shout or two was heard and high fives were exchanged (I admit, I channeled my inner Tommy McDonald and tried to drum up some chest bumping, with no takers) when the coin was flipped not so high in the air by former NFL offensive lineman Will Shields and landed on the logo of the Minnesota Vikings (Minnesota traded its first-round pick to Philadelphia in exchange for quarterback Sam Bradford last September).
It was not a heads-or-tails affair. The two-headed coin, adorned with a logo of the Vikings on one side and the Indianapolis Colts on the other, carried with it quite a bit of importance.
And the Eagles won.
“It’s fun to win. It’s fun to win anything,” Roseman said. “It was quite an experience, with fans in the stands watching including an Eagles fan who made the trip just to see the coin flip, I mean, that was pretty cool. I’ve never, ever been part of a coin flip or anything like this. Standing up there, I was just hoping for the best news and we got it.
“We’re excited to pick 14th and have an opportunity to add a good player to our team.”
Head coach Doug Pederson and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas joined Roseman in the bench-press room at the Indiana Convention Center and, said Roseman “brought as much good energy as we could into the room.” It’s been that kind of feeling around the Eagles since the 2016 season ended. It wasn’t a playoff year, and nobody was pleased with that, but the Eagles ended the season with wins over the Giants and Cowboys and so maybe, just maybe, the momentum started with those victories carried over to Friday afternoon and a most unusual coin flip.
“Whatever it takes for good things to happen,” Roseman said, “I’m all for it.”
We won’t know the significance of Friday’s “win,” until draft weekend, but the Eagles bumped up one spot in the first round and, hey, it all helps. Having 14 instead of 15 means the value of the pick stands at 1,100 points instead of 1,050 points. It’s a 50-point difference. If the Eagles want to move up in Round 1, the coin flip made it that much easier, for example.
And let’s be honest here: There have been drafts in the past where the Eagles have been left empty handed and “one pick away” from taking a player they truly coveted. It would be very difficult to pin anyone down to talk about it, but we’ve seen it in past drafts where the Eagles trade out of a spot because a player they had on their draft board was snapped up a pick earlier.
“We’ve been in situations before where we’re one pick away from a player we really like and you never know what teams needs are and what teams are looking for, so from our perspective it’s always good to be higher,” Roseman said. “It’s a positive outcome. It’s been a really great week. We’ve been able to get things done, and we have more we want to get done.
“This is an exciting start to our offseason.”
Sure is, and it’s just the start. The Combine ends on Monday, just in time for NFL front offices to begin their time of negotiations with representatives of free-agents-to-be. The NFL’s new business year begins on March 9, and so the shopping spree that is free agency starts at 4 p.m. that day. This is an intense two-week period for Roseman and his peers.
Those rumors you hear? Expect them to multiply in the next several days.
“We’ve been planning for this for a long time and I’m excited about where we are and what we’re trying to do,” Roseman said. “We’ve got a lot of work in front of us. We’ve gotten some things done here and we want to do more. Let’s go. It’s an important period of time in front of us.”
It began with a win on Friday. In the NFL, you count every one of them, no matter how small, or in the case of The Coin Flip, how unusual the circumstances.