HOWIE ROSEMAN: Hey, guys. Thanks for coming in on a Saturday. On behalf of the Eagles organization, I want to start by expressing our condolences to Coach [Doug] Pederson and his family. Last night, his father, Gordon, passed away. So, all of us are thinking about him and his family today as we do this.
The second part of this is we want to thank Sam Bradford for his role with us since he's been here. Obviously, it's a hard thing for us to do as an organization trading our starting quarterback. I want to thank him for the way he acted and operated on and off the field.
On your depth chart at quarterback, is Carson Wentz the one now, if healthy?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: You know, the coaches are all out of the office; they'll be back [tomorrow]. In terms of who we're going to be playing this week, that's a coaches' decision. So, we'll kind of operate from there.
You originally said you thought it was best when you draft a quarterback like this to have him sit for a while – possibly a year – and then Doug Pederson said the same thing. How did that change to now Carson possibly being the guy and playing?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, circumstances change and you've got to take things one day at a time and see what goes on with your football team. And for us, when we look at our football team and how they performed in the offseason [and] during training camp, seeing how our defense has performed in a new scheme with Coach [Eagles defensive coordinator Jim] Schwartz, [and] obviously the special teams has been a strength for us, we felt like this was an opportunity for us – not only now, but going forward – that we had to take advantage of.
Why is Carson more ready now than before the trade?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I don't know so much if it's before the trade, but when you get all the information and you sit down with your coaching staff and with everyone in your front office and you just talk about where he's at physically and mentally, and the progress he's made … Because a big part of this is mental and being able to come in being able to learn the offense and adjust to life in the National Football League. So, it doesn't affect by the trade. Our plan wasn't to trade Sam Bradford. A situation, a circumstance arose that we felt it was best for our organization moving forward.
Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater got hurt Tuesday – it's Saturday now. What's been the past five days?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: It's been hectic. Obviously there was the injury to Teddy, and the relationship that we have with the Vikings and [Vikings general manager] Rick Spielman is good, and that line of communication is always open this time of year. You're having a lot of phone calls and a lot of conversations. That's the fun part about it, is that you're able to have those conversations and talk about hypotheticals, and because of our quarterback depth chart, we got some calls this week. We didn't initiate any phone calls. But as [we] went through it and we talked about the scenario and how hard it would be for us to trade Sam [Bradford], our starting quarterback, a week before the regular season and put us in this situation … And [the Vikings] realized that, they understood that, and that's how the trade came about.
Some of the people think that without Sam Bradford, you don't have as much of a chance to win the division. How do you explain to people that type of scenario?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Our job is to try to build something great, and I also think it would be a discredit to our veteran players and really our whole football team to discount them and the effort that they've given us. We have a lot of talented players on this roster. At the same time, we're trying to building something great. We have an opportunity with this to get back into the first round of the 2017 draft, get a pick in 2018 that we thought was important, and utilize that cash and cap space to improve the team in other areas that we didn't have prior to this week.
So, it's about the future, not about this year?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: No, if we didn't have the confidence in how our team was playing and how we're kind of structuring the team and the quarterbacks that were on the roster, we couldn't do this. But when you put all of that together, we felt like in balancing today and the future it was the right move for us.
Had anyone else come to you looking to trade for Sam?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: There have been conversations about every player and every position on our roster. In terms of specifics, I think this was the only thing that really got this far. Obviously, it got pretty far. But a lot of it is just chumming and just kind of figuring out what people can get, and maybe we do that sometimes, too.
The fourth-round pick that you got in 2018 can become a three or a two, based on the conditions. Is that true, first of all? And secondly, what conditions would make the pick turn from a four to a three or a two?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yes, it is true.
Have you spoken to Sam about what you did? And this is obviously another move for him. What was his reaction?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We have spoken to Sam. I have left him a message. I have not connected with him yet, personally, but Coach [Doug Pederson] spoke to him. Obviously him and his relationship with our quarterbacks, it was important for him to reach out, even with what he's going through, personally. But he did speak to him, and Sam's a professional. He acted like a professional in the conversation.
It seemed like it was important for the organization the long-view when it came to Wentz, particularly since he's coming out of North Dakota State. You wanted to develop him slowly since he's such an important part of the future of the franchise. What have you seen over the course of the spring and summer, especially when he played only parts of one preseason game, to make you think that he's now ready to take on this kind of challenge so quick?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: It starts with his attention to detail; the way he goes about his business. But at the same time, we rely on the people who are around him all the time. That starts with our head coach and it goes to our offensive coordinator and our quarterbacks coach. They're in the meeting rooms; they're with him on the field when our other quarterbacks are playing; they're in his ear when he's practicing; they go through the thought process with him; and they've been around some great ones. We're fortunate to have those guys, along with our entire coaching staff, and we rely on what they're hearing and seeing as well. But certainly our interaction with him and our discussions with him, he's come a long way, even since we got him in April.
Do you expect your veterans to have some questions about this move? What is your view of expectations now for this season?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I'll answer that part first: Throughout the offseason our expectation is we're going to get better as a football team. We're going to reflect the determination and drive that this city has; we're going to be tough on both sides of the ball; we're going to build along the lines – we kept 11 offensive linemen and 10 defensive linemen – and we'll see progress. And I think that's the expectation. How that translates I have no idea. I think a lot of it, which we've seen this week and really shows up in this trade, is who is going to be healthy and who is going to be playing at the end? So, I think that's kind of the expectation.
In terms of our veteran players, part of this also was just during camp you get an opportunity to talk to your veteran players a lot and just talk to them about what they see and what they're feeling and we got really good veteran leadership on this football team and all of us … I have had the opportunity to talk to them and ask them what they see in that quarterback room and [they were] all positive on Sam [Bradford] – there's no question about that – but also what they think about our other two quarterbacks. We feel like they have a lot of confidence in those guys as well and this gives them an opportunity to show their leadership and to all rally around those guys and come together as a football team.
I imagine this is a tough time for Doug. What role was he able to have in this decision to trade Sam?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, he has a big part in this. We're not making any trade without having a lot of communication with our head coach, and so this didn't start just yesterday. He was here until yesterday afternoon before he got out, and he was abreast of everything that was going on. Obviously there are some times that he's got to be with his family, and we respect that and we appreciate that. And so [this is] a tough time all around, and the way that he's handling this, it's just really remarkable and you have a lot of admiration for him as a person.
Did you feel like this trade was too good to pass up from a sense that if you held on to Bradford and tried to trade him after the season, you wouldn't have been able to get as much?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We felt like it was a good opportunity for both teams. In their situation, with the football team that they have, it was a good opportunity for them to get a quarterback of Sam's caliber. And at the same time, we felt like in the situation that we were in and with how our depth chart looked, not only at the quarterback position, but going forward by adding these [draft] picks and getting that cap room to put back into our football team, that that would serve us well, too.
So you look for win-win opportunities when you makes these trades. You want to have relationships with people where you can go back and make trades that are good for both teams. We are hopeful that it works out for both sides.
Do you know if Wentz is going to get a CT Scan in the next few days and is it necessary for him to another one before he is ready to practice fully?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: You know, it's hard for me to talk about the medical terminology. But I would just say that we meet with our doctors and trainers before we make final cuts and they were very confident about how he was feeling and his prognoses going forward.
The initial trade you made in order to draft Wentz was pretty much unprecedented given that you already had both Bradford and Daniel and had already devoted a large amount of money to that position. Did you find it increasingly difficult with the way Wentz played to serve both masters and have Bradford in place playing for 'the now' while having Wentz preparing for 'the future?'
HOWIE ROSEMAN: [Are you asking if] we [found] it hard to kind of go along both paths?
Did your feeling change and did you start to realize that with the way Wentz was playing that it would be difficult to serve both of those masters and to not start the 'Carson project?'
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well the only circumstance that changed was this trade offer from the Vikings. This was not our blueprint; this was not part of the plan. But as we sit, we have to be flexible and we have to be able to take advantage of opportunities that give us an opportunity to get where we want to be. Our organization has had a run of success at some point, but we are trying to get that trophy and to do that, sometimes you've got to do things like this that aren't so easy to do the week before the season starts.
Was there any concern that Wentz would have possibly had to take scout reps in practice if Bradford had stayed here and were you concerned that that would have affected his development as well?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: No, I think for us, it was about this particular trade. We weren't looking to move Sam; we didn't make any calls on Sam. It was just that as we looked at the offer and what we felt like it could do for our football team going forward, we felt like it was in the best interest of our team.
Does this move bring clarity to what you are doing this season? It doesn't seem like you are doing one thing on one hand and another thing on the other. It's more about one unified purpose now, right?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well it's about the team. For us, it's about building an identity as a football team in all three phases: on offense, defense and special teams. It's never just about one guy when you talk about 53 guys. This is the ultimate team sport.
Before the season-ending injury to Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater, had you thought about the possibility of what it would take for another team to trade for Bradford?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: No, not really because we were really going forward and it didn't seem like it was realistic to play that game, really. Even when we first got the call it wasn't really a strong consideration because of what it meant to our football team right now and what it would take to make a trade of this magnitude with really a week to go before the season and all the plans that we had going forward.
It's not an easy trigger to pull when you talk about all of that, but when we sat down -- and we talked to a lot of people in the organization on the coaching staff, in the front office and certainly ownership -- we felt like this was something that was a good opportunity for us to get where we want to go eventually.
How long was this process? Was it a two-day process or a three-day process? How long did it take to get the trade done between the offer and when you made the final decision?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: We knew where we needed to be in order to consider this and I think that's probably also a good question for the Vikings because we were pretty clear that for us to even consider something, it was going to have to be significant. I think that at the end of the day, until it got to those levels, we have so much going on right now, it was hard to spend a lot of time on stuff. It wasn't as much of a normal negotiation as you [typically] have with a give-and-take, back-and-forth because we had our starting quarterback. So we felt like there had to be a significant price to pay for that and for their football team and where they are, it's a good trade for them too.
Did the Vikings have to go a long way from their initial offer to get to where you want to be?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, yeah [laughter]. It doesn't really normally start that way where you ask and they just say, 'Yes.' It would be great if [it] did [work that way]. It took a little while, but we were pretty comfortable in what we were asking for and [in] the relationship that we have with them and with Rick [Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman] in particular. I've known Rick for a long time and our teams have always had good relationships with those guys. So for us with everything that was going on, I think [based on] the time of the year, where we don't have a lot of time before the [roster] cuts and we don't have a lot of time before the game, that there wasn't a lot of time to kind of play games.
So, we told them basically where we had to be to even open up conversations and that was after them calling us a couple of times. Again, we did not go into this wanting to trade Sam Bradford and we did not call anyone on Sam Bradford, but after the trade offer they made, we just felt like this was the right decision for our football team.
There are only four linebackers on your 53-man roster. What is the plan there? Also, do you anticipate having T Lane Johnson available for Week 1 given that he is still on your 53-man roster?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, in terms of our 53-man roster, it is fluid right now. We will see what happens in the next couple of days. [With] a 4-3 team, four linebackers is a low number and we'll just have to see what shakes out and what happens going forward and what's out there. That's a process that we're going through right now. And I have no comment on Lane.
Did Bradford's agent Tom Condon or Bradford come to you after they made the initial trade request in the spring?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: No.
Was Condon involved in this deal?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: No. It's been incredibly positive. Sam's had a great camp. He's been really instrumental in grabbing our young players, grabbing our young receivers after practice and working with them. Again, it was never a thought. We were all moving forward and trying to have as best of a season as we possibly could with him under center. It wasn't in any of our minds. It really kind of came out of the blue.
We were having meetings when Teddy got hurt and we wish him the best and a speedy recovery. I remember looking in the draft room when it was on TV and saying, 'What happened?' That was the first time and then from there, I think that was Tuesday, and from there, it happened pretty quickly. To have a trade of this magnitude happen in this quick of a period of time when we are still playing a game and we're cutting down, I think it speaks to the relationship we have and the ease of which we can kind of cut through it with them.
Was there a point this summer where you realized that Wentz was ready if circumstances dictated that you were to go in this direction?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: There was. I think that again, you rely on the coaches and when you talk to them and the guys they have been around and you understood that there was a lot of confidence in his ability and the biggest transition for anything is the mental aspect of picking up the offense. He's worked out the last couple of days before he came back to practice and just seeing him with his receivers and his ability to verbalize the play call and really his comfort level in that. But it's more important for the coaches to feel that way. What we do when we cut down, is we meet with our coaching staff, we meet with our personnel staff and we heard it from them [the coaches]. Obviously, they didn't know this was going on, but when they said that to us and with the conversations we were having, it made us feel more comfortable to do this.
You spent more money than any team in the league on undrafted free agents this year. By my count, I think four made the 53-man roster. Why were undrafted guys seemingly prioritized?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: It goes back to [the fact that] we don't have the same amount of resources that we've had in the past because of the picks we traded. Now we've got some of those back here.
We feel like we've got to find ways to improve this football team in an unconventional manner. When you look at the percentage of rosters taken up by undrafted free agents , outside of first-round picks, I think it's the highest percentage of players on rosters. For us, we felt like we needed to throw darts at that pool of guys that we liked. And it's hard to recruit undrafted free agents after the draft. You are competing against 31 other teams. We looked at the amount of resources we put into that and if we can get a couple guys out of it, how it would work for us. We're hopeful that it's not just now that it works, but going forward some of those guys are guys that can contribute to our football.
Looking back to the draft, being at No. 13 originally and being able to move up to No. 2 to get what you think could be a franchise quarterback and in this situation to get a first-round pick back, were you surprised that you were actually able to get to this point and are you satisfied about where you are at with this?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I don't know. It's such a busy time, so it's hard to figure out kind of what your emotions are. It's hard to trade your starting quarterback a week before [the start of the season]. That's a hard thing to do. All of us -- again, it's kind of a little somber around here not only because of that, but because of Coach Pederson and how we feel about him and his family.
In terms of what we're trying to do, we're just trying to put together and have a process where we can become a great team again. We think our fans deserve that and that's what we're looking to do. We know that's a process; that doesn't happen overnight. We're just going to take it one day at a time and one transaction at a time.
Without commenting on Lane Johnson specifically, how difficult is it to put together a 53-man roster when you don't know the status of a player?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: I have no comment on that. We go with all the information we have. We can only go with the information that we have at this point. So until someone tells us differently about anyone on our roster, we go with the 53 guys we think give us the best chance and that's what we did today.
Why isn't LB Najee Goode one of them?
HOWIE ROSEMAN: Najee has a history here and for us that was a really tough decision. We had a couple really tough decisions with guys that have been around and that have been a part of this. We'll just see what happens here in the next couple of days and over the next couple weeks.
Obviously, we thank Najee for his time here, but not ruling out anything going forward. We've got to just see how it all shakes out and we'll do that over the next couple of days.