The Eagles are destined for another chaotic offseason and the primary focuses are naturally both Free agency and the Draft. However, the trade market is an ever-changing landscape that the Eagles could well be looking to take advantage of. Here are some potential trade scenarios for the Birds heading into the offseason.
Can you smell what the Roseman is “Cooks”in?
One of the few wide receivers linked with a potential trade to the Eagles thus far has been Brandin Cooks, but this scenario goes far beyond the Eagles need for a wideout.
The Saints desperately need help rushing the passer. They had just 30 sacks in 2016, ranking them 27th in the NFL and while their secondary isn’t exactly glowing either, the need for some dominant edge rushers is glaring.
The Eagles are in a strange situation at the moment. Some reports suggest that Connor Barwin is nearing the end of his Eagles career, while others suggest that depth rushers Marcus Smith and Bryan Braman could be in the same boat. The birds need to take full advantage of their abundance of talent on the outside, even if some of it has been underutilized or is regarded by some as dispensable.
Cooks finished the season with 1,173 receiving yards in just 12 games. The deep-threat receiver is exactly what the Eagles crave, a young wideout who can grow with Wentz. With catches of 20+ in all but 3 starts, Cooks flourished in 2016, but the Saints have plenty of talented receivers around him, potentially softening the blow of his loss.
The Eagles strike back:
The Eagles made one of the most important trades in franchise history last year, moving up the draft board to select Carson Wentz. While this later haunted the Browns, the 1-15 team are once again sat at the top of the picking order…but they have a hidden weapon.
The Browns inherited Philadelphia’s 2017 pick, seeing them have two first round picks at their disposal…something that could very easily become a statement said of the Eagles in the coming weeks.
Cleveland need a steady backfield and a veteran center to help push their franchise forward, building around a presumed new quarterback..again. It’s no quiet fact that the Browns have had terrible luck in the Draft and continue to whiff on potential stars.
The Eagles are looking to clear cap space and two of the players constantly bought up in these discussions are Jason Kelce and Ryan Mathews. The Browns would have no problem absorbing contracts and the Eagles need stability just as badly. The Browns would obviously demand more than just the two players, but would some mid round picks over the next year or two sting that badly?
Filling two areas of desperate need for the Browns in exchange for the first round pick lost in the Wentz trade up would give the Eagles two mid-round picks, meaning that they can acquire both a top-tier CB and a playmaking wide receiver. The Browns? They attain two immediate upgrades to their Offense, meaning they can use remaining picks to draft playmakers elsewhere.
The Broncos offensive line isn’t exactly stacked. Russell Okung doesn’t seem to be the franchise left tackle and the interior spots have struggled just as heavily. The lack of athleticism on the line has caused problems when it comes to creating a consistent rushing attack..and they simply need to protect whoever it is throwing the football in order to level their phenomenal defense.
The Eagles have plenty of offensive linemen at their disposal after a year in which suspensions and injuries proved to be the ultimate test of depth. Some backup linemen such as Matt Tobin, or even starters with cap implications such as Allen Barbre could all be facing short-term futures with the team..but could the Eagles make a trade?
Trading for a first round pick may be out of the question, but the Broncos have plenty of assets on both sides of the football. Howie Roseman is regarded as an intense negotiator and with the Broncos in a very transitional period, they may be willing to offload some of the older talent on their team in order to free up cap room, re-enforcing those positions in the draft.
The question is, would Denver be willing to give up a proven playmaker for some help on the offensive line and some draft capital? Who knows..and speculating may seem a little too premature, but it’s certainly a possibility.
The Falcons turn to Kryptonite:
In one of the upsets of the 2016 regular season, the Eagles overthrew the now Super Bowl bound Atlanta Falcons 24-16. The Eagles rushed for 208 yards in that game, forcing the Falcons to look for those bigger plays in order to come from behind. That extra time allowed the Eagles Defense to do what it does best, run rampant.
The Falcons themselves now need the very Kryptonite that they encountered against the Eagles, a dominant pass rush. With Logan’s future uncertain, the Eagles are in an interesting spot that could see them completely overhaul the depth of the interior position, while looking to narrow down the talent pool at the DE position.
The Falcons are loaded offensively and if it’s a young running back the Eagles want, a shiny new Tevin Coleman who rushed for over 500 yards behind the dominant Devonta Freeman. Coleman also caught 31 passes for 421 yards on the season and 3 touchdowns. Darren Sproles is invaluable to the Eagles offense, but has already stated his intentions of retiring after next season..could it be time to pass the torch on to a new dual threat back?
The Falcons talent doesn’t end there and their wide receivers need no introduction. If the Falcons theoretically lost in the Super Bowl in a game that highlighted a need for rushing the passer, the Eagles could be left licking their lips at potential scenarios.
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports