Trades don’t really happen in the NFL, well not to the extent that the other three major sports leagues showcase. But they have been becoming more prominent in football, with nine trades finalized in the 2018 season.
The Eagles have plenty of needs and they may be strapped for cash this offseason, (depending on who they cut/restructure) but that won’t stop rumors of potential trades going down.
Who are some big names that could use a change of scenery to the Eagles? There are some big ones that you may scoff at, but it’s not as farfetched as you may think.
The team that every fan and media member loves to pair with free-agent-to-be or maybe not-to-be Nick Foles is the Jacksonville Jaguars. If the Eagles can find a way to franchise and trade Foles (who bought himself out to become a free agent) to the Jags, a popular name that has been thrown around as compensation is running back Leonard Fournette.
However, there’s one player on the team that has been labeled as disgruntled and rumored as a possible departure from the team: Jalen Ramsey.
During the 2018 season, Ramsey seemed unhappy with the team, as he posted this on Twitter:
When I’m gone from here, y’all gone miss me. I ain’t even trippin lol
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) November 12, 2018
After the tweet, Ramsey stated “I’ve said multiple times, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I want to play for one team my whole career,” but that definitely won’t end speculation that he may be moved (although the Jags said they won’t trade him).
If the Jags and Eagles talk about a potential trade, in the hopes of keeping Foles away from other teams in free agency, then the Eagles would be wise to first ask for Ramsey. Adding Ramsey to a secondary that includes Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod (who just restructured his contract), Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, and [Captain] Cre’Von LeBlanc would vault this secondary to elite status.
Potential deal: Nick Foles and a 2019 second round pick (their own) for Jalen Ramsey and a 2020 fifth round conditional pick
While we’re on the subject of disgruntled players who may be traded, I bring you, Antonio Brown.
If you haven’t seen the countless stories and rumors about how Brown is leading himself into a separation from the Steelers, you’ve been living under a rock. Brown is visibly upset with the team and the team has even commented on such.
Do the Eagles need another Terrell Owens personality? No. But do they need another player of his playmaking ability? Flat out yes. If something could be worked out where the team (Wentz, namely) gets to speak to Brown about a potential acquisition, then this is a deal that could definitely work for both teams.
Obviously, the recent report of him being involved in a domestic dispute are disturbing, but if the report and allegations are false, then the Eagles should be in on Brown. They were the only team to contact the police in the Reuben Foster investigation when he went on waivers this season, so they do their due diligence.
But do the Eagles have any players on their roster that can entice the Steelers or would a package of picks be the only offer?
One scenario I can see:
Potential trade: Tag and trade Brandon Graham and a 2019 fourth round pick for Antonio Brown and a 2019 seventh round pick
The Steelers currently have two defensive ends in Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu. Adding a player of Graham’s caliber, at a salary over the $17.143 million in 2018, would be a boost to their pass rushing and run defense. They were 29th in the NFL last season in sacks, with 24, and 16th in forced fumbles. Graham just happens to be a guy who knows how to do both:
Sack fumble by @Eagles DL Brandon Graham. Watch how quickly he gets on Shaq Mason, who isn’t taking a very aggressive set. Doesn’t let him get set. Great pad level & elite hands. #superbowl pic.twitter.com/yVcYLbLOpm
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) February 8, 2018
If a tag and trade doesn’t work, a selection of picks could look like this:
Potential trade: 2019 second round pick (Eagles), 2019 fourth round, and 2019 seventh round pick for Antonio Brown and a conditional 2020 sixth round pick.
Before you “x” out of this article, hear me out.
Gurley is obviously an elite talent at running back and the Rams would be absolutely nuts to trade him. But something isn’t right in Los Angeles between the team and Gurley.
In the first half against the Eagles in December, Gurley had 87 total yards. In the second half, he had 48 and wasn’t used nearly as often as he was in the first. Reports surfaced that he had a banged up knee and was limited. He ended up missing the final two games in the regular season.
However, Gurley came back for the divisional round game against the Cowboys and had 16 carries for 115 yards in the Rams’ 30-22 win (thank you Rams!) But in the NFC Championship game and Super Bowl he had a combined 14 carries for 45 yards, losing a bulk of the snaps to back up running back CJ Anderson.
Bleacher Report has toyed with the idea of trading Gurley, since McVay has shown that he can get production out of a player he signed in December (Anderson). Gurley’s also on a contract that has him as the highest paid running back in NFL history. His cap hit in 2019 will be just over $9 million, which is reasonable. But 2020 jumps up to $17.250 million and $13.2 million, $14.2 million, and $11.4 million respectively until 2023. The Rams will have to pay for quarterback Jared Goff during that time and, presumably, cornerback Marcus Peters and wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Gurley can block, and do it well, and he can also be a threat as a pass catcher, two things crucial to an offense run by Doug Pederson. Roster cuts and restructures would be mandatory to getting something like this done, but if the Rams want to move on this offseason from a big contract, Howie Roseman shouldn’t just pick up the phone, he should fly to LA himself and take the 33-year-old head coach of the Rams Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead out to their favorite restaurant in Beverly Hills and get a deal done. Having a running back like Gurley in a division featuring Ezekiel Elliot and Saquon Barkley would push the Eagles back to the forefront.
Potential trade: Corey Clement and 2019 second round pick (their own) for Todd Gurley
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports