The Eagles came into this season with high expectations following their offseason moves.
Sitting at 3-2, and with some of those offseason additions either out for the season or “week-to-week”, it’s safe to say that those expectations aren’t being met.
There are a few areas on the roster that need reinforcing if the Eagles expect to win the division and/or make the playoffs. Thankfully, there are some teams already out of contention that could look to sell off a few pieces as they look toward the future.
New York Jets
Howie just got a good look at what the Jets have to offer during the Eagles’ 31-6 beat down of the Jets on Sunday. Despite their 0-4 record, the Jets do have some nice pieces that can fit into the Eagles’ puzzle:
Robby Anderson (wide receiver):
Howie tried to trade for Anderson last year, but settled with Golden Tate. Anderson was designated with a second-round restricted free agent tender during the offseason, and he signed that tender in March. A fourth year receiver out of Temple, Anderson would surely love to play in Philadelphia again and his ability to stretch the field would be a welcome addition on a team sorely missing the same ability from DeSean Jackson. Once Jackson is back, a trio of Jeffery, Jackson, and Anderson would give opposing defensive backs headaches.
Potential compensation: third round pick
Leonard Williams (defensive line):
Entering the season, only two other defensive linemen have had more run stops than Williams since he came into the league in 2015. His pass rush capabilities are improving as the years go on, and that’s including a seven sack season in 2016. If he can hone in on those skills, he can be an elite lineman. However, his bread and butter is nose tackle, not defensive end. In the game against the Eagles, Williams lined up at defensive end and had zero sacks, hits, hurries, and one tackle. Put him on the Eagles, move him inside next to Fletcher Cox, and watch him dominate.
Potential compensation: mid-round pick
Trumaine Johnson (cornerback):
Potential compensation: The Jets may send a first with Johnson just so a team takes him and his contract off their hands.
The tanking is real and it’s spectacular in Miami. As they look to stockpile draft picks, they might as well send some productive players to Philly:
Xavien Howard (cornerback):
My case for Howard can be found here. But long story short, he is coming off a 2018 season where he had seven interceptions. While he has not been as good this year, allowing a 135.4 passer rating when targeted, he’d give the Eagles the talent and contract length (signed through 2024) they’ve been looking for.
Potential compensation: second round pick + late round conditional pick
Devante Parker (wide receiver):
Yet another receiver on the list (won’t be the last) since the Eagles need better production from their receiving corps. Out of the 27 targets on Sunday, Ertz and Jeffery had 15 of them. If defenses know that Wentz will only target Jeffery and Ertz, they’re going to lock in on them.
Wentz needs a true number two receiver until Jackson is healthy, and Parker would be just that. A popular trade target for the Eagles among fans in 2018, Parker could finally land on the Eagles this season. He only has ten receptions on the year, but that comes with 201 yards. He also only has one drop this year. With the Eagles’ receivers leading the league in dropped passes, Parker’s sure-handedness would be welcome with open arms (but not dropped).
Potential compensation: mid-round pick
The 0-5 Bengals are in a free fall yet again. They are three games back of the division leading Ravens, and have to face them after their bye this week. It’s time the Bengals blow up the roster and give new head coach Zac Taylor draft picks to mold the team to his liking. Luckily for them, there are a few players that the Eagles would be interested in:
William Jackson III (cornerback):
Another cornerback that I made the case for, Jackson is a young corner that would immediately improve the Eagles’ secondary. He is in the third year of his rookie deal, with a fifth year option available, and has already established himself as one of the better corners in the league. He’s only allowing a 53.3% completion rate when targeted and quarterbacks have an average 76.8 passer rating when targeting Jackson. If the other top corners become unavailable, Jackson should be priority for Howie.
Potential compensation: third round pick that could become a second
Geno Atkins (defensive tackle):
If Howie really wants to make a splash, he’ll pair Geno Atkins with Fletcher Cox. A seven time Pro Bowler and two time First team All-Pro, Atkins has 72 sacks through his ten year career. The big turn off here is his contract. He signed a massive extension in 2018 with the Bengals and is signed through 2022. The Eagles will be getting Malik Jackson back next season, so could Howie justify having three high priced defensive tackles? Atkins’ cap numbers in the next four years (including this year) are $14.6 million, $14.2 million, $14.8 million, and $16 million. That’s a hefty cap number on a team with some extensions looming.
Potential compensation: second round pick + mid-round pick
A.J. Green (wide receiver):
If Howie wants to make an affordable splash, then Green is the move to make. He has not played a game yet this season due to surgery in late July to repair torn ligaments in his ankle. Last season was the first season in Green’s eight year career that he did not make a Pro Bowl. If Green is deemed healthy soon, Green’s ninth season could be in midnight green. He is also a free agent after this season, so Green’s cap number ($15.17 million) would be off at the end of the season.
Potential compensation: this one is tricky because there’s talk around the league that if Green shows that he’s healthy before the trade deadline, then the Bengals can fetch a first round pick. If he is indeed healthy, then I flip-fop on my “no first round pick” take on the latest Flippin’ The Birds podcast episode and fully support a first round pick trade.
Check out a few more teams that could be trade partners on the next page!
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Adam Hunger