Are Eagles preparing for a monster haul at the trade deadline?

Comic style background. Retro manga cartoon background
Comic style background. Retro manga cartoon background

The NFL trade deadline is just five days away and the Eagles’ season is already nearing a crossroads. Sitting at 3-4 after back-to-back blowouts, the Birds’ have to decide whether they still believe this season is worth fighting for from a front office perspective, or if it’s better to begin work on a longer-term plan. It’s a tricky spot to be in, but here’s a look at a few of the options facing the Eagles over the next few days.

Team needs

Defensive tackle

Timmy Jernigan has missed five games with a broken foot and while his recovery appears to be encouraging, that won’t give the coaching staff confidence. The position is already without Malik Jackson and with Hassan Ridgeway being placed on IR, it’s Fletcher Cox and two recently-signed UDFA’s against the world.

Linebacker

Cutting Zach Brown sounded good in theory, but he ranked third in team tackles at the time. The unit was without Nigel Bradham this week and he hasn’t practiced this week yet, either. The depleted linebacker corps struggled massively against Dallas and that could be set to continue if help doesn’t arrive soon.

Cornerback

This is tricky because it all comes down to perception. The Eagles pass defense is a total mess, whether you put it down to talent or scheme is a whole different conversation, but the end result is the same. Can an extra player really take some of that strain off the shoulders of Schwartz?

Wide receiver

Missing DeSean Jackson is one thing, but Mack Hollins has been disappointing in just about every sense, rookie J.J Arcega-Whiteside barely sees the field, and Nelson Agholor…let’s not go there. Help may be needed if Jackson, who has been ‘close’ for weeks now, doesn’t return soon.

But what can the Eagles give up outside of draft capital?

On the block:

Nelson Agholor

Carrying a cap hit of $9.3M really doesn’t help matters unless Agholor is used as a sweetener in exchange for a player of a similar hit. The USC product has been sporadic this year, which has, unfortunately, become what’s expected in terms of what we see on the field. A change of scenery may do him good, and the Eagles may even push ‘JJAW’ into slot duties to at least get him some exposure.

Rasul Douglas

He’s been the Eagles best corner this season, but that’s what makes him valuable. Doug Pederson stated that Mills and Darby would resume starting roles when healthy and while I disagree with that decision, if I’m Douglas, I’m fuming. That’s the third year in a row it’s happened and I would happily seek an opportunity to start for a team where I feel valued and won’t be chained down by schematic deficiencies.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai

The future of the tackle position rests on the shoulders of Andre Dillard. Vaitai is servicable, but fellow draftmate Isaac Seumalo earned a new deal this offseason, while Vaitai did not. The Eagles may be able to groom Matt Pryor or Jordan Mailata into that role, but cashing in on Vaitai now may be an idea if that is the plan.

Andrew Sendejo

If the Eagles want to move a veteran to make a statement, Sendejo has been wildly unpredictable. Oh, and something about recovering a compensatory pick? That’s important to Howie Roseman and if it means maybe even moving someone else to the position without a decrease in reliability, why not?

Vinny Curry

This would be a tough one for fans to stomach, but Curry hasn’t exactly been great this year and Josh Sweat is starting to come into his own. The Eagles may wish to trade-off Curry for some interior help.

Next up, we’ll break down some likely trade partners on the page below.

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