We’ve been here before. A little over one year ago, the Eagles sat with a 4-4 record, finger on the trigger at the trade deadline. Howie fired the gun in the direction of the Detroit Lions and the ashes that fell included WR Golden Tate. A move that is among the more disappointing in recent memory.
Fast-forward 12 months and we’re here once more. 4-4 at the trade deadline, finger on the trigger. The Eagles have clear needs, but the last thing they want to do is repeat the struggles of 2018.
If you look at Defensive Tackle, there’s a chance that Timmy Jernigan returns in the coming weeks and if you go after a higher-tier talent with a longer contract, you run the risk of disrupting a clear starting tandem next season when Malik Jackson is healthy.
At wide receiver, the need for speed looms large, but DeSean Jackson looks set to make his way back to the practice field this week, somewhat negating that need.
At cornerback, the position has just returned to full health. A move to acquire Darius Slay, for instance, would imply a lack of confidence in a position where you were more than happy rolling with backups all through training camp and the first six games. That would sound alarm bells.
Linebacker is a position you could make a case for, but even then, Nigel Bradham could return soon and recently-acquired Genard Avery has OLB experience that could help in certain situations.
Trading for Avery isn’t exactly the blockbuster trade fans were hoping there, but it echoes the ‘Hassan Ridgeway’ move during the NFL Draft.
“Again, it has to be right.” Doug Pederson told reporters on Monday afternoon. “We have to do what’s right for the Philadelphia Eagles and our team. Making sure that if it happens, the player coming in here is somebody that can help us.”
“But at the same time, I look at our roster, where we are, and the guys that are on the horizon as far as coming back and helping us out, too, that’s a part of this, as well. If it happens, great, we’ll welcome that. But we’re always looking to add value, add depth, obviously and go from there.”
The trade deadline, in many ways, couldn’t come at a worse time. The Eagles have weathered the worst of their injury-riddled and adversity infected storm and are now looking ahead to clearer skies with key names returning and a bye on the horizon.
A star could change the course of the season, but the Eagles have endured more than enough rollercoaster weeks for this season at least. And for Pederson, a failure to make a big-name trade doesn’t spell the end of the world.
“Well, it’s always a sign of confidence when you can do that and bring in somebody that can help you continue to win, and obviously where we were last year, same situation, basically.” He went on to say. “And where we are as a team right now, the way our guys have kind of hung together and battled through a lot of adversity the first eight weeks of the season, we’ve battled injury. We’ve battled a lot of talk and things off the field. We’ve fought through that.
“So this team is starting to gel and come together, and so if we can add a piece, I think it’s great. If we don’t add a piece, I think it’s great because of the guys in the locker room and I think that’s a credit to those men.”
The sky isn’t falling down. As fun as trading for a big-time playmaker would be, saving the culture and identity of this team has to be a priority and unnecessarily shaking a Boat that’s already rocking could hurt Philly more than it helps.
Howie Roseman is a shrewd negotiator. We know how mesmerizing his trade-prowess truly is. If the Eagles do go and make a blockbuster move, rest assured it will be the right fit for a team on the edge of contention, and the right fit for the locker room. It has to be.
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