Well, that de-escalated quickly. Despite days and weeks of constant speculation and wishful thinking, the Eagles opted to stay-put at the trade deadline. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all…but was that really the case here?
It’s not as if there was a lack of talent on offer. Jamal Adams, Robby Anderson, Chris Harris Jr, Darius Slay, and even RB Le’Veon Bell were names dangled in front of Howie Roseman over the last few days. But with most teams demanding a King’s Ransom for their assets, Howie Roseman gently removed his finger off the trigger.
The truth of the matter is, the timing of the deadline couldn’t be any more inconvenient for the now 4-4 Eagles. Every position of need is arguably in a state of flux right now:
Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby played their first game together in over a year last Sunday and oddly, the secondary did look…better? If the corners had laid an egg against Buffalo, then maybe the Eagles would have pulled the trigger on a move for a cornerback, but they’re now returning to full health, with Cre’Von LeBlanc and Avonte Maddox expected back in the coming weeks, and Sidney Jones looking comfortable handling the slot role in the mean time.
If the Eagles decided to trade for a corner now the position is back to full health, it would only raise the question, ‘Why even allow it to get to this point to begin with?’ The Birds’ went through all of Training Camp with backups taking starting reps and that lasted six regular-season games too. If there was even the slightest lack of confidence, this should have been addressed a long time ago.
They may be down to Fletcher Cox and some recently-signed practice squad promotees, but they held their own and to make matters even more interesting, Timmy Jernigan is still set for a 2019 return. Signing any DT with a significant contract (IE Geno Atkins) would have presented a complex offseason issue considering Malik Jackson’s long-term deal.
This was the tricky one. Eagles fans very quickly became besotted with Jets WR Anderson, but DeSean Jackson is expected back at practice this week. Now, Jackson did play a lot of his snaps from the slot in week 1, so the duo could definitely play together, but with $9.3M invested in Agholor that isn’t going anywhere soon, it makes sense to groom the rookie you’ve just drafted and rely on the ever-versatile Miles Sanders and the explosive tight end duo to carry the load when Jackson does eventually return. Offense hasn’t been the overwhelming problem for the Eagles, as aggravating as Mack Hollins has been…
Yeah, you’ve got me there. The Eagles should not have parted ways with Zach Brown, but Nigel Bradham should be back soon so…there’s that? Maybe?
The Eagles are in a position where winning now is important, but sustaining the success they’ve had is even more so. They can’t afford a ‘Seattle-like’ mini-rebuild and last year’s deadline deal didn’t reek of success. Parting ways with draft picks when fans are complaining that the team is aging, is counter-productive. If it’s a development issue, the coaching staff needs to be addressed. If it’s a drafting issue, that can change.
But after weeks of noise, anonymous sources, roster moves, and controversy…being reluctant to rock a boat that’s sailing on calmer seas may well have been the right move.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports