Business is booming and Austin is hooping
The TE market is booming today. Austin Hooper signed a new deal with the Cleveland Browns that will make him the highest-paid TE in the NFL. The 25-year-old’s new contract will exceed the $42.5M contract given to Zach Ertz by the Eagles, and Travis Kelce’s that is currently worth $46.8M.
This is a really smart move by the Browns, who are well aware that George Kittle will blow that market up when he secures a big bag of his own.
The Ravens aren’t silly either. Hayden Hurst has been traded to the Falcons to become a budget Austin Hooper. But with the draft class for TE’s being a little weaker in comparison to other positions, again, this is a forward-thinking move.
How does this impact the Eagles?
There were murmurs that Zach Ertz is seeking a new contract extension toward the end of last season and who can blame him? Ertz will cost the Eagles $12M in each of the next two seasons, but after that, he gets the ‘Malcolm Jenkins treatment’, with the Eagles having a potential ‘out’.
Given the landscape of the market and how quickly it’s changing, do not be surprised to see the Eagles throw as much money at their star tight end as they physically can in a deal laden with incentives, dummy years, and every other trick Howie has to offer.
A reunion in the secondary?
Desmond Trufant was released by the Falcons today, netting the team a saving of $4.5M. This is very intriguing if you’re an Eagles fan, given that the 29-year old cornerback could well fit the ‘prove-it’ mold Howie Roseman covets.
Trufant battled a toe injury early in the season and ended his 2019 campaign with a broken forearm in week 14. However, that didn’t stop him from amassing a career-high 4 interceptions, and 7 passes defensed.
What’s really interesting is the overlap with recently-signed DB coach Marquand Manuel, who coached Trufant through four seasons. In fact, his only pro bowl year came under Manuel as a DB coach.
Make no mistake, with the Eagles heavily invested in the CB market, they’ll be doing due diligence here.
The D-hop butterfly effect
The Houston Texans shattered the NFL earlier today by trading DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, giving Kyler Murray life after Larry Fitzgerald and stripping a generational talent away from Deshaun Watson. Biggest of Yikes.
The news here is that Houston may…just may…need a shiny new wide receiver. And I can think of one lovely trade candidate:
If the Eagles are ever going to find a trade partner, Houston will now have close to $50M in cap space. Do. The. Thing.
Or they could just sign Nelson Agholor as a free agent….in a very Texans move.
Aaaaand on the inverse
This also impacts the WR market massively. If the value for DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the best receiver in the NFL, has been set, what does that mean for guys like Robby Anderson, or players still under contract like Steffon Diggs? There could be a lot of movement in the coming days and the Eagles could be well within their right mind to watch how the dominos fall and take advantage of any sudden oddities.
That’s it. That’s the tea. We’re not even a day into legal tampering and my head is already spinning. Hassan Ridgeway returns, Corey Clement does not, and he’s taking my sanity with him. Stay locked in to Philly Sports Network (allow those notifications) and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news and updates!
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Liam is a 24-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.
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