The latest rumor to spin off the free agency mill is that the Eagles are shopping CB Rasul Douglas. This doesn’t come as a surprise given the amount of young talent they have in the secondary, partnered with the recent acquisition of Darius Slay. It’s not the first time that the West Virginia product has heard his name in trade talks, but will it be the last?
Douglas isn’t a bad CB. There can be a case made for the rangy ballhawk in that there appeared to be a clear disconnect between a front office pick and a coaching staff preference. He’s not perfect, but it’s clear his lack of long-speed can hurt him and in this scheme, it’s almost like being thrown to the wolves…especially when the Safeties committed as many errors as they did last year, leaving Douglas shading a receiver inside to an empty defensive backfield.
However, he’s young, strong around the catch-point and has enough upside to compete for a starting role somewhere else. It would be best for both parties to move on, but who would be willing to trade for his services?
Here are three potential scenarios.
Okay, so this is going to be the big one. Ever since the beginning of free agency, the Eagles have been linked with star DE Yannick Ngakoue – largely due to his relentless posting of images of Reggie White on social media and liking everything linking him to the team.
There’s no questioning that Ngakoue would add a fierce level of production to the defensive line, but like Slay, he would also need a new contract before anything was solidified due to being franchise tagged.
For the Eagles, the immediate challenge would be prying Ngakoue away from Jacksonville. They’re unlikely to want to give him up and will take some convincing. However, their recent offseason moves, including the Bouye trade, highlight a desire to win now.
Despite the signing of Darqueze Dennard in free agency, the CB talent pool is light. Douglas would at least add some starting experience with upside and if we examine last year’s trade for Frank Clark as an example – he could essentially replace the third-round pick given up.
San Francisco gave up a first-rounder, third-rounder, and future fifth-rounder to get their man. The Eagles will use one of three fourth-round selections, Rasul Douglas, and their 2020 first-rounder.
2020 first-rounder (21)
CB Rasul Douglas
2020 fourth round (comp pick 145)
Much like the Jags, the Texans need some clear help in the secondary. Bradley Roby’s return is notable, but the team ranked 29th in pass defense last year and the less said about the AFC Divisional game, the better.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have a need for depth at tackle. Big V secured a big bag in free agency, leaving Jordan Mailata as the primary backup to Lane Johnson and Andre Dillard, being the only other tackle on the roster. This could be fine, but Dillard is yet to see regular-season action and while taking big strides in his game, may need more room to grow.
Enter OT Roderick Johnson. The Texans did just re-sign him to a one-year contract on the back of a year where he played in all 16 games and started 3. Allowing 3 sacks on 347 snaps, he garnered a 67.9 grade from PFF. Vaitai meanwhile, graded out at 72.9 A small drop-back if you will.
So why would the Texans trade away a backup tackle who has a one-year contract?
Rasul Douglas is entering his contract year and it simply comes down to situational need. The Texans crave cornerback help more than they do a backup offensive lineman. If the Eagles throw in a late-round pick to spice up the deal, they’ll land themselves a tackle with a relatively high ceiling on what is effectively a prove-it contract. This takes the weight off Mailata and swaps an excess CB for a position of need.
Texans give up
T Roderick Johnson
Eagles give up
CB Rasul Douglas
6th round (190)
By far my favorite trade. The Cardinals have just acquired DeAndre Hopkins, who will partner Larry Fitzgerald in 2020 and give defenses ‘fitz’ alongside Kyler Murray. What it doesn’t do, is secure a future for former Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk.
Kirk had 709 yards and 3 touchdowns last year despite ending the year on IR, missing the final 3 games of the season. In any other world, Arizona wouldn’t dream of giving up their young slot receiver…but have you seen this draft class?
Kirk will want his big payday when he enters his contract year in 2021 and Arizona might not be well placed to give it to him knowing that they have to facilitate a franchise QB at some point too. There also happens to be a flurry of appealing slot receivers such as Quartney Davis and Devin Duvernay who could essentially replace Kirk.
The wildcard here is that Kirk worked with Aaron Moorhead, the Eagles new WR coach during his time at Texas A&M, posting the following numbers:
2017: Christian Kirk: 919 yards, 10 TD, 13 games
2016: Christian Kirk: 928 yards, 9 TD, 13 games
2015: Christian Kirk: 1,009 yards, 7 TD, 13 games
Only the Detroit Lions allowed more passing yards last year than the Cards’ 281.9 per game. They need cornerback help and I think Rasul Douglas could at least compete for a starting role. Rasul Douglas and a third-round pick for Christian Kirk. Who says no?
WR Christian Kirk
CB Rasul Douglas
Third-round pick (103)