Trade, cut, or sign: Predicting the Eagles next roster move

Howie Roseman held a virtual meeting with the media after the curtains closed on the NFL Draft and left it with the most ‘Howie’ comment of all – stating that he isn’t done making moves just yet.

This is often the case with one of the league’s youngest, most notorious general managers. Sam Bradford and Ronald Darby are two names who know that all too well, traded deep into the offseason, for better or worse, thanks to the GM pulling the trigger. With that in mind, here is an attempt at guessing the potential moves that lie in the weeks and months ahead.

Trade

If the next move is a trade, it’s going to have to be something huge, or simply cashing in on a player before it’s too late. The Eagles have a fairly stacked roster and while there are a couple of minor roster needs, it would make little sense for Roseman to push the ‘explode’ button on a crate of TNT at this stage.

There have been murmurs of both Yannick Ngakoue and Jadeveon Clowney being linked with the Eagles, but at a stage where Derek Barnett’s fifth-year option was picked up, it makes far more sense to pick up a cheap veteran than trade the farm.

I feel like the Eagles may be able to pry away a veteran running back from somewhere as they did with Jordan Howard one year ago, but there are still some very intriguing free options available.

Linebacker would be the only position I see the team really needing to pull out all the stops for, but the drafting of a very specific player in the speedy yet inexperienced Davion Taylor tells me there’s a plan in place. I wrote an article recently about how the Eagles may well roll out with 6-8 DB’s on the field against some of those pesky 2020 opponents and that only seems more likely now that the Draft has passed and there has been no real investment at the ‘MIKE’ spot.

Sitting pretty is by far Howie’s best bet. Unless an opportunity presents itself, it’s really hard to get behind the idea of what would be the equivalent of tinkering with your fantasy team so much that you end up making a big mistake on the eve of the game.

Cut

At this stage in the offseason, cutting a player would likely only come as a corresponding roster move, meaning they likely part ways with one of their own in order to bring in a shiny new player. This makes it tough to speculate as there are bubble-players at pretty much every spot on the roster that could face the chopping board if re-enforcements were added.

One move that did come as a surprise recently however was Rasul Douglas agreeing to a restructured contract. After yet another offseason of his name being floated around, Douglas agreed to what is essentially a league-minimum one-year deal in the final season of his rookie contract. Why?

This ultimately buys him leverage. If the Eagles want to move on, it’s cheaper for another team to inherit. If it comes down to a training camp war, the Eagles can’t use the fact that his cost as an excuse. It buys him into every plausibility to secure a long-term deal…somewhere.

As a result, I think the Eagles would probably move on from Tremon Smith, who has spent the first two seasons of his career bouncing from the Chiefs to the Packers then back to the Chiefs. In 2018, he was targeted 7 times in coverage and allowed a 57.1% completion rate along with a +30.2 coverage rating (per PlayerProfiler). Those are all impressive numbers. Still, he has a steep climb ahead of him to stick to the Eagles roster.

He does have some experience in the return game, but he’s probably far closer to the bubble than both Rasul Douglas and Trevor Williams right now. If I had to pick a name to cut today that wasn’t from this year’s UDFA haul, it would be Smith or LB Jatavis Brown, whose open-field tackling scares me.

Sign

Jason Peters

Bringing the bodyguard home to backup Andre Dillard makes sense if the team can make it a financially friendly deal and convince a future Hall of Famer to take a backseat in Philly as opposed to a front seat elsewhere.

Carlos Hyde

The 29-year-old running back is coming off of a career-year and has been linked with the Eagles recently. He also set a career-high in receiving yards when overlapping with Rich Scangarello in 2017. The Eagles still need a thumper and there may not be many more attractive options out there.

Vinny Curry

Defensive end depth is still light and Curry has played all but one of his seasons in the NFL while donning an Eagles jersey. He can pick up where he left off and be that rotational defensive end on another cheap deal if all else fails. He’s not been signed by another team yet, so it’s still possible he comes home one more time.

Everson Griffen

He may come at a steeper price than Curry, but with good reason. Griffen has terrorized offenses throughout his career and even at age-31 last year, still racked up 8 sacks while making his fourth Pro Bowl. His 74.5 sacks actually rank fourth in Minnesota history. If it’s production the Eagles crave in their rotation, look no further.

Kelvin Beachum

The former Jets offensive tackle saw 805 snaps last year and allowed 4 sacks and 7 penalties, which is less than ideal, but you’re not signing a premium backup here. Beachum has been around the league long enough to have earned a serviceable reputation and with such a lack of experience behind Dillard, it makes sense to bring in a wiley vet in an offseason where rookies will have little chance to really sink their teeth in.

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Leave a Reply