Could Eagles be targeting players in their contract year at the deadline?

NFL: DEC 08 Chargers at Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, FL – DECEMBER 08: Los Angeles Chargers Defensive End Melvin Ingram III (54) during the game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 8, 2019 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles restructured Fletcher Cox’s contract on Wednesday, freeing up $5.7 million in cap space.

According to Over The Cap, this puts the Eagles at $21.6 million in cap space. Most likely, the Eagles will use this space to roll over into next year’s very negative cap space. But with conflicting reports on whether or not the Eagles will be buyers at the deadline, it’s worth wondering if Howie Roseman will “kill two birds with one stone” again with a trade deadline move.

If the Eagles win tonight against the Giants, they will be a .5 game up on the Cowboys for the division lead (the Cowboys face Washington on Sunday). If the Cowboys win, they will be leaders with 3-4 record. If Washington wins, the division will be:

  • Eagles 2-4-1
  • Washington 2-5
  • Cowboys 2-5
  • Giants 1-6

Dominant.

With those scenarios in play, does Howie make a move prior to the Cowboys game to possibly take a stranglehold of the division? If he does, does he target a player on the final year of his deal?

I believe this will be the case because it accomplishes two things:

  • Strengthen team for the now
  • Allows the player to test free agency and give Howie his “precious”, I mean a comp pick

We saw this move in the Golden Tate trade. While it was a bad trade, Howie attempted to improve the team in 2018 while setting himself up for a comp pick in the 2020 draft.

So, which players are on the last year of their respective deals that could possibly come to the Eagles to help in 2020 and give Howie his 2022 comp pick? Let’s look at some options:

Patrick Peterson

Yes, the Cardinals are 4-2. Yes, they are in second place in the division. Yes, they just hung 38 on the Cowboys. Yes, they have only allowed 112 points.

But hey, worth a shot?

A Peterson trade would save the Cardinals $12 million in cap space and he’s most likely going to be playing elsewhere in 2021 anyway. There’s been talk of an Eagles and Peterson union for years, for obvious reasons, but could this be the year it finally happens?

Peterson will be 31 in 2021 and the Cardinals are a young team. Richard Sherman signed a 3 year $27.5 million deal at age 30. Do the Cardinals want to give a similar contract to Peterson? If not, the Eagles could come calling and offer a 2021 pick for Peterson’s services.

Darius Slay and Patrick Peterson.

Melvin Ingram

Ingram has been hurt for most of the year, but the 31-year-old was designated to return a few days ago. He’s in the last year of his massive 4-year $64 million deal signed when he was 28 and the Chargers are bad.

23-year-old Uchenna Nwosu has played well in Ingram’s absence, so maybe the Chargers would want to keep playing the young bucks with Joey Bosa.

An Ingram addition would severely improve the pass rush. While he’s primarily been at defensive end the last few years, he has extensive experience at outside linebacker. Surrounding inept #47 with players like Ingram could help mask the deficiencies and improve a very, very weak unit.

Joe Thuney

It was speculated in the offseason if the Eagles would pursue franchise-tagged Patriots’ guard Joe Thuney.

With the uncertainty around the G situation on both sides, the Eagles may look to solidify one side.

Isaac Seumalo is hurt and Nate Herbig has been filling in. With the revolving door at right guard, it’s been expected that Herbig would stay at LG. However:

If the Eagles aren’t certain about left guard anymore, could they be looking to make a move? If so, Thuney could help solidify the line.

He’s played 338 snaps and hasn’t committed a penalty nor given up a sack.

Yeah, that would be welcomed.

Others:

Cardinals LB Haason Reddick

Lions LB Jarrad Davis

Packers RB Jamaal Williams

Raiders G Gabe Jackson

Jets LB Avery Williamson

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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