The Eagles and Bears have been intertwined all weekend long. Trade rumors surrounding the future of Carson Wentz have the two teams linked heavily together, but the Bears have the 20th overall pick and the Eagles are trying to fight a rebuild. Player compensation could well be needed if a trade for Wentz were to take place, but which Bears players would be attainable?
C Cody Whitehair
Jason Kelce is nearing the end of his illustrious career and retirement has been a conversation brought up in each of the last few offseasons. In spite of this, the Eagles are yet to heavily invest in a long-term replacement.
Whitehair is 28-years-old and among the better centers in the NFL…at least he has been for the past few years. However, he ended up moving to left guard for the final stint of 2020 after Chicago decided to shake things up in a bid to help the unit run-block more efficiently. Versatility is now a muscle that can also be flexed.
He carries a cap hit of $9.6M, which is less than ideal, but I can’t see the Eagles bringing him on and keeping Kelce. If they designate their long-term center with a post 6/1 release, they’ll save $5.5M in cap space, making Whitehair’s contract far more digestible.
If the Bears want to continue to jiggle their offensive line and are in an offensive rebuild then moving on from Whitehair isn’t the most farfetched thing in the world, regardless of how well he played in the years prior to 2020. This opens the door for the Eagles.
RB David Montgomery
The Bears traded Jordan Howard to the Eagles in order to avoid a big payday, and then drafted Jordan Howard 2.0 in David Montgomery. In a full circle of life move, poaching from the RB factory again makes sense here.
I thought Montgomery was a perfect fit for what the Eagles needed at the time coming out of college and with Jordan Howard clearly taking a step back in his progress, adding Montgomery would make way more sense than Cohen, who is perhaps emulated better by Boston Scott, an RFA.
After putting up 889 yards in 2019, Montgomery actually finished fifth in the NFL with 1,070 yards last year, which is stunning considering it was behind that offensive line.
The Eagles don’t like paying running backs and Montgomery carries a $1.1M cap hit in 2021 and a $1.2M cap hit in 2022.
With Tarik Cohen coming back from injury, you have to wonder whether or not the Bears will do the thing where they forget about Montgomery until the end of the year where he just bulldozes everyone. If that’s the case, the Eagles should absolutely try and snag the third-year running back as the perfect north-south complement to Miles Sanders.
QB Nick Foles
I don’t like the idea of bringing Nick Foles back again from a pure accountability standpoint. We heard Howie Roseman once tell reporters that he needs to leave his emotions at the door and learn to detach from players when the time is right. Jason Peters, Alshon Jeffery, and a third Nick Foles rodeo?
The Eagles would need a backup QB and there’s no veteran who knows the team, culture, and city better than Foles. As a leader and someone who could mentor Jalen Hurts, it would be a contrasting option to Carson Wentz and of course at a fraction of the price.
I don’t think this happens, but it makes sense…even if it would be a little weird.
LB Roquan Smith
A man can dream, right? Smith was picked 8th overall back in 2018 and has proven to be worth the investment ever since. The Eagles really don’t like paying linebackers, but the Bears probably won’t be able to sway Howie Roseman with the 20th overall pick. They also haven’t spent a first-round pick on a player since the Roquan Smith selection.
Smith is better suited to playing a weakside role, which may isn’t the worst thing in the world considering the lack of depth the Eagles have there (Alex Singleton & Davion Taylor, although Singleton has proven he can move to a strong side position or even hold down the MIKE role).
The Georgia product ended his season with 139 tackles, 4 sacks, and a pair of interceptions. The Eagles would benefit hugely from that kind of production in their new-look defense. We know how Darius Leonard thrived in the Colts defense, maybe Jonathan Gannon wants his own star.
Maybe, just maybe, Roseman has a change of heart and works some magic in order to land a young linebacking talent with a cheap up-front hit. Losing Smith would be a tragic blow to the Bears defense and this is very much a pipedream, but it’s not like Chicago have a ton of draft capital to work with and LB remains a huge need for the Eagles.
LB Danny Trevathan
Back down to earth, this is probably the more realistic linebacking target if the Eagles were to go down that road. Now 30-years-old, he would easily be the oldest LB in the room and give a very young group a sense of leadership and guidance to kickstart a new era.
Trevathan still punched in 113 tackles last year and has some real value as a starting MIKE, allowing the Eagles to keep Alex Singleton at WILL and experiment with anyone not named Nate Gerry at SAM.
The issue here is that he carries a cap hit of $5M in each of the next two seasons, which for a team who barely pay that for their entire positional group, is a tough pill to swallow.
Trevathan would add solid veteran depth and provide the Eagles with a short-term option to hold the fort while they develop long term solutions.
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