While the Carson Wentz trade saga has cooled off a little over the weekend, new reports have emerged citing the inclusion of Zach Ertz in a potential deal. The Eagles may absolutely need to throw in more than just draft capital to really get the best deal for their franchise QB, but which players could be on the trade block as a result?
TE Zach Ertz
Ertz is perhaps the most obvious candidate and the one who has already started to see his name linked with Wentz in package rumors. The future has looked bleak for the former franchise tight end ever since the moment that Howie Roseman refused to give him a big payday.
335 yards marked a dismal 2020 campaign following a clear rupture in the relationship between himself and the front office. An emotional press conference at the end of the year led many to believe that Ertz was preparing to say his goodbyes.
Logistically, it makes sense for the Eagles to trade Ertz and Wentz together. The two are extremely close friends and their chemistry on the field isn’t easy to replicate. For a team to be getting Carson Wentz and his favorite target in a joint reclamation project is quite the haul, but it would come at an excruciating cost.
A $12M cap hit on top of the already daunting $25M for Carson Wentz leaves a very select number of teams who would be in the running for such a trade, but the upside of getting a volume TE who obliterated franchise and league records and the QB who pushed him over the line could easily be worth the risk for a team lacking in both areas.
Keeping Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard around is going to be tricky. A biceps injury ripped a sophomore campaign away from Dillard shortly after the Eagles brought back Jason Peters as an insurance policy for his first full year as a starter.
As the game of musical chairs unfolded, it became clear that Jordan Mailata was ready to take over the full-time role at a moments notice. The former seventh-round pick stole the hearts of fans everywhere en-route to a dominant season that very few saw coming after a wobbly training camp.
It would make sense to continue developing Mailata and anything less than giving him the starting role would be a demotion. The problem is that the team invested a first-round pick in Andre Dillard just three offseasons ago.
On year three of his contract, Dillard has minimal starting experience under his belt and still has a ton of upside. There is no questioning that he is among the teams’ most valuable trade candidates as well a one of the cheapest to acquire for an interested party.
Moving on from Dillard clears the murky skies above as well as freeing up cap room and of course leveraging a better deal for Carson Wentz.
The Derek Barnett experiment is over. Now heading into his expensive fifth-year option that’s set to cost the team over $10M, it’s safe to say he hasn’t lived up to the price tag. He has gotten better over time, but he hasn’t really been able to emerge as a consistent threat off the edge to a point where he’s clearly the front-runner to fill Brandon Graham’s shoes upon retirement.
However, there is value here. An interested team would be getting a 24-year-old edge rusher who has developed an eyebrow-raising spin move and can bend the edge beautifully. When he’s hot, he’s red hot…it’s just a case of finding a way to keep the fire burning.
Moving on from Barnett gives the Eagles a chance to hit reset at DE (again), save $10M, and gives his new team a flyer on a young DE who may well sign a much cheaper extension upon arrival.
A recent contract restructure all but guaranteed Jackson is moving on this season, which is a shame in itself given that he actually had an explosive year as a penetrative pass-rusher, more significantly so in the early stages when both Cox and Hargrave struggled to get going.
However, keeping three highly-paid DT’s makes little sense and Jackson is the most appealing trade candidate here. His $4M cap hit is a bargain for the right team and he proved last year that there is still plenty of rubber on the tyre for the former Jaguar.
Very much a forgotten member of the Eagles receiving corps after sitting out the 2020 season, Goodwin oddly remains one of the most productive members of the entire group (assuming Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are on the way out). He was acquired during last years’ draft in a trade back, used as a deal sweetener.
His value is hardly worth noting here and we really are talking day-three range at best, but if the Eagles can use him to add some extra sugar on top of the cake instead of just flat-out releasing him, it’s probably doing the receiver a favor, guaranteeing a future with an NFL team.
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