The Philadelphia Eagles made a blockbuster trade today by sending the sixth overall pick and a fifth-round selection to Miami in exchange for a first-rounder next year, and both the 12th overall pick and a fourth-rounder this year. With the dust beginning to settle, it’s time to look at the major winners and losers from the landscape-altering trade.
The biggest winner here is undoubtedly the team’s new defensive coordinator. By taking themselves out of the running for one of the premier offensive playmakers, the Eagles have slotted perfectly into a position where they can take a pick from the cream of the crop on defense. This has to make Gannon salivate.
As things stand, the defense needs a severe rebuild. The pass-rush is weak in terms of depth, the linebacker corps is incredibly inexperienced, and the secondary has one great player and a flurry of question marks elsewhere. Whether it’s a shiny new defensive end, a dominant middle linebacker, or maybe even a future CB1, the odds of the 12th overall pick being spent on a defensive cornerstone are pretty high and should absolutely leave the former Colts DB coach excited.
While it’s not the most ideal scenario, it does give Jalen Hurts a sense of clarity. He knows the situation now. It’s his team in 2021. Depending on how he performs, the team has enough 2022 Draft capital to either begin surrounding him with long-term pieces, or move up and find his eventual replacement. The latter could be seen as potential knock against Hurts here, especially considering the reported intent to move up, but the fact the Eagles are removed from probable QB conversations for the time being clear the mist and allow him to focus on the job at hand. If he is the superstar that many believe he can become, then this move will work wonders in providing him with offensive playmakers down the road who can propel the team to a championship.
No Ja’Marr Chase , no Kyle Pitts. Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith may still be in play by the time that the Eagles are on the clock, but this is a huge win for last year’s first-round selection, Jalen Reagor…providing Waddle isn’t the pick of course.
Reagor’s rookie year was held back by injury concerns, poor QB play, and shoddy play from the rookie himself, who struggled to separate at times and didn’t turn out to be the burner many envisioned. With a new coaching staff in town and a clear vision to line him up as a Z receiver, this may provide him with a breath of fresh air that his short-term security in Philadelphia just received a new padlock.
Howie Roseman wouldn’t make a trade unless it benefitted Howie Roseman, but this is an important one. Having been ripped to shreds from just about everyone not named Jeffrey Lurie over the past few years for his ever-damaging contract decisions, Roseman buys himself leverage. It’s impossible to view a trio of first-round picks as a bad thing, regardless of how they were acquired, and it very much shows a commitment to hit reset and find some new cornerstones for the franchise. Lurie kind of has to let Roseman take the next step now that the ball has been pushed down the hill, giving him a little more breathing room.
Eagles looking over their shoulder
The old guard
This absolutely is not a good sign for anyone on the wrong side of 30 or carrying a monumental cap hit. The Eagles are in salary cap peril as it is and next year’s picture is just as bleak. Bringing in a flurry of highly gifted young players on rookie deals buys the team leverage and of course keeps the conveyor belt running for when all of those scary cap hits come to bite them in the rear, prompting probable trades or releases. Brandon Books, Lane Johnson, and Fletcher Cox are among three players who will all be playing very close attention to how the team utilize their picks both in this year and the next.
With a $10M cap-hit in 2021, I‘ve long hypothesized about what the Eagles will do with their former first-round pick. An extension seems to be in the interest of both parties, but now a potential replacement could loom with the 12th overall selection. Someone like Kwity Paye could absolutely be in play now and if this becomes an eventuality, Philly may not be big enough for the both of them.
It may sound silly considering Zach Ertz is already on his way out, but Dallas Goedert is officially in his contract year, as is Jordan Mailata. Cap space is always going to be something worth worrying about for the time being and it’s not like Goedert has ever really shown he’s ready to be ‘the man’ in the way Zach Ertz has been.
When afforded opportunities to be TE1 in relief of an injury-stricken Ertz, Goedert has suffered from dropped passes and inconsistent play before showing flashes of truly dominant potential. Durability hasn’t been on his side either and if he now struggles in 2021 or that breakout season evades him once more, who’s to say that the Eagles won’t simply draft his replacement with one of three first-round picks? That’s a lot of pressure on the shoulders of a player who was previously expected to steal the show.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire