The NFL trade deadline is upon us. Teams will have until 4PM EST to make last-ditch moves to either strengthen their chances of a playoff run, or bring in some assets from desperate sellers. Regardless of whether the Eagles make 50 moves or 0, there are some objectives that should be circled in red for Howie Roseman and company.
Embrace the youth infusion
Regardless of whether or not Eric Wilson was benched due to a potential trade, his play warranted it. There is no point in playing a veteran on a one-year deal if his production isn’t going to be substantially higher than some younger players who will be around for longer and could benefit greatly from the experience.
The Eagles made a conscious decision to give T.J Edwards and Shaun Bradley some playing time on Sunday and they both looked pretty good. Sure, it was against the Lions, but this isn’t the first time that either has flashed potential. There are also players such as Davion Taylor, selected in the third round not too long ago, who could really reap the rewards from more snaps in a season without expectation.
This should act as a turning point. The Eagles are in the wildcard hunt and sit second in the NFC East, and that’s with all of the errors and self-inflicted setbacks along the way. The only way to eradicate those is to let the players who will factor into long-term plans grow through those early pains and be afforded patience. It’s time to turn the wheel over to a very young line backing corps with an arguably lower floor, but a much higher upside.
Find some deep value
Roseman is at his best when finding deep value. We’re talking the Gamestop of NFL talent. Boston Scott, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Corey Clement, Greg Ward Jr, Tyree Jackson, Jordan Mailata, the list goes on. When it comes to scouring waiver wires and finding players on the verge of being discarded, Roseman shines. This is where his attention should be placed over the next few hours.
There are some interesting names being floated around who present upside, contractual flexibility, and youth. Denver’s Tim Patrick could be worth noting at wide receiver given that the Eagles have sustained a couple of injuries at the position, while Lonnie Johnson was a draft crush of many at Safety not too long ago and is being floated by the Texans.
Avoid all extremes
There’s no need to be overly aggressive on either side here. The Eagles do have a few players who will be appealing targets for buyers, and there are bound to be some enticing young talents being dangled in front of Roseman’s face. But the Eagles have a total of 11 picks ahead of next years’ NFL Draft with three likely being very high first rounders. Add some actual cap space into the equation and there’s no need to go all-out or make an aggressive trade, be it buying or selling.
Trades at the deadline are always a risk. Unless the move benefits the team long-term, all eyes are looking for instant impact and they’ll very rarely find it. Players have to move across the country, get settled, learn an entirely new playbook and terminology, while bonding with new teammates and building up trust with the coaches. It takes time and even the biggest of trade bombshells have taken a while to yield any actual results.
Cash in while they can
With that said, Roseman’s biggest weakness has been getting too attached to picks and players and watching their value spiral downwards. It’s happened time and time again. From Malcolm Jenkins to Zach Ertz, Roseman’s acknowledgement of this issue hasn’t stopped history repeating itself.
The Eagles have a few players on their roster who are on the verge of having their value tumble off a cliff. Andre Dillard is one of the few that could still be a viable investment for teams looking for a reclamation project, while Derek Barnett’s window has passed at this point, and Fletcher Cox’s contract makes him borderline un-tradable.
This is the last chance for Roseman to part ways with players who could watch their trade value evaporate this upcoming offseason. If there is a decently weighted trade, he has to learn to pull the trigger much earlier to avoid watching his assets shoot down in value just months later.
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