The trade deadline is fast approaching (tomorrow at 4:00 pm) and the Eagles have already gotten a head start on the frenzy by trading for safety Kevin Byard.
News broke today that, shortly after the trade, cap wizard Howie Roseman restructured Byard’s contract to free up some space:
Howie’s no doubt back in the kitchen digging through recipes for his next meal. Which GM will he cook next to provide Philadelphia with its next feast?
Is it time for the Eagles to finally address the linebacker position?
Despite a couple of nice PBUs from Zach Cunningham, the LBs were lunch meat in the game vs the Commanders when it came to defending TEs and RBs (sorry, too many food references).
The Eagles desperately need a linebacker who can cover with plenty of teams on the schedule bringing great TE play and pass-catching RBs to the table.
Is there a surprise name out there that could be in Midnight (or Kelly) Green come tomorrow afternoon?
Potential targets for the Eagles ahead of Tuesday’s deadline
It’s a position that Howie hates to invest in, so there’s almost zero chance a linebacker with a contract past this season will be coming. Let’s take a look at some LB options with expiring contracts:
Jewell is currently in his sixth season (all with the Broncos) and is coming off a 128-tackle season in 2022. He is currently second on the Broncos (to King Alex Singleton) in tackles with 48, which would be tied for the lead on the Eagles with Reed Blankenship.
While he won’t “wow” you with his athleticism, he’s one of the better coverage LBs in the league and that’s exactly what this Eagles defense needs.
Anthony Walker Jr.
Walker Jr. has battled injuries since joining Cleveland in 2021 but when he’s healthy he’s one of the best coverage LBs in the NFL. With Walker playing, and starting, all seven of the Browns games this season, it’s safe to say Walker has found his health again. Nick Sirianni is no stranger to what Walker can do, being on the Colts staff during Walker’s tenure (2017-202), so it wouldn’t surprise me if Sirianni gave a little nudge to Howie.
The Bucs are 3-4, but surprisingly not out of the NFC South race since the division stinks.
Despite the chance at a division title, they should be thinking about their future.
With no signs of signing Devin White to a long-term deal, it would behoove them to see what they can get for the budding star. No, he has not been a “budding star” this year and hasn’t had a PFF grade over 50 since week one, but his pedigree is high and could turn the LB room from a weakness to a strength quickly.
“Simba” may be returning to the pride lands.
With the Vikings in a free fall, especially now that Kirk Cousins is out for the season, they will most likely look at selling off their veterans in return for picks.
Jordan Hicks is in the middle of a great season for the Vikings with 69 (nice) tackles in eight games. He also has not missed a game since leaving Philly for Arizona in 2019.
That kind of durability would be a huge boost to the Eagles’ LB room and his play could shape the rest of the season.
Throwing a name out there for fun:
On the books for 2024 (like Byard), cheap (like Byard), but young (25). Feels like a great target for the Eagles.
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