On paper, the Philadelphia Eagles don’t need to add anything. Their roster is oozing with talent, from top to bottom, and many have predicted 2019 as a “Super Bowl or bust” kind of year. Apparently, that isn’t stopping GM Howie Roseman from making a few phone calls about potential trades.
Roseman, never shy to unexpectedly add more pieces, has been “working the phones and staying in contact with other teams on potential trades,” according to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora. The Eagles recently brought Darren Sproles and Orlando Scandrick into the fold, while speculation ran high last month that they were pursuing the Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney.
The Clowney rumor has been squashed, but there are options out there. Let’s take a look at a few of those players here.
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1. Jalen Ramsey, CB
Laugh all you want. And then laugh some more. Jalen Ramsey had been linked to the Eagles a few times this past offseason, but the amount of money he’s going to want will be absurd. This is a guy who showed up to Jaguars training camp in a BRINKS truck and told everyone “time to get that money.” Granted, Ramsey is the best cornerback in football.
The Eagles suddenly find themselves in a bit of a predicament at cornerback, with injuries to Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Cre’Von LeBlanc. Trading for Ramsey would require relinquishing a king’s ransom, including a first-round pick in next year’s draft. But the Eagles have assets, namely Nelson Agholor. But what if they offered up Zach Ertz? That would solve the money issue and Philadelphia has a replacement, Dallas Goedert, waiting in the wings.
2. Ryan Tannehill, QB
Let’s be honest: Nate Sudfeld has not looked great in either OTAs or in the first few days of Eagles training camp. Despite a huge of vote of confidence from his head coach Doug Pederson, the backup quarterback has been rather underwhelming. He has consistently underthrown receivers and been intercepted after throwing into traffic. Enter former Miami starter Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill was traded to Tennessee in the offseason and the Dolphins ate up most of his $7 million contract. The Titans are responsible for only $2 million of it, according to Over The Cap. Would Tennesse want to trade Tannehill with an injury-prone starter of their own in Marcus Mariota? Probably not.
3. Whitney Mercilus, LB
Do the Eagles need another linebacker? Not really. After signing newcomer Zach Brown from the Redskins, the team can trot out a formidable rotation of Brown, Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill. However, Bradham has been slowly recovering from thumb surgery and adding depth at the position has been rumored, especially after Washington cut Mason Foster.
Whitney Mercilus is a true pro entering his eighth NFL season. He was the Texans’ third-best pass-rusher last season with four sacks. More importantly, Mercilus is in the final year of the four-year deal he signed in 2016 and Houston doesn’t appear to want to extend him. If Roseman could manipulate the money — and we know he can — then he might be worth a flier.
4. Anthony Brown, CB
A much cheaper option than Ramsey — and noticeable downgrade — would be Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown. Unlike baseball, NFL teams are more prone to trade within their division (see: Donovan McNabb). The 25-year-old has started in 30 games over the past three years in Dallas and racked up four interceptions and 149 combined tackles during that span. Not too shabby.
Since Brown is still playing under his rookie deal, the Cowboys could part ways with him and his new team would only be on the hook for $2 million. That’s a steal for a promising young cornerback. If the Cowboys like their current crop of cornerbacks — Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis — then it would make sense for them to trade Brown before he hits free agency in 2020.
5. Melvin Gordon, RB
Yes, we know. The Eagles have an abundance of riches at the skill positions, especially running back. Jordan Howard has been gaining momentum to win the starting job over rookie Miles Sanders early in training camp. And the price tag on Melvin Gordon would be astronomical, in the $12 million range.
Again, Roseman and Eagles cap guru Jake Rosenberg are masters at moving money around and freeing up space. Plus, the Eagles have way too many skill players and may be willing to cut bait. Would a package deal of Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard be attractive to a Los Angeles Chargers team in win-now mode? Unlikely, but not impossible.