The growing list of names the Eagles might want to trade for is starting to rival a wishful letter to Santa Claus. Hopefully, there’s a present soon.
The main areas of concern for Doug Pederson’s squad are at cornerback and defensive end. They have been devoid of a serious pass-rush while giving up Rocky Mountain-sized chunks of passing yards. Maybe that’s why the arrows keep pointing toward Denver as a potential trading partner. The Broncos have two players that would appeal to the Eagles, at two dire positions of need.
The first person has been talked about at length: Chris Harris, Jr. The veteran cornerback has been among the elite at the position since taking over as a starter in 2012. The other one? Well, this is a new development and a guy who could make up for the team losing out on Jadeveon Clowney.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah has suggested the Eagles should place a call to Denver about linebacker Von Miller. It sounded like Jeremiah was simply throwing a random thought out there, but he did work for the Eagles’ organization as a scout many years ago. He may have insight into their thinking.
Von Miller: Four Questions Eagles Should Consider
Is Miller the Best Pass-Rusher in Football?
Maybe. It really depends on what factors are going into the debate but Von Miller’s name is always in the conversation, right up there with Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt. Miller has recorded 100 career sacks and ranks 33rd on the NFL’s all-time list. The seven-time Pro Bowler is two years removed from racking up 14.5 sacks and certainly doesn’t look like he has lost a step. Miller, who earned Super Bowl MVP honors in 2016, is the very best at anticipating the snap count in the league. He would provide an immediate upgrade to an Eagles’ pass-rushing group that has registered only one sack through four weeks.
What Position Does Miller Really Play?
Miller has been thriving as a linebacker in the Broncos’ 3-4 scheme and he’s only gotten stronger this year with the arrival of new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. He had two sacks last week against the Jaguars’ Gardner Mishnew and set a goal of 20 sacks for himself coming into the season. Miller is sitting at two right now. The rub lies in that the Eagles play a 4-3 defense, so the long-time linebacker would have to adjust to a knuckles-in-the-ground kind of old-school pass-rusher. Of course, the way Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likes to play — with an aggressive, rush the quarterback first and think later kind of philosophy — Miller might find the Fountain of Youth in Philadelphia. Plus, he’d provide a lethal interior-exterior pass-rush duo with Fletcher Cox.
What Would Eagles Need to Give Up for Miller?
The short answer, a small inheritance. The Broncos aren’t going to give a former Super Bowl MVP away for nothing (this isn’t the same situation as the Texans cutting their losses with a disgruntled Jadeveon Clowney — don’t expect to get Miller for a third-round pick). Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio opined it might take two first-round picks to pry Miller away from Denver, a price that may be too high for GM Howie Roseman as evidenced by his low-ball offer for the Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey. However, Miller could transform the Eagles’ defense in a way Ramsey couldn’t. He will sack the quarterback and draw double teams to free up fellow pass-rushers like Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Roseman should at least make the call. He could counter-offer for a first-rounder and third-rounder, maybe even throw in Corey Clement as he continues to sit on the bench and collect dust.
How Much Would Miller Cost the Eagles?
This is the biggest problem with any potential trade for Miller. The 30-year-old would carry almost $20 million in dead cap space and Broncos GM John Elway would be a fool to eat any of that. Miller isn’t lobbying for a trade and their defense isn’t the issue. More importantly, the pass-rusher is under contract for three more years at annual salaries of $17 million this year, $17.5 million next year and $17.5 million in 2021. It’s interesting to note that the Eagles do have the cap space to work something out with nearly $23 million, according to Over The Cap. But crunching the numbers to make it work through 2021 could limit their ability to spend in free agency.
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