Eagles Ultimately Picked Darius Slay over DeAndre Hopkins

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins

Getty Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins

Good things tend to come in threes, never twos. That’s the company line the Eagles are going with for their failure to land DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins, arguably the best receiver in football, was there last week for the taking in a trade scenario. Talks heated up, quicker than a Texas stampede, and Hopkins was gone. The 27-year-old was sent packing to Arizona in exchange for the 40th overall pick in the 2020 draft and a fourth-rounder in 2021, plus rapidly declining running back David Johnson. It was a pretty menial haul for the four-time Pro Bowl receiver.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman has been taking a lot of heat for failing to come up with a better offer to acquire Hopkins. Philadelphia had 10 picks in this year’s draft at the time and could have tried to pique the Texans’ interest with a similar package involving a young player with upside, maybe running back Miles Sanders or receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The Eagles came up empty and Roseman blamed it on a desire to save those assets for Darius Slay.

“It’s not always apples to apples,” Roseman told reporters, via the News Journal. “I think there’s a lot that goes into it and we’re not always in control of the results on that.”

The Eagles ultimately gave up a third-round pick (No. 85 overall) and a fifth-round pick (No. 166) in a trade with Detroit for Slay. That deal was seen as a small coup, especially when considering the contract. However, Roseman’s comments that “it’s not always apples to apples” certainly left open the possibility that the Cardinals either offered more than the Eagles or that the Texans didn’t give the Eagles ample time to counter the offer. Either way, it was a missed opportunity.

Eagles GM Explains Plan for Beefing Up Receiving Corps

One telling comment from Howie Roseman was how he addressed the Eagles’ decision to not add a receiver in free agency. He didn’t sugarcoat it or make excuses in his evaluation. Instead, he floated out the idea that the Eagles missed out on a guy they really wanted.

“We didn’t do everything that we wanted to do [in free agency],” Roseman told reporters.

The quote comes on the heels of a report that the Eagles are abiding by a more calculated approach in free agency and waiting for the upcoming draft to arm Carson Wentz with the weapons he needs. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler took it a step further as he outlined an offseason plan where the Eagles are committed to finding “younger players who will mesh with Carson Wentz rather than a veteran who might have his own style of play.” They are massaging Wentz’s ego, so to speak.

Roseman wouldn’t come right out and say that was true but he did plant the seeds for it. The Eagles GM was effusive in his praise of second-year wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (57th overall pick in 2019) and left open the possibility that Alshon Jeffery returns in 2020. As rumors continue to swirl that the Eagles may be in the mix to sign Demarcus Robinson or Rashard Higgins, or force a trade for Dante Pettis or D.J. Moore, it seems more likely that the answer lies in April’s draft.

“It’s hard to do everything in free agency. It’s hard to fix every single thing you want to fix,” Roseman said. “We have some players coming back that we do think highly of and I do think can contribute to our football team. Our goal isn’t to have those guys only competing for jobs and raise the talent level.”

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