Eagles Trade Rumors: Andre Dillard, Alshon Jeffery to Jacksonville

Andre Dillard

Getty Andre Dillard was the Eagles first-round pick and heir apparent to Jason Peters at left tackle.

How badly do the Eagles really want Yannick Ngakoue? Well, one trade rumor has them sending a former first-round pick plus their leading receiver to Jacksonville.

During an appearance on the Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic, ESPN’s Eagles reporter Tim McManus laid out a scenario where Andre Dillard and Alshon Jeffery were sent packing in exchange for Ngakoue. McManus went so far as to say there have been “whispers” coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine about a potential trade involving Dillard.

It’s an interesting rumor to consider, especially after both Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and GM Howie Roseman left the door open last week for Jason Peters to return in 2020 and keep his starting spot at left tackle.

The Eagles seem desperate to unload Jeffery’s hefty contract but getting rid of Dillard, a guy the team traded up for and used a first-round pick on in 2019, seems preposterous. Then again, who knows. Dillard was shaky in spot duty and graded out poorly at times last season.

“The one [trade possiblity] that reached me was the idea that Dillard would be packaged with Alshon Jeffery in order to help unload that contract. Now that’s a whisper, that’s a buzz … but that tells you that there are at least these rumors that are circulating,” McManus told Missanelli. “I don’t expect necessarily anything to happen to that degree but I think it is at least interesting that they are starting to come closer to the idea of Peters returning.”

(h/t to Jerry Trotta at 12Up for tracking down the snippet)

Pederson: ‘Heck Yeah’ on Peters Returning in 2020

Jason Peters is a free agent. He’s a 38-year-old left tackle that doesn’t want to retire. The conveying wisdom after the season was that the Eagles would close the door on Peters and assign “The Bodyguard” role to Andre Dillard. Hold the phone.

When reporters asked Doug Pederson about whether he wanted Peters back in 2020, the head coach replied: “Heck yeah.”

Eagles GM Howie Roseman further fueled speculation after he remarked the team was “going through” all those decisions.

“Obviously, when you’re talking about Jason Peters, you’re talking about a Hall of Fame player,” Roseman told reporters last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. “He’s a Hall of Fame person, someone that’s very special to us and played at a really high-level last year. We’ll go through all those decisions this week.”

Peters allowed three sacks last season and graded out as the fourth-best tackle in football, per Pro Football Focus. He earned $10 million in base salary last year and would likely want at least $8 million this season.

According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, there is “split opinion in the building” on what to do about Peters. Some in the organization want him back and others do not. One thing is certain: if Peters does return in 2020, then he would stunt Dillard’s growth.

Taking it a step further, the natural reaction to that move would be that the Eagles may have wasted a first-round pick. It’s an intriguing debate but it clearly shows the Eagles aren’t quite sold on Dillard as their starting left tackle. Choices, choices.

“When it comes down to it, it’s either JP or it’s Andre [at left tackle],” Pederson said. “That’s a decision we have to make.”

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