The idea that the Eagles need to acquire a shutdown cornerback is nothing new. Perhaps they should consider addition by subtraction.
There has been a myriad of scenarios predicting the team trying to trade Sidney Jones this offseason. Jones, a second-round pick in 2017, was thought to be a draft-day steal and considered a first-round talent who was rehabbing from a torn ACL.
It hasn’t exactly worked out that way as a slew of injuries, coupled with bad play in crucial spots, frequently had him in Doug Pederson’s doghouse. Defensive coordinator just never seemed to trust Jones, often opting for outside help like Craig James and Orlando Scandrick over him.
According to The Athletic‘s Bo Wulf, another player who may be ready to move on from Philadelphia is Rasul Douglas. The former third-round pick in 2017 has had ample opportunities to earn a permanent starting spot but has fallen short of seizing them. With younger and more promising faces on the depth chart (see: Cre’Von LeBlanc and Avonte Maddox), the Eagles may decide to part ways.
The scenario Wulf lays out is an interesting one as it ponders the team netting either an “underachieving wide receiver with speed or an average linebacker” in return. They would have to do their homework and maybe take a chance on a project player. The Steelers may be looking to deal linebacker Mark Barron, while the Packers have cornerback Josh Jackson. Just a thought.
Eagles May Pursue Former Raiders Linebacker
When the Las Vegas Raiders cut long-time linebacker Tahir Whitehead on Monday, it sent a message to the league. No one and no job is safe.
Whitehead, who played his college ball at Temple University, should have a number of teams clamoring for his services on the open market. The soon-to-be 30-year-old was productive for the Raiders where he recorded 234 tackles, six passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble in 32 games.
In addition, Whitehead started all 16 games in 2019 and graded out at an impressive 55.2, per Pro Football Focus. The main reason why the Raiders released him was to save $6.25 million in cap space. He should find a home rather quickly in free agency.
The Eagles are desperate for a starting-caliber linebacker after cutting Nigel Bradham loose and likely letting Kamu Grugier-Hill leave in free agency. With those two starters gone, the team will be down to just Nate Gerry, T.J. Edwards and Duke Riley as their top linebackers. It’s true that Philadelphia has never valued the position but they are going to need players in the middle.
Trading Sidney Jones or Rasul Douglas for a mid-tier linebacker sounds like a great idea, or maybe they intend on selecting one early in the draft. Don’t bet on the latter.
“Yeah, I think it’s fair to look at those two groups and say that it’s probably something that we would have liked to have done,” Eagles GM Howie Roseman said about not drafting a linebacker or safety in 2019, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “There were a couple times in the draft where we were deciding between a couple guys.”
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