Eagles Rumors: Top 5 Trade Options to Replace Brandon Brooks

Andrew Wylie

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Matt Pryor finds himself in a position to win a starting job in the NFL. It’s what every kid dreams about when he first straps on the pads and he’s “ready to go.”

Pryor, a sixth-round pick out of Texas Christian, looks like the best in-house candidate to take over for the injured Brandon Brooks at right guard. The third-year man played in three games in 2019, including a start in the Eagles-Seahawks wild-card playoff game. Pryor held his own, for the most part in those contests. Now the 332-pounder has to prove he deserves a seat at the big boy’s table every Sunday.

“I’m going to be ready to go,” Pryor told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. “It’s time to take my game to a new level. I know the opportunity is there. You don’t like it to happen when somebody gets hurt. We all feel for Brandon. But he will be helping me, as he’s done in the past, and I’m going to be at my best.”

From listening to Doug Pederson speak, it seems Pryor has the inside track among the veteran players on the roster. It’ll be between Pryor, Sua Opeta and Nate Herbig to win the job.

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Top 5 Guard Options in Trade or Free Agency

The quest to replace Brooks began in earnest on Tuesday night when it was reported he tore his left Achilles tendon. Pederson confirmed the injury the next day and revealed the Eagles were looking at possibly bringing in a free agent to replace him.

There are also guys available via trade. Here they are:

Andrew Wylie, Chiefs: He served in a role similar to the one Halapoulivaati Vaitai played in Philly. Wylie was a versatile band-aid who has bounced around the Chiefs’ offensive line while starting 21 games over the past two seasons. The 25-year-old played 10 games at right guard in 2018 and 11 at left guard before suffering a season-ending high ankle sprain. Would Kansas City be willing to deal away a reliable spare part? The Chiefs need cornerback help and Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas are (maybe) on the trading block.

Joe Thuney, Patriots: Thuney’s name was bandied about in this space on Wednesday and for good reason. He’s a borderline Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion. However, it’s going to take big-time compensation (think: first- or second-round picks) to acquire him in a trade. That didn’t stop Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer from mentioning Thuney landing in the Eagles’ nest. He is currently on the franchise tag and carries a $14.78 million salary-cap hit. Plus, Thuney is seeking a long-term extension.

Austin Blythe, Rams: A four-year veteran who has seen action in 55 games (33 starts) in various positions, most notably at right guard. The Rams drafted Blythe’s replacement in 2019 and he’s expected to take over this year. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is in salary cap hell and need draft picks — remember, the team gave up two first-round picks last year to acquire Jalen Ramsey. Trading a third-round pick for a 28-year-old guard with starting experience sounds pretty good.

Kyle Long, free agent: Credit a few people for thinking of this non-trade scenario, including Ed Kracz (Eagles Maven) and Beth Mishler-Elmore (Heavy.com). Long, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was essentially fired from the Bears and still has an itch to play football in 2020. He hasn’t submitted his retirement papers. His brother, Chris, cherished his time in Philly and won a Super Bowl there. Is it too far-fetched to envision Chris calling Kyle to hype up the Eagles? No, not at all.

Ryan Bates, Bills: It’s very rare a player gets traded back to the team that originally signed him but it’s not unprecedented. The Eagles sent Bates packing to Buffalo last year in exchange for pass-rusher Eli Harold. That didn’t work out. The second-year player out of Penn State is buried on the Bills’ depth chart and already has familiarity with the Eagles’ system. He spent training camp in Philly in 2019 and he grew up in nearby Warminster, PA. Throw out a cheap offer, maybe a sixth-rounder and see what happens.

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