NFL Insider Offers Insight on Eagles GM: ‘Howie is On The Prowl’

Zach Cunningham

Getty The Texans might be willing to trade star linebacker Zach Cunningham at the deadline.

The Eagles should be sellers at the NFL trade deadline, right? That’s been the increasing sentiment as the team continues to stumble, tethered in place by heavy contracts and aging stars. Zach Ertz and Fletcher Cox would be two very attractive pieces to sell off on Nov. 3 in a buyer’s market. Not so fast.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Eagles GM Howie Roseman is “on the prowl already” and looking to make a playoff push in Philadelphia. The Cowboys’ embarrassing 38-10 loss only opened the door further for an (easy?) path to the NFC East crown. La Canfora talked to an unnamed rival general manager who confirmed the Eagles aren’t planning to stand pat. Areas of immediate need include linebacker, wide receiver, and offensive line due to injuries and inconsistent play.

“Howie is on the prowl already,” one rival general manager said, via CBS Sports. “He’s looking for action. If there is a trade to be made he’ll do it. Bringing in a free agent from the outside is tougher now and more risky with COVID, and he loves to make trades anyway. I’ll bet you anything he gets something done before the deadline.”

La Canfora went on to praise the Eagles’ resiliency and called Carson Wentz’s “guts infectious” in their wild almost-comeback win last week versus Baltimore. Philly is still in the driver’s seat in the crazy NFC East.

The short week will be tough, but watch them beat the Giants Thursday and take out Dallas after a bye and whack the Giants again to have command of this division by midseason. Even their backups are better than most of what the rest of the NFC Least has to offer.

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Eagles GM Indicated No Moves After Roster Cuts

Roseman has always been a gunslinger at the trade deadline, never afraid to barter a high draft pick for an explosive weapon. The Eagles took a more conservative approach in 2019 — aside from swapping a fourth-round pick for Genard Avery — but their track record speaks volumes: Jay Ajayi in 2017, Golden Tate in 2018.

This year? Well, any trade they executed would likely be a one-year rental based on their scary financials. The Eagles are estimated to carry $69 million in salary-cap debt in 2021, per Spotrac.

“I think you guys know me well enough; that’s hard when there’s opportunities for me to sit with my hands tied and for us to sit with our hands tied,” Roseman told reporters on Sept. 5. “But that’s just the reality of the situation that we’re in unfortunately right now, and hopefully it’s short term and we’ve got a bunch of young players on this team who will step up, as well as a lot of veteran players who we are going to count on.”

Texans Could Be Huge Sellers at Deadline

Meanwhile, Houston is in full-on rebuild mode after firing head coach and GM Bill O’Brien. They started the process in the offseason by trading off All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins, plus the franchise is lacking high draft picks and faces a brutal salary-cap situation. The Texans would be wise to be sellers, per CBS Sports, and Houston has many assets of interest.

“Cal knows that a fire sale is probably in order,” said one league source who has been in contact with the owner. “There are people in that organization who would support it. But this is not where he thought he would be in October. This is a new horizon for him.”

J.J. Watt is the most famous name on the roster, but Texans owner Cal McNair loves the future Hall of Famer and Watt brings injury concerns. Take a look at the younger guys on the roster, all expendable: pass rusher Whitney Mercilus, linebacker Zach Cunningham, corner Bradley Roby, tight end Darren Fells and receivers Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller.

The most logical name for the Eagles to pursue would be Zach Cunningham, a stud 25-year-old linebacker coming off a 142-tackle season in 2019. He has 400 total tackles (18 for loss), 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception, and 13 passes defensed in 52 games (49 starts). One problem: Cunningham inked a hefty four-year contract extension in August that pays him $14.5 million per year. Make the phone call anyway.

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