5 Possible LB Trade Targets for Eagles From Tanking NFL Teams

Denzel Perryman

Getty Chargers LB Denzel Perryman was a second-round pick out of Miami in 2014.

The Eagles were already in need of upgrades at the linebacker position. Now that T.J. Edwards is out for “some time” with a hamstring injury, the team may want to pursue a trade to shore up the unit.

The schedule is only getting tougher these next two weeks with run-heavy Pittsburgh and Baltimore coming up. Both teams feature explosive, athletic tight ends in Eric Ebron and Mark Andrews, respectively. Time to make a move. The free-agent options have been explored in-depth in this space, so we won’t bore you with the details again. However, the trade market could be ripe this time of year as more and more teams fall out of playoff contention. Prime suspects like the New York Jets, Houston Texas, and Detroit Lions immediately come to mind.

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5 Possible Eagles Trade Targets at Linebacker

The NFL trading deadline is scheduled for Oct. 29 this year and Eagles GM Howie Roseman has never been shy about pulling the trigger on a mid-season deal. His dogged pursuit of Jay Ajayi was crucial in helping the 2017 Super Bowl dream become reality. The best guys to pluck away are those playing for bad teams on one-year deals since there’s a chance Philly could re-sign them long-term. Or choose to let them hit free agency if they don’t pan out (see: Golden Tate). Let’s take a look:

Dylan Cole, Texans: Houston is in full-on rebuild mode after firing head coach and GM Bill O’Brien on Monday following an 0-4 start. His decision to trade All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins all but sealed his fate. Cole is a 26-year-old project player buried on the depth chart and coming off a torn ACL in 2019. While his injury situation isn’t ideal, the price tag is perfect: $2.133 million. Cole’s numbers have dipped after a breakout 2017 campaign where he logged 32 total tackles, two interceptions, one sack. The risk-reward is there.

Avery Williamson, Jets: Another bargain-basement linebacker coming off a torn ACL in 2019 could be a one-year band-aid in Philly. Williamson was rumored to be on the trading block this past offseason, then he took a pay cut to stay in New York. He’s due to make just $3.5 million in 2020 after inking a three-year, $22.50 million deal in 2018. Sure, the injury is a concern but Williamson has been a borderline Pro Bowl player in his six years in the NFL. He has racked up 514 total tackles (26 for loss), three picks, five forced fumbles, 14.5 sacks in six seasons.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Lions: The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia first proposed this trade back in early August, although his direct swap for Sidney Jones is no longer an option. But Reeves-Maybin remains an interesting upgrade for the Eagles due to his experience playing in Jim Schwartz’s 43 Wide-9 scheme as subpackage MIKE or as every-down WILL. Plus, the Lions linebacker is a beast on special teams and Philly loves taking chances on high-motor guys like that. He has only seen one defensive snap in Detroit this year, with 94 on special teams. He has 82 career tackles and two forced fumbles in 43 games.

Denzel Perryman, Chargers: Los Angeles isn’t dead in the water yet at 1-3 but the youth movement is on out there. They drafted Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray in the first round (23rd overall) — a guy the Eagles should have seriously considered — and he’s already usurped Perryman in the starting lineup. The former second-round pick from 2014 should have plenty left in the tank. He started 10 games in 2019 and recorded 68 tackles and one interception. The knock was he wasn’t a three-down linebacker but throw him a rotation in Philly with Nate Gerry, Duke Riley, Alex Singleton, Shaun Bradley and maybe he thrives. He’s due $6 million in 2020.

Kamu Grugier-Hill, Dolphins: The Eagles probably should have never let the 230-pounder leave in free agency, but that’s a story for another day. Grugier-Hill was a starter in Philly last season before he fell out of favor for faking a concussion, although it was later revealed (via his agent) that the linebacker was dealing with a nagging back injury all year. Either way, the 26-year-old was a core special teamer and tallied 98 tackles in 54 games for the Birds.

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