Eagles Having Trade ‘Conversations’ on Linebackers & O-Line

Avery Williamson

Getty Veteran LB Avery Williamson may be available in a trade.

The Eagles have had conversations about acquiring linebackers and offensive linemen at the NFL trade deadline, according to Joe Banner. The former Eagles president made the not-so-stunning revelation during an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, although he wasn’t willing to divulge any team or player names. The Eagles have a glaring need at the position, especially after losing starter Nate Gerry to injury.

Banner wanted to “contradict the notion” that GM Howie Roseman was more likely to shed contracts on Nov. 3. There have been conflicting reports on whether Philly would be sellers or buyers. Remember, the Eagles (3-4-1) own a one-game lead on the Cowboys for first place in the NFC East despite uneven and sloppy play through eight games.

Doug Pederson candidly told reporters the team needs to “figure some things out.” That being said, it stands to reason they will look to add pieces at the deadline — and linebacker is arguably the biggest puzzle to figure out.

Here’s what Banner told Paul Domowitch:

Well, I know for sure the Eagles have had conversations with teams about offensive linemen and linebackers that they are interested in acquiring in a trade. So that contradicts the notion that they’re going to be consequential sellers. Now, I know what the philosophy of the organization has been for many, many years, and Howie (Roseman) obviously practices this. You never want to shut the door and not listen.

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Avery Williamson Off the Market

Scratch one impact linebacker off the trade market. The Steelers sent a fifth-round pick in 2022 to the Jets in exchange for Avery Williamson and a seventh-rounder in 2022. Williamson has 59 total tackles and one interception in seven games this year after returning from a torn ACL in 2019. The 28-year-old was rumored to be a good fit for Philly but obviously, that ship has sailed. Williamson logged at least 100 tackles in three of his first five seasons, including a career-high 120 in 2018.

It’s unclear whether the Eagles made an offer for Williamson. Many thought they would considering Jets GM Joe Douglas served as Roseman’s right-hand man for three years as vice-president of player personnel. He was instrumental in scouting and drafting players throughout his tenure in Philly. Now the Eagles will likely turn the sights on Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham who will command a Day 2 pick. Cunningham has 410 career tackles and 5.5 sacks in four NFL seasons.

Eagles Address Trade Rumors

Pederson wasn’t about to reveal the team’s plan at the trade deadline but the head coach admitted he’s always looking for ways to improve the roster.

And this year provides its own unique set of challenges due to COVID-19 testing which could make it even harder for players to get up to speed. Any new guy acquired in a trade will have to produce several days of negative tests before he can report to the Eagles’ practice facility.

“Listen, you’re always going to take a look and see if there’s an opportunity to help your football team,” Pederson told reporters. “But honestly, like you said, with the way COVID is and getting that player in here, they are not going to be caught up to speed right away and it’s going to be a week or so before you can really get them into the building. There’s all kinds of things that we talk about. Obviously, we take a look at it and see if there’s an opportunity there.”

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