The Eagles are reportedly trying to deal for an impact linebacker at the NFL trade deadline. While a key one is already off the board (Avery Williamson), there are other options for GM Howie Roseman to explore. Look at the bottom-dwellers for potential pieces, teams like the Texans, Chargers, Falcons, Vikings and Jaguars could be sellers. There are players to be had.
“Obviously, we take a look at it and see if there’s an opportunity there,” head coach Doug Pederson said of making a move. “But again, it just kind of goes back to what I’ve been saying. This is a great opportunity for us as a team to get better this week, get healthy this week and to really focus on us.”
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Top 5 Trade Targets for Eagles
Zach Cunningham: The Texans standout has 410 career tackles and 5.5 sacks, including 71 tackles and two sacks in 2020. There have been some questions about his coverage skills in recent weeks but he’s been a borderline Pro Bowl player throughout his Houston tenure. He flies to the ball — remember that TD-saving tackle versus Tennessee? Stud. The Texans did lock him up to a four-year, $58 million contract extension.
Denzel Perryman: The former second-round pick has been phased out in Los Angeles as the Chargers start their youth movement. Rookie Kenneth Murray has taken over as the starting middle linebacker there. Perryman, who has 321 career tackles (four sacks), is an unrestricted free agent in 2021 so the Chargers need to move him or risk losing him for nothing. Perryman has been one of their top linebackers — 90.8 overall grade, in limited snaps — and forced a key fumble in Week 1.
Eric Kendricks: The Vikings linebacker is the longest shot on the board due to an albatross of a contract: five years at $50 million, with a $5.5 million cap hit in 2020. The Eagles would be able to survive that hit this season but they would need him to take a pay cut to keep him long-term, not to mention giving up a high draft pick. However, Kendricks is a legit linebacker and something Philly hasn’t had since Jeremiah Trotter left. He was named first-team All-Pro in 2019 and made the Pro Bowl. Plus, his brother Mychal was a Super Bowl champion for the Eagles.
Deion Jones: The former second-round pick fits the mold that Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz loves. Jones is extremely quick (4.38 in the 40). He’s great in coverage (92.1 grade since 2016 is third-best). And he’s already impacted the Eagles locker room as rookie Davion Taylor cited Jones as a guy he patterns his game after. Jones has 460 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and 10 interceptions in five NFL seasons for the Falcons. Do it.
Myles Jack: The Jaguars linebacker is almost too perfect of a fit in Philly. He’s an instant upgrade over anything on their roster, a playmaker who excels in coverage, stuffs the run and rushes the quarterback. Jack has 328 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 12 passes defensed, three interceptions in five seasons — and he’s the second-highest graded (86.8) coverage linebacker in football. He did sign a hefty four-year contract ($57 million) last year that carries a $9.75 million cap hit. The Eagles would have to get creative and shuffle money around, but they have done it before.
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