Eagles Tried to Trade for Broncos’ $20 Million All-Pro Ahead of Deadline: Report

Patrick Surtain

Getty Pat Surtain II of the Denver Broncos.

The Philadelphia Eagles attempted to trade for Denver Broncos All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain II, according to NFL insider Mike Florio.

“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, both the 49ers and Eagles explored the possibility of trading for Surtain,” Florio reported on November 12. “They both were calling the Broncos, and they each were concerned that the other would end up with Surtain. It wasn’t to be, however, because the Broncos wouldn’t trade him without a major haul. The Broncos see Surtain as someone who checks every box.”

Considering the issues Philly has had with its secondary so far this season, it’s no surprise to hear about the team’s interest in a playmaker of Surtain’s talents.

Philadelphia Eagles Currently Have 28th-Ranked Secondary in NFL

While the Eagles have the NFL’s best run defense, surrendering a league-low 66.3 yards per game on the ground, their pass defense has been lackluster over the first 10 weeks of the season. Philadelphia’s secondary is giving up 257.0 yards a game, which is ranked 28th in the NFL.

One reason for the team’s struggles against the pass this year is continuity. Due to numerous injuries in the secondary, Philly didn’t start the same unit back-to-back until Weeks 8 and 9 of the season.

The Eagles lost backup corner Zech McPhearson to a season-ending Achilles injury before the regular season began, only to lose Avonte Maddox, their starting slot corner, to a torn pectoral muscle Week 2. Safeties Justin Evans (knee), Reed Blankenship (ribs) and Sydney Brown (hamstring) have all missed time, and so has starting All-Pro corner Darius Slay (knee).

The group is likely also taking a bit to get acclimated to first-year defensive coordinator Sean Desai’s new system. That, coupled with all the injuries make Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman’s interest in Surtain understandable.

Trading for Patrick Surtain Would Have Cost the Eagles, Big Time

Surtain, who is in the third year of his four-year, $21 million rookie contract, is one of the league’s best young corners. A first-team All-Pro in 2022, the 6-foot-2, 202-pound defensive back allowed 41 receptions on 69 targets last year (10.2 yards per catch), according to PFF. Opposing quarterbacks had an unimpressive passer rating of 84.0 when throwing his way.

The Broncos’ CB also has the respect of his peers, including Eagles’ All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Brown. “I think the best cornerback in the game right now is Pat Surtain,” Brown said in a November 6 appearance on Fox Sports 1’s “Speak.

There’s little doubt adding a player like Surtain to the Eagles’ secondary would give it a huge boost, particularly with veterans like Slay and James Bradberry continuing to struggle. But another NFL insider, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post, reported Denver was asking for multiple first-rounders in exchange for Surtain. That’s a steep price to pay, despite Surtain’s talents.

The Eagles still made a significant addition to their secondary prior to the trade deadline on November 1, sending Terrell Edmunds and future fifth- and sixth-round picks to the Tennessee Titans in exchange safety Kevin Byard.

It wasn’t as splashy a move as adding Surtain would have been, but it was less costly and still helped the team address a glaring issue. We’ll see if Philly’s secondary can pick it up in the second half of the season.

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