Words like shocking and blockbuster get thrown around a bit too liberally these days. Nothing seems out of the realm of possibility when discussing potential trades that might appeal to the Philadelphia Eagles.
General manager Howie Roseman has a proven track record of doing the unthinkable. Or, in his own words, Roseman likes to “zig a little bit when people are zagging.” One way to showcase that aggressive mentality would be to pick up the phone and call the Arizona Cardinals. All-Pro safety Budda Baker requested a trade back in April and remains locked up in a desert prison with former Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon holding the key. It’s time to let him out.
Baker — a player who has already expressed his love for Nick Sirianni — would be a perfect fit to start alongside Reed Blankenship in Philly. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine called it a “shocking” trade that needs to happen, mentioning how much of an upgrade Baker would be over free-agent signings Terrell Edmunds and Justin Evans.
“Budda Baker would be a massive upgrade over both of them, though,” Ballentine wrote. “The five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection is a versatile chess piece who could fill the role of Gardner-Johnson as a safety who can also play in the slot.”
Eagles Very High on Rookie Sydney Brown
The safety spot should be one of the fiercest position battles at training camp this summer. Reed Blankenship and Terrell Edmunds are the favorites to win starting jobs, but neither guy has been guaranteed anything other than a chance to compete. The Eagles invested a third-round pick on Sydney Brown (66th overall) in April’s draft and all indications point to him making an immediate dent on the depth chart.
“Sydney Brown was a passion player for a lot of people in this organization,” Howie Roseman told reporters. “He was a red star guy, and I think just a tremendous person with obviously really good athletic tools, leadership ability, and for us, just excited to get him in the building.”
Head coach Nick Sirianni added: “You get worried about guys on offense, that guys that are playing in the middle of the field that have range, that can cover, and we definitely think that Sydney has that, that he can get to the ball. He has great range to make plays from hash to hash.”
C.J. Gardner-Johnson Assuming Leadership Role in Detroit
C.J. Gardner-Johnson’s exodus to Detroit is the reason why a spot is open in the Eagles’ secondary. The controversial safety left the nest — apparently for less money, depending on the source — after posting a career-high six interceptions last season. Ho-hum. Moving on.
Gardner-Johnson is now asserting himself as a leader for his new team, one he believes has a “little better” overall talent than the reigning NFC champions. Whatever the case, he is walking the walk so far at Lions’ workouts.
“People heard me today, and I’ma tell you why,” Gardner-Johnson told reporters on May 23, via Pride of Detroit. “It’s more so bringing in intensity. What you’re going to see in the game is what you’re going to see 24/7 at practice. I practice how I play. So if I can’t go out there and do my stuff and be me and get under guys’ skin, I don’t think I’d be at my best.”