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Eagles Phones Lines Heating Up


More Eagles Could Be Traded

By Lance Epstein

As the 2010 NFL Draft draws near, the Philadelphia Eagles might be looking to add even more picks on top of their 11 draft selections. While the big trade pieces like Donovan McNabb, Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong have already been dealt, do not be surprised if the Eagles are wheeling and dealing more veterans on draft day.

In this offseason, head coach Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman have made it known that no player, regardless of how long they have been with the team or contributed to the organization are locks to be here in 2010. If a team came to the Eagles offering outstanding packages for Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson or Trent Cole, the Eagles might actually pull the trigger. That said it would have to be a pretty impressive deal.

While many fans were up-in-arms about trading McNabb to division Washington there are possibly more trades to come that could leave a sour taste in the mouths of Eagles fans.

There are a couple of reasons that the team would be willing to deal certain players leading up to or in the draft. First, the Eagles might be able to get more draft picks this year, which would help them maneuver their way up in the draft. Second, a veteran could be sent with a draft pick to move up the draft and into a spot to select a player that they truly covet. Finally, Philadelphia might even be willing to ship a player to start accumulating draft picks for the 2011 NFL Draft. It is not as far fetched as fans think, considering Reid always has one eye on today and another on the future.

One of the first players that would not surprise anybody if he were swapped is quarterback Michael Vick. Reports have come out saying that the Eagles would like to get some value for Vick before he jets next offseason. However, this will be very difficult because the Eagles asking price might be too high. At most the Eagles are going to get a third-rounder, but even that is a little steep for some teams. Although, if Oakland and Buffalo decide to pass on Clausen in the first round, one of those teams might be calling the Eagles sometime on draft weekend.

Another player on the offensive side of the ball that could be on the move is right guard Stacy Andrews. Earlier this offseason, the Eagles demanded that Andrews take a pay cut or he would be released.

Eventually Andrews and the team restructured his contract. Still, the Eagles were willing to release Andrews after only one season, which is very telling. Perhaps, they believe he might never recover or return to his pre-torn ACL form. In addition, the Eagles have been flirting with Idaho guard/tackle prospect Mike Iupati. If the Eagles select Iupati, they might not want to pay both Iupati and Andrews.

On the other hand, if the Eagles do draft Iupati, he can play right tackle as well. This could mean that Winston Justice could be on the trading block. Yes, he just got a contract extension, but his play down the stretch of the season was extremely mediocre. It has been reported on multiple occasions that the Eagles yearn for a dominating offensive line, not just a solid line. Justice is solid, but not spectacular, which means they could look to upgrade. A team might offer the Eagles some value for either Andrews or Justice (only if Iupati is taken) and they would gladly ship them out of town.

Besides the offensive players, there are guys on the other side of the ball that also may well be traded. Some might not shock fans, but some that will. The most obvious players that are on the trading block are Victor Abiamiri, Trevor Laws and Omar Gaither. While Gaither is an adequate and versatile backup that can play two out of the three linebacker positions, he has made it known in the past that he wants to start. A team desperate for help at the linebacker position, maybe a team like St. Louis, might offer a late round pick for his services.

As for Abiamiri and Laws, neither second round pick has panned out and both have shown the propensity to be watching from the sidelines rather than playing. It is highly doubtful that any team is willing to give up a pick for either, but stranger things have happened this offseason. Do not be surprised if the Eagles take a defensive end early in the draft, which makes Abiamiri on the outside looking in.

While those particular players would not stun anybody if they departed, there are four players that could possibly be traded that fans would never expect. One move that would certainly have a ripple effect is trading Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. Of course, fans think this idea is far-fetched, but it really is not. Last week in a radio interview, Brown hinted that certain players tuned out coaches, questioned the Eagles’ hierarchy and some free agent additions had been ruining team chemistry.

One of the players that fits the bill would be Samuel. At the end of last year, sources close to the Eagles organization said Samuel did not listen to defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Additionally, this offseason he has taken a few shots at the Eagles front office. Nevertheless, this could have been the reason the New England Patriots allowed him to walk away as a free agent.

Furthermore, Samuel's porous tackling killed the Eagles and did not allow the defense to get off the field on critical third downs. If the Eagles decide to trade Samuel, they could get as high as a second round pick. In a draft deep at the cornerback position, it makes some sense.

In spite of safety Quintin Mikell being the defensive leader, he could be on his way out of Philadelphia sooner rather than later. Mikell is 30 years old and on the last year of his contract. The Eagles have shown the tendency to trade players that are on the wrong side of thirty. The Eagles could also be trying to get some value for him before they let him leave via free agency next year.

Also, Mikell saw a huge drop in his production last season when Brian Dawkins left for Denver. While fans blame it on rookie Macho Harris' lack of experience, the Eagles might think otherwise. Still, trading Mikell would hurt the Eagles leadership, but if the right team came along, he could be had.

The last two players that could be on the trading block play the same position. They are defensive tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Mike Patterson. Eagles fans will argue there is nothing wrong with the defensive tackles as soon as middle linebacker Stewart Bradley comes back, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Neither Bunkley nor Patterson puts enough pressure on the quarterback. This was a reason Darren Howard replaced Bunkley or Patterson on third down to give the Eagles a pass rushing threat. A guy that could be there at 24 is defensive tackle Brian Price of UCLA. Price (6-1, 303) could start immediately and has the ability to play the run and get to the passer.

Obviously, the Eagles rather keep Bunkley out of the two starting defensive tackles, but he most likely will draw more interest. On top of that, if a new collective bargaining agreement is agreed upon before the start of the 2011 offseason, he will be a free agent after 2012. He will certainly test the market and probably be overpaid. Although Patterson could go to a team like Detroit for a mid-round pick (my guess fifth or sixth), since they have a need for a defensive tackle.

With just 12 days until the draft, the phone lines and trade conversations are beginning to heat up. Do not be surprised if someone you thought was a lock for the club in 2010 is wearing another team's uniform next year.

2 comments:

  1. I have to agree that the Eagles will be trading away more players for picks, I feel like the Eagles have identified this as a very good draft and they are trying to rebuild in one year through this draft.

    ReplyDelete
  2. G says,

    The Eagles have pretty much always been prone to build through the draft....and this draft is a considerably good one. So it only makes sense that they would try to make a significant splash in it for the future of the franchise. I just hope they don't give up key components that would help us NOW!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete