By Lance Epstein
For the second time in less than a week, the Philadelphia Eagles have traded with the Arizona Cardinals, but this time it was for starting OG Reggie Wells. The terms of the deal are still undisclosed, but it has been widely reported that the Eagles will send a sixth-round pick to the Cardinals.
Wells, 29, has played his entire career for the Cardinals, but as he enters his eighth NFL season, he will be wearing midnight green. In his first seven years, Wells has started 90 games and played in a total of a 104 games. Over the past four years, Wells has been extremely durable, as he has started 64 consecutive games at guard for Arizona.
Nevertheless, Wells was traded because he was coming off of a poor 2009 season. In addition, he is owed $2.4 million this upcoming season and the Cardinals felt they had a younger and cheaper option in Deuce Lutui. All in all, Wells is the prototypical Eagles offensive lineman. He is very athletic and can play multiple positions in guard or tackle.
However, this trade might not be the last deal the Eagles make leading up to the season opener against the Green Bay Packers. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles could be trying to unload the disappointing OG Stacy Andrews. One of the reasons could be because Andrews prefers playing tackle not guard.
Another thought is that the Eagles uninspired by Andrews play at guard and want to rid themselves of the headache before the season starts. This reason maybe more accurate considering the Eagles asked Andrews to take a pay cut or be released in the offseason. It would not be shocking if the Eagles were hoping that Andrews would deny taking any pay cut, which would allow them to cut him.
However, if the Eagles ultimately decide to keep Andrews and Wells on the roster, then it could mean Max Jean-Gilles, Fenuki Topou or King Dunlap could be released. If Andrews stays, then he can play right guard and if RT Winston Justice struggles or gets injured then he could slide over to tackle and Wells will fill in at right guard.
Also, this trade could indicate that LG Todd Herremans might not be ready for the season opener. He left practice earlier this week with an ankle sprain, which the team called a slight sprain.
Finally, the Eagles could outright release Andrews and allow him to sign anywhere he pleases. However, with the amount of interest the Eagles are receiving in him that scenario is unlikely.
Besides just the major transaction, the Eagles have been very busy today. Even though head coach Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman have until Saturday to trim their roster down to the league mandatory 53 players, they decided to released 10 players on Friday. Those 10 players were CB Geoffrey Pope, DE Pannel Egboh, DT Boo Robinson, CB David Pender, WR Dobson Collins, TE Nate Lawrie, RBs J.J. Arrington and Martell Mallett, OL Jerrail McCuller and S Anthony Scirrotto.
While there are no real surprises with those cuts, the cuts do reveal two things. First, that RB Eldra Buckley will be the Eagles third running back. Of course, it is a huge risk considering second-string RB Mike Bell has a long history of being injury prone since his days at the University of Arizona. Already this season, Bell missed an amble amount of time during the Eagles OTAs and training cam
p with leg injuries.
Certainly, Buckley is a decent running back with good special teams skills, but Mallett was the better running back. Additionally, Mallett could have eventually taken over for Bell down the road, but now it is likely that someone will swoop him up onto their roster. The Eagles are putting a lot of eggs into Bell’s basket especially since he is a player that is known to miss significant time with injuries.
Second, if the reports are true that the Eagles are exchanging a sixth-round pick with the Cardinals for Wells, then that pick is likely to come from the release of Arrington. When the Eagles sent LB Joe Mays to Denver for Arrington, their was a trade stipulation that said if Arrington failed to make the roster then Eagles would receive a sixth round pick. Since the birds cut him today, they will acquire a sixth-round pick, which could possibly be heading to Arizona.
Making a trade and releasing 10 players was not the only transactions the Eagles made on Friday. The Eagles also placed DE Victor Abiamiri on the Physically Unable to Perform list. This means he will miss the first six weeks of the season. Abiamiri is coming off of microfracture surgery on his knee and was clearly not ready to play for the first month of the season.