The Eagles have dealt with a multitude of issues this season. From inconsistent line play on both sides of the ball, to head-scratching play calls, we’ve been hit with an abundance of problems this year.
Trying to find any positives after their latest gut-wrenching loss is damn near impossible. I’m about as pessimistic as it gets with the Eagles, but the one thing that keeps me from completely jumping ship is the fact that almost every problem has been self-induced. In other words, I don’t think the personnel is the real problem. The execution on the field and the preparation during the week is what’s leading to most of the issues that we’re seeing on Sunday.
Except for one very important position in our defensive backfield: cornerback.
The Eagles’ corners just aren’t good. Simple as that. The secondary hasn’t really been good at all since Doug came to town. Last year’s success masked a lot of the secondary’s inefficiencies. They ranked as the 17th best team against the pass last season, while they were top 10 in almost every other statistical category on defense.
Now sitting at 3-4, those inefficiencies are clear as day. Granted, injuries have also decimated our secondary this year, leading to players like Avonte Maddox, and most recently Dexter McDougle, getting extended playing time. This is far from ideal, but after seeing how well the Eagles plugged in backups last season, it’s infuriating to see just how bad they’ve been at it this year.
Howie Roseman and the front office can still fix this issue this season. The trade deadline is just over a week away, and one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL has demanded a trade from his current team.
Patrick Peterson could be just what the Eagles need to propel them into a playoff run. There’s no question that he’s an immediate upgrade at cornerback, but he could also be a long-term answer at the position. He’s already signed through 2020 and his cap hit wouldn’t kill the Eagles financially by any means. Since we would be acquiring him mid-season, Peterson would only cost the Birds $5.5 million this year. He would then have a cap hit of $11 million next season, and $13 million the year after that. Not to mention that neither of his final two years are guaranteed on his current contract. So the Eagles could cut ties with Peterson if things don’t work out with minimal cap casualties.
I’m no cap-guru, but those seem like numbers that Howie can work with.
It’s been nearly a decade since the Eagles have had a truly elite cornerback, dating back to the days of Asante Samuel. They’ve continuously tried to find one in both free agency and the draft and they’ve missed on nearly every one. Bringing in someone like Peterson would change that trend, and I hope that Howie recognizes that.
Since Patrick Peterson has announced that he wants out of Arizona, the three teams that have been closely linked to a potential trade have been the Eagles, Saints, and Patriots. It was reported by Bryant McFadden (Peterson’s cousin), that New Orleans was his desired landing spot. But, earlier today the Saints made a move to bring in Giants’ former first round pick Eli Apple; a younger corner who they probably want to develop behind their already solid defensive backfield.
That leaves the Eagles and the Patriots as the two most likely destinations for Peterson.
I would be very surprised if the Patriots made a serious push for him considering they already made a trade this season to bring in Josh Gordon. I’m not sure if they’d be willing to give up any more draft picks than they already have, unless Bill Belichick is going all in for one last Super Bowl run.
That leaves the door wide open for the Eagles and Howie Roseman to pull the trigger on a deal. The Eagles have the draft capital in the upcoming draft to pull it off as well. They possess one first rounder, and two second rounders; I would suspect a combination of those picks could get the deal done.
The Cardinals aren’t winning any time soon, so it makes sense for them to be sellers at the trade deadline. They already have a young QB to build around, so why not try to accumulate as many draft picks as possible to help him develop into your franchise guy? They’re a work in progress at this point, and keeping a veteran, highly paid corner around for the ride just doesn’t make sense. Patrick Peterson has every right to want out of that dumpster fire.
If Howie believes his team has a chance at turning this season around (and he should), then he’ll do the deal.