Despite the Eagles public confidence in their wide receivers, we know they’re working behind the scenes to improve the position. While you can pretty much lock them in for drafting a wideout high in the Draft, don’t rule out the team moving a late day-two or three pick ahead of time to add one of a few receivers reportedly available for trade.
2019 stats: 54 receptions 19 carries (77 touches) 757 yards from scrimmage, 7 TDs
While he’s not presently on the trade block, you’d be foolish to think he’s not available. After signing Robby Anderson for 2 years $20 million and with a DJ Moore extension due next offseason, Samuel is a prime trade candidate unless the Panthers are willing to lose him for nothing in FA next summer. And considering the overlapping skillset Samuel has with the other weapons in Carolina’s offense, he’s the definition of expendable—regardless of what their front office might say.
Samuel’s 4.3 speed and elite quickness make him both a field-stretcher and a threat with the ball in his hands. The Panthers never quite found the best way to use him with so many similar mouths to feed on their roster, but he’s capable of replacing Desean (when he inevitably gets hurt) while also giving Wentz a gadget option underneath.
Given he’s on a contract year he wouldn’t cost as much as you might think, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he could be had with one of our compensatory picks (maybe 127). If that’s the case the Eagles could immediately plug him into the mix and hope to work out a long-term deal if he’s able to click with Wentz.
The Pettis rumors differ from Samuel in that the 49ers aren’t downplaying his availability in a trade. He’s been a prime candidate to be moved for most of the offseason, and his skillset is expendable in the San Fran receiver room.
Pettis is a legitimate vertical threat (sub-4.4 speed) who would assuage any concerns about the health of Jackson. As a rookie he scored five touchdowns and racked up 467 yards on just 27 catches (over 17 yards per catch).
For whatever reason the former second rounder has fallen completely out of favor with the Shanahan regime despite only entering year three. He could use a fresh start, and the Eagles—a team desperate to push the ball downfield in 2020—could provide that opportunity. He’s more of a one-trick pony than Samuel, but he’ll cost less.
Eagles fans are no stranger to Cooks rumors, and those were re-kindled with Peter King connecting him to the Birds—though what WR hasn’t been connected to Philly?
I like Cooks but his present situation is totally ideal. While he no doubt produces at a proven level, his 5+ career concussions makes him a liability despite being able to stay on the field for most of his career. His contract isn’t as big of a concern, as the back end isn’t guaranteed and the Birds have the money to cover his cap hit for the 2020 season, but that combined with his health makes the whole situation less palatable than Pettis or Samuel.
Earlier in the offseason I wrote that he would make sense in a trade with our compensatory third rounder (103) but that should probably be revised to a comp fourth (145,146) at the highest. We shouldn’t underestimate Cooks’ talent—I’m definitely seeing him undervalued by some—but given the injury history of Jackson and Jeffery, Cooks is someone we should probably stay away from.