Over the past few days, rumors have been circulating that the Eagles may look to acquire a veteran wideout before the start of the regular season.
According to a report from NJ.com’s Mike Kaye, Howie Roseman and the Eagles aren’t likely to trade any future assets for an established receiver, but a player-for-player swap could be in the cards.
Despite the Eagles’ wide receiver depth chart lacking in proven talent, the team isn’t expected to trade future assets for upgrades at the position, a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking told NJ Advance Media on Sunday.
The source — who was granted anonymity as they weren’t allowed to speak openly about the team’s front-office strategy — said a move involving 2022 assets isn’t likely, as the Eagles are taking a long-term approach to what owner Jeffrey Lurie categorized as a “transition period” in January.
While the source shrugged off the idea of a wide receiver trade involving draft picks, there’s still a possibility that the Eagles could deal a player at another position for a wideout on another team. GM Howie Roseman has made several player-for-player trades during training camp and the preseason over the years.“[NJ.com]
The Eagles wide receiver depth is nothing to write home about, so it would make some sense if the front office went out to acquire a proven pass catcher. Not to mention the oldest wideout of the group is Greg Ward, and he’s just 26 years old. It’s a bunch of young players with alluring potential at the wide receiver position for the Eagles.
In most other years, I’d be on board with adding a veteran wideout to this young group. But there’s reasons to believe that even without a veteran presence in the room, this wideout group should be able to find success in 2021.
We know what DeVonta Smith brings to the table. He’s a No. 1 wideout in the making, with his superb route running ability and consistent hands. Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins have shown flashes of brilliance during training camp and the preseason. Their speed and play making ability add a lot of excitement to this group.
Even guys like Travis Fulgham, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and the aforementioned Ward are solid depth pieces behind the presumed starting trio. Not to mention John Hightower, who’s been a bit of a disappointment this preseason but still presents some promise.
We’ve heard the organization say the phrase “transition period” a lot this offseason. It’s hard to deny that this franchise isn’t in a transitional period, if not a full-blown rebuild entering the season.
If that’s the case, what’s the sense in bringing in someone who’s going to take snaps away from guys like Reagor, Watkins, or Fulgham?
This year is about finding out what you have and building off it for sustained success moving forward. I, like most fans I would assume, want to know if Reagor is a legit receiver in this league. If Watkins can actually make plays when the games count, or if Fulgham is more than just a flash in the pan.
While Smith will undoubtedly start regardless of who the team acquires in a trade at the position, every other young wideout will suffer.
The best case scenario for this season is the young wideouts all proving to be worthy of their starting roles and playing well this season. Throwing a wrench into that by trading for a veteran wideout before the season even gets underway would be foolish.
If by midseason it’s clear this wide receiver group isn’t going to cut it, then addressing the need via the trade block is way more justifiable. But right now, this young group deserves an opportunity to prove themselves.