Howie Roseman and his Philadelphia Eagles are poised to make some noise this offseason.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much cap space the Eagles will have at their disposal, and I’m certainly no cap expert, but most reports suggest Howie will have anywhere between $25-$35 million to work with. Couple that with three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and we have all the makings of an exciting offseason in Philadelphia.
We’ve done several mock drafts and have taken a look at potential free agent signings, but what about the trade market? The Eagles have been connected to a handful of big names already.
Let’s take a look at three potential trade candidates and what the Eagles may have to give up to make a deal happen.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Eagles trade: Jalen Hurts, two 2022 first-round picks (No. 15 and 19), 2023 second-round pick
Let’s start off with the one everyone wants to talk about. Regardless of your thoughts on Jalen Hurts’ potential and the various needs facing this team, it’s obvious Russell Wilson would mask a lot of the issues with the Eagles offense.
In situations that demanded throwing the ball, the Eagles just couldn’t keep up. The Wildcard game against Tampa Bay was clear evidence of this. Tampa did an excellent job making the Eagles one dimensional and every team the Eagles face next season will study that game tape. Even in games where the Eagles rushing attack was dominating, Hurts still left a lot to be desired. Against the Giants in Week 12, the Eagles rushed for over 200 yards on 33 attempts. Still, Philly’s offense only mustered seven points, due solely to the ineptitude displayed by Hurts. He finished that game with a completion percentage of 45, while throwing zero touchdowns to three interceptions, along with posting a 17.5 passer rating.
Most of the Hurts hopefuls will have you believe that Wilson is completely washed up and not worth the steep price he’ll demand on the trade block. This is false. In the 14 games Wilson played this year, he threw 25 touchdowns to just six interceptions while completing 64.8% of his passes. His interception percentage in 2021 tied the second-lowest mark of his career at 1.5%. His touchdown percentage came out to 6.3%, which is right on par for his career average.
Wilson did have one or two clunkers in 2021, but they were right after he returned to the lineup from his injured middle finger on his throwing hand. An injury that required mid-season surgery, mind you. In the games prior to that injury, Wilson was well on his way to another superb season. He accumulated 10 touchdowns while throwing just one interception, completing 72% of his passes and posting a passer rating of 125.3. Not to mention he averaged 9.57 yards per attempt.
He also looked pretty damn good during the skills competition in Vegas.
Suffice to say, the Eagles would be better off with Wilson as their quarterback. And I’m sure the front office sees it that way as well. Giving up Jalen Hurts, two first round picks in 2022, along with a second-round pick in next year’s draft seems like a lot, but it’s worth it.
Despite giving up two firsts, the Eagles will still have one in this year’s draft. Hurts would be a solid backup to Wilson, but they still have Gardner Minshew in the building on a rookie deal, who proved to be a suitable backup last year. And if the Eagles brass can walk away without giving up any additional first round picks past this year, it’s an absolute win.
Now, there is a scenario where the Eagles give up too much. Three first round picks would be a lot, but the addition of Hurts in the package could be enough to satisfy Seattle. If Seattle starts asking for more than three first-round picks, Howie will probably hang up the phone. The great thing about this, is that the Eagles aren’t desperate. Hurts can be the starter again next year and the Eagles will still be fine. They don’t need to sell their souls to get someone.
Nevertheless, if the trade package I just laid out is acceptable for Seattle, then this is a done deal.
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Eagles trade: 2023 conditional second-round pick
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler spoke with several executives around the league to gauge the thoughts surrounding players on the trade block. Among the players discussed was Atlanta’s Calvin Ridley.
One NFC exec told Fowler, “Atlanta is cash-strapped and needs pieces along the offensive line, so they could use the draft capital.” Speaking with another NFC exec, he noted, “conditional second-round pick — which could turn into a first-rounder based on playing time — seems like a sweet spot.” If a conditional second-round pick is the asking price, the Eagles will certainly be involved.
The big question surrounding Ridley right now is his commitment to the game. Rumors circulated that Ridley’s mid-season departure from the team may have had to do with the team itself, though it was initially reported that it was for mental health reasons. Giving up a conditional pick can still be risky (just ask Indianapolis), but it could be a risk the Eagles are willing to take if they really want to build the team around Hurts.
Acquiring Ridley would go a long way in solidifying the Eagles wide receiving corps. Placing him opposite DeVonta Smith would give Hurts two bonified pass catchers on the outside, and it would allow Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor to operate out of the slot more frequently, which is their natural position.
If the price is right, Ridley to the Eagles makes a ton of sense.
Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins
Eagles trade: 2022 first-round pick (No. 15 overall), 2022 fifth-round pick
When the Eagles traded back from 6th overall to 12th in last year’s draft, Miami sent Philly a 2022 first-round pick. Both teams got their guy, but now Miami is entering a new coaching regime without a first-round pick.
If they really want their pick back, offering Xavien Howard to the Eagles could make it happen. He held out for a new contract last offseason and Miami mitigated the dispute it by putting more incentives in his deal. But, those incentives only applied to 2021. Now we’re in 2022 and it appears Howard could be on the trade block yet again.
The Eagles are going to need to add at least one starting caliber corner to their secondary this offseason. Steven Nelson is set to hit the open market and they don’t have a clear candidate to fill that role in house. Howard is one of the best zone corners in football and would fit perfectly in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. Over the past two years, Howard has recorded 15 interceptions, 36 pass deflections, and three forced fumbles. In 2021, Howard was targeted 93 times and allowed just 49 of those targets to get completed (52.7%). Quarterbacks posted a 72.6 passer rating when throwing in his direction.
The Eagles could look to fill their hole at corner through the draft, but will they really find someone as good as Howard at 15th overall? Probably not.
To be clear, if Howie pulled this off it would be a pretty embarrassing moment for Miami’s brass. Trading a first-round pick to a team, only to turn around the following year and give up a disgruntled Pro Bowler to get the first-round pick back would be pretty hilarious.
Whenever Howie wants to pulls a fast one, he always seems to call Miami. He managed to trade both Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso along with the 13th overall pick in 2016 to move up to the Dolphins’ spot at 8th overall, which in turn was traded to move up and get Carson Wentz. Last year’s draft trade was a clear win for the Eagles as well. If he’s done it before, he can do it again.
The fifth-round pick offered in this scenario is just a little icing on the cake. The Eagles have three fifth-round picks at their disposal this year, so giving one up shouldn’t be a huge hangup.