Eagles: Is D.K. Metcalf worth trading a first-round pick for?

Another notable wideout has hit the trade block, and of course, Eagles fans want their team to make a run at him. This time around, it’s D.K. Metcalf who’s found himself in the middle of trade rumors. According the ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Seattle is taking calls on the standout receiver and may be willing to deal him for the right price.

What exactly does “the right price” mean here? Probably a first-round pick at least, maybe more if Seattle wants to get greedy. The Seahawks have dove head first into their rebuild, so any type of high draft capital is valuable to them right now. Even more so than a 24-year-old Pro Bowl wideout, mostly because his rookie contract is set to expire after the 2022 season.

Is he worth a first-round pick? And more importantly, should the Eagles entertain that idea?

For starters, there’s no denying how great Metcalf is. As Eagles fans, we’re well aware of everything he’s accomplished up to this point. It’s hard not to pay attention to a guy your team passed up in favor of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

During his three-year career, Metcalf has started 48 out of a possible 49 games, totaling 216 receptions for 3,170 yards and 29 touchdowns. Metcalf still managed to put up steady numbers in 2021, despite Russell Wilson missing some time in the middle of the year, which speaks to how valuable he can be. His unique combination of size and speed makes him one of the most dangerous weapons in the game today. Not only can he turn a 10-yard completion into a 25+ yard gain, Metcalf is a legitimate deep threat. Over the past two years, only Tyreek Hill has gained more receiving yards on passes 25 or more yards down the field.

The common argument against trading a first for Metcalf is that the Eagles can just spend a first-round pick on a wideout. This is the best route to take in theory. They’ll get a solid WR2 to place alongside DeVonta Smith and they won’t have to pay him for at least 3-4 years down the road. With Metcalf, the team will pretty much be forced to pay him right away.

Pro Football Focus projects Metcalf’s new deal to be four-years, $84 million ($21M per year). Regardless of Metcalf’s ability, that’s a very steep price to pay for a wideout and Howie hasn’t shown a willingness to hand out huge contracts like that to receivers.

There’s always a chance Howie views Metcalf differently. After all, he is only 24 years old, he’s been one of the most explosive receivers in the game since entering the league, and hasn’t dealt with any serious injuries. There aren’t many red flags with Metcalf. You can’t point to one particular thing about him and say, “No, the Eagles shouldn’t trade for him because of X.”

On the other hand, if the Eagles simply don’t want to pay him upwards of $20M per year, that’s also reasonable. A move of that nature would be a big step towards committing to Jalen Hurts long-term, something the Eagles have been somewhat hesitant to do publicly. Though their tune toward Hurts has been more positive this offseason.

Nevertheless, I don’t think there would be many Eagles fans complaining if the Eagles did end up acquiring Metcalf in exchange for a first-round pick. The money and compensation is what it is. The chances of getting a receiver as good or better than Metcalf with a first-round pick are pretty slim.

If the Eagles are truly committed to giving Hurts as many weapons as possible in order to succeed, then making this move is a no-brainer. But as we’ve seen throughout this offseason, Howie hasn’t pulled the trigger on any notable offensive pieces. We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out. Metcalf is worth a first-round pick, but the Eagles probably aren’t going to be the team to cough one up.

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