The Eagles have had a busy offseason.
From signing a premiere pass rusher in Haason Reddick, to trading for Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft, Howie Roseman has really hit it out of the park. Oh, and don’t forget their most recent addition, Pro Bowl corner James Bradberry. He and Darius Slay should form one of the best cornerback tandems in the entire NFL.
Most general managers would be content with what Howie has accomplished this offseason. But as we all know, Howie is never done scouring the league for potential trades. According the NFLPA public salary cap report, the Eagles have just over $6M in cap space to work with. In reality, they have closer to $10M because of some of the money that came off the books after June 1, like Brandon Brooks’ retirement and Fletcher Cox’s new deal.
With all the new additions the Eagles have made this offseason, they’ve already propelled themselves into the contender conversation. One more notable acquisition, and Philly could be a favorite to not only win the NFC East, but potentially the NFC.
Here are three players the Eagles could look into trading for before training camp.
S Jessie Bates
We’ve talked about this extensively already, and of all the trades we’re going to mention here, this one would makes the most sense.
The Bengals franchise tagged Jessie Bates at the beginning of the offseason and the Pro Bowl safety has been adamant about not playing under the tag. Cincy has until July 25 to give Bates a new deal, but it doesn’t seem like either side is close to getting a deal done.
Howie has adequately filled every need on this team throughout the offseason, with the exception of safety. Jonathan Gannon’s defense can probably get by with Marcus Epps and Anthony Harris as the starters — the coaching staff clearly likes Epps’ potential as a starter — but neither of them really move the needle. Having a playmaker like Bates roaming the backend, with a cornerback trio of Slay, Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox, would give the Eagles the best assortment of secondary players I’ve seen in my life time.
In terms of what it would take to pry Bates away from Cincy, it won’t be cheap. Along with whatever draft compensation the Eagles will have to give up, they’ll also need to have an extension in place for Bates once he arrives. Howie knows how to manipulate the cap better than any GM in the game so we shouldn’t be too concerned on that front.
At just 25 years old, Bates would give the Eagles a long-term solution at the safety position.
RB Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt‘s future in Cleveland is a bit mercky at the moment. He’s set to enter the final year of his two-year, $12M contract and there have been rumors about a Hunt trade circulating. Recently, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine laid out a trade proposal that would send Hunt to Philly.
Do the Eagles really need a running back right now? No, not really.
Their backfield has been kept intact for the most part this offseason, with the exception of Jordan Howard. It’s the same backfield that led the NFL in rushing last season. Of course, Jalen Hurts’ legs and the elite offensive line played a part in that as well.
Hunt has had his ups and downs throughout his NFL career, both on and off the field. He brings an intriguing skill set to the backfield. He’s a strong runner between the tackles who can bounce off would-be tacklers with ease. Over 55% of his total yardage in his career has come after contact. Hunt can hit the homerun, averaging 4.6 yards per carry for his career. And, he’s a very capable receiver out of the backfield, totaling 176 receptions for 1,596 yards and 16 touchdowns during his five-year career, while also posting a catch percentage of 80%.
Adding Hunt to the Eagles backfield would certainly give Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen more optionality offensively, which is never a bad thing to have. But this doesn’t seem like a move the Eagles would make — at least right now. With Hunt entering the final year of his deal, he feels like a prime candidate to get dealt at the trade deadline. Similarly to how Howie went out and got Jay Ajayi at the deadline in 2017, if the Eagles are rolling through the first half of the year, adding some extra juice in the form of Hunt to their offense would be exciting.
This may not happen for a few months yet, but once the season is underway, keep an eye on this one.
EDGE Robert Quinn
In late May, CBS reporter Jason La Canfora suggested that Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn wants out of Chicago. He’s been a no-show during voluntary practices, so there may be some validity to that report.
The Eagles already addressed their defensive line in a big way this offseason. First by signing Reddick and then by drafting Jordan Davis in the first-round of the draft. Chicago has made it clear that they don’t want to trade Quinn, but if he demands a trade, they probably won’t have a choice since their in the midst of a full-blown rebuild.
Quinn, 32, still has three years remaining on his current contract and he’ll have a cap hit of at least $17M in each of his remaining years. If Howie were to swing for the fences here, he’d almost certainly restructure that contract so the cap number is more manageable.
Despite getting up there in age, Quinn hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. He’s fresh of a season in which he tallied 18.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. He also logged 755 defensive snaps last season, the most he’s played since 2014. Transitioning to a situational pass rusher role would probably serve Quinn well as he ages. That’s exactly what he would do if he joined the Eagles. Plus, he’d join a team with Super Bowl aspirations. He’s only played in two playoff games in his 11-year career.
Quinn wants out because his clock is ticking. Philadelphia can provide him an ideal role in their defense and they’re in contending mode. If Chicago wants to play ball, Howie will almost certainly be giving Bears GM Ryan Poles a call.
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