The NFL trade deadline has come and gone, and the Philadelphia Eagles were neither buyers nor sellers. In fact, the NFL as a whole was quiet, as there were only seven players moved in the last three days, with no blockbuster deals. A look at the trade activity, league-wide:
|Player||Original team||Traded to|
|WR Isaiah Ford||Dolphins||Patriots|
|LB Kwon Alexander||49ers||Saints|
|LB Kiko Alonso||Saints||49ers|
|RB DeAndre Washington||Chiefs||Dolphins|
|DT Eli Ankou||Texans||Cowboys|
|LB Avery Williamson||Jets||Steelers|
|DB Desmond King||Chargers||Titans|
This is the first time that the Eagles were not active at the trade deadline since 2016, as they have made deals in each of the last three years:
|Year||Eagles got||Eagles gave up|
|2017||RB Jay Ajayi (from the Dolphins)||2018 4th round pick|
|2018||WR Golden Tate (from the Lions)||2019 3rd round pick|
|2019||DE Genard Avery (from the Browns)||2021 4th round pick|
Ajayi helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl, while Tate was a disappointing acquisition who is already gone, and Avery has yet to find a consistent role with the team.
• Should the Eagles have been buyers? When the Cowboys lost quarterback Dak Prescott for the season, the door opened wide for the Eagles to win the NFC East. They are currently -275 favorites, according to TheLines.com. However, any casual observer of the Eagles can see that this is not a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and the goal each year should be to, you know, win the Super Bowl. Since they won it all in 2017, the Eagles have steadily gotten worse as a team, while their core players have gotten older and more prone to injury, with the salary cap becoming increasingly constrained.
A short-term rental, like the Golden Tate example above, would have made no sense at all for this team. However, might it have made sense to acquire a player who could be a long-term fit with the team? There’s some logic to that, but the trade deadline has historically been a seller’s market. There are better bargains to be found on outside players during the offseason.
• Should the Eagles have been sellers? If they could have traded Alshon Jeffery for literally anything, then they would have done that. Otherwise, the only legitimately marketable player who was a reasonable trade possibility was Zach Ertz, who publicly voiced his frustrations with the team over his lack of a new contract extension this past offseason. But with Ertz on IR, amended 2020 league rules did allow for him to be dealt.
Had a good team existed in the NFC East and the Eagles had little chance of even competing for the division, then it might have made sense to make more drastic moves, such as trading a guy like Fletcher Cox, for example. But with a divisional win in clear view, it makes sense for the Eagles to try to get into the playoffs with what they have, and hope the metaphorical lightbulb comes on for this team by January.
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