The NFL is not typically a trade-heavy league, with only about 25 deals getting done after Sept. 1 last season, and so having a single team lead the way in action is rare. The Dolphins did a bit of a purge last year and the Jaguars have started to stockpile picks already.
One team that could follow that trend is the Philadelphia Eagles, at least that is the speculation from PhillyVoice writer Jimmy Kempski.
Ertz, Cox, Jeffrey, and Jackson Could Go
“Can the Eagles right the ship? Maybe. But even if they do, what’s their ceiling? It sure feels a lot like the collective nucleus that was kept in place from that Super Bowl run just isn’t going to contend in Philly anymore,” Kempski explained. “With a troublesome salary cap situation upcoming in 2021, it’s not as if they’re going to be able to add outlook-changing pieces to the mix.”
The points beyond that explanation are sound as well. All four players are getting older — or in the case of DeSean Jackson, is already old — and there is a lot to gain by moving on them.
Zach Ertz is unhappy with his contract, the Eagles have Dallas Goedert that can step right in, and teams would love to add him to the roster. Moving Ertz to, say, New England would be a tremendous fit for both team and sending Ertz to the AFC is also a good look where he would not get revenge games or in the playoffs.
With only a limited time left on his contract a second round pick and maybe a fourth in 2021 draft would be an acceptable offer.
Fletcher Cox is about to be on the wrong side of 30. That is a precarious situation for a defensive tackle that is about to count over $20M against the cap. He is still a solid, but not dominant player, that could help any interior line. He doesn’t have the long term appeal but if there is a time to sell on him, it is now.
Similar to Ertz, being 30 and analytically on the decline, it is unlikely a first round pick is coming back for Cox. The Eagles could easily land a conditional third, that could bump to a two, and probably a later throw in pick for him.
Alshon Jeffrey has been an absolute point of frustration for Eagle fans over the course of his tenure and with injuries and inconsistency it would be more of an unload than anything else. Jeffrey is leaving at the end of this year whether by choice or by force so if the Eagles can get anything for him, might as well do it.
This would be a flier, and the Eagles may have to include a pick too. A third for Alshon and a fifth could make an interesting deal for him. Heck the Patriots gave up a second round pick for Mohammad Sanu last year, so who knows.
DeSean Jackson is in a similar boat as Jeffrey. This second trip through Philly has not been as glamorous as the first and the only thing that Jackson can offer is speed — which is still a rarity — but his production has fallen off a cliff. This is decidedly an attempt to get anything from this contract. A conditional sixth that could slide all the way up to a fourth would be a win for Philly here.
Will the Eagles make any of those deals? Who knows. But if it slips to 0-3 with a loss against the Bengals today, it may expedite the conversations.