With their 25-20 win over the 49ers this past Sunday, the Eagles picked up their first win of the season. At 1-2-1, they now find themselves in first place in the extremely weak NFC East division. The Birds have been hit very hard with injuries this season, with several to their receiving corps and offensive line. If they are going to win the division and go past the first round in the playoffs, they will have to get some pieces at their positions of need. With that in mind, let’s take a look at players they could target before the November 3 trade deadline.
The Eagles number one receiver right now is Greg Ward Jr. This isn’t a knock on Ward in any way, but the Eagles need a lot more weapons with Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and Jalen Reagor out at the moment. Travis Fulgham gave the corp a welcome boost with his first career touchdown after the team added him from the practice squad.
Curtis Samuel, Panthers
There were plenty of trade rumors circulating around Samuel in the offseason. Now through four weeks of the season, he has seen a big decrease in targets. With Joe Brady now running things, he has been targeted just 14 times after getting over 100 targets last season. Even with the injury to Christian McCaffery, Samuel hasn’t been a top option in the offense. He has the speed and showed the production in the past which the Eagles desperately need. Last season, he had 54 catches for 627 yards and six touchdowns, while also rushing 19 times for 130 yards and a touchdown. Another plus is he hasn’t missed time with an injury since his rookie year of 2017.
Kenny Stills, Texans
Head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien getting canned on Monday is probably only the beginning for the current 0-4 Texans. Stills could be one of the pieces that is moved next in a potential overhaul. After the Texans brought in Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks in the offseason, Stills hasn’t been a huge part of the underperforming offense. He has just seven catches this season, but the Eagles could certainly make more use of the deep threat who has averaged 15.7 yards per catch in his career.
Dante Pettis, 49ers
The 49ers are a team that has been hit hard with injuries as well. At the receiver position, they have gotten a boost from Kendrick Bourne and rookie Brandon Aiyuk. They also got Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle back this past week, so they have plenty of playmakers. That’s without mentioning their flurry of running backs. That could cause Pettis to be pushed out. Pettis has been underwhelming since being drafted in the second round in 2018, but a new team could be what he needs. He just really hasn’t gotten the full opportunities in the Bay Area. Give Carson Wentz a young receiver that he needs and Pettis the opportunities he needs and it could be something special.
The Eagles severely lack production and depth at the linebacker position. They did get a great game from Alex Singleton on Sunday night (two tackles, pick-six) but their linebacking corps has been mediocre outside of that. Nathan Gerry has been nothing short of very underwhelming. They could really use Nigel Bradham, who they released in the offseason. Here are a few guys who would be a serious upgrade to the position.
Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Lions
There were rumors about a potential Eagles’ trade for Reeves-Maybin back in training camp. The Athletic proposed a straight-up trade of Reeves-Maybin for cornerback Sidney Jones. Obviously, that cannot happen now as the Eagles released Jones before the season. But the Eagles could still work out a trade for him. He is the youth they need at the position at just 25 and is on the last year of his rookie deal. It would be throwing another dart at the linebacking group which the Eagles have done, but Reeves-Maybin would definitely compete for playing time. He has the traits and could be used in sub-packages in Jim Schwartz’s 4-3 scheme. Worst case scenario, he would be able to find playing time as a key special teams player. He had 13 special teams tackles last season – ranked fourth in the league.
Denzel Perryman, Chargers
Perryman will be a free agent in 2021. The Chargers restructured his deal back in March to guarantee less money. It now includes incentives for him to reach his original $6 million. That would give the Chargers more incentive to get some value for him. Perryman had 64 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception last season. He earned an 81.1 Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade last season, which would be a vast improvement over Gerry’s 45.1 grade.
Haason Reddick, Cardinals
The Cardinals declined the fifth-year option on the 13th pick in the 2017 Draft. After drafting Isaiah Simmons in the first round in this year’s draft, Reddick is left with fewer snaps and an inability to solidify his role on the team. His snap count dropped from 61 percent last year to 51 percent this year. He did receive just a 57.7 PFF grade but as is the case with a lot of high-ceiling guys, a change of scenery could do wonders. He would immediately have a greater impact on the Eagles than what their current rotation looks like.
With Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks out for the season with a torn Achilles and half the offensive line currently sidelined, the Eagles severely need help protecting Carson Wentz. Matt Pryor is currently the starting right guard and they could certainly see an improvement there and to the depth.
Gabe Jackson, G, Raiders
Jackson is another guy who was dangled in trade talks before the season. The Raiders also have a banged-up offensive line which makes it increasingly unlikely that he is moved. But this is pure speculation and only “possible” targets for the Eagles. That in no way means the player will actually be moved or that the Eagles will make a move for them. As for Jackson, he was hurt for most of the previous two years, with a pectoral tear in 2018 and a knee issue last year. The Raiders’ asking price was reportedly not high back in April as he is signed through 2022 and is set to earn $9.6 million each season of the contract. If the 28-year old guard could find a way to stay healthy, he would provide much-needed depth to the Eagles’ line.
Joe Thuney, G, Patriots
As is a common theme among this list, Thuney was also mentioned in trade rumors in the offseason. That included ones with the Eagles. Most of the time, when trade rumors like that die down they jolt back up before the trade deadline. Thuney is the second-highest-paid guard in the league but deservedly show as one of the best. A move for Thuney would be a huge step in the right direction in getting Wentz the protection he needs.
Only time will tell if the Eagles make a big splash on the trade market. But with the decimation of injuries and inefficient play, they will have to do something to really compete. With under a month until the trade deadline, look for general manager Howie Roseman to explore all options.
The Eagles play the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday in the Battle of Pennsylvania. Stay tuned for the game preview within the next couple of days.
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