The Eagles are trendsetters when it comes to player-for-player trades

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has been referred to as a copycat league and a game of trends. Unfortunately for the Eagles, over the last few years, the team's trends have mostly been surrounded by negativity. From wins plummeting from year-to-year to the offense's inability to score in the redzone, the Eagles have been marred in patterns that have left a bad taste in the mouths of all associated with the organization. However, one trend the Eagles have become familiar with has rubbed off on front offices across the league in a good way.

Once upon a time, the majority of the NFL's wheelings and dealings involved a player for a draft pick. For years, the NBA and MLB were known for their flashy multiple player swaps that captured the attention of the media and fans. However, over the last few seasons, NFL teams have been getting in on the player swap act with the Eagles serving as the true trailblazers for the once-rare deals.

There have been nine (technically 10, if you considered the voided trade between the Browns and Seahawks this week) player-for-player trades this offseason alone. Of those trades, the Eagles have been involved in three player-for-player swaps. On top of those moves, eight of the nine player-for-player trades this offseason were done with at least one team that has a former Philadelphia executive or coach as a major decision-maker. In fact, four of the nine player-for-player trades have happened within the last two weeks and all have them have involved former or current Eagles' employees pulling the trigger.

Here are the nine trades that have taken place this offseason:

  • The Patriots sent running back Jeff Demps to the Buccaneers for running back LaGarrette Blount.
  • The Eagles (Howie Roseman) shipped running back Dion Lewis to the Browns (Joe Banner) for linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
  • The Broncos (Tom Heckert) traded defensive tackle Sealver Siliga to the Seahawks for offensive lineman John Moffit.

As you can see, former Eagles executives like Joe Banner, Tom Heckert and Ryan Grigson have taken the Eagles' trade techniques with them to Cleveland, Denver and Indianapolis, respectively. Former coaches Andy Reid and John Harbaugh have done the same.

It is easy to say that Eagles' general manager Howie Roseman is the trendsetter of the group with a total of 12 player-for-player trades since being hired in 2010. That amount of player swaps far exceeds any team during that span and he had six player swaps in his first year alone.

Keep in mind that Roseman was the Vice President of Player Personnel under Banner, Heckert and Reid, so they all worked together towards building a philosophy for collecting talent. Grigson was under Roseman from 2010-2011 and their two teams have combined for five player-for-player trades this offseason.

While Roseman uses trades like he is collecting pogs or Pokemon cards, he not the originator of the player-for-player trade for the Eagles. There were player swaps in Philadelphia before he became a major player in the front office. In 2006, Mark Simoneau was traded to New Orleans for Donte Stallworth and in 2007 the team traded Darwin Walker to the Bills for Kelly Holcomb and Takeo Spikes. Reid, Heckert and Banner were the guys in charge during those deals.

While the Eagles didn't create the NFL's player-for-player trade, the team has been at the forefront of its use over the last decade. The once-uncommon transaction is now becoming a popular practice across the league, largely due the Eagles' activity on the trade market.

The idea of player-of-player trades is simply to get immediate help for a player that isn't in the teams plans. While the Eagles haven't always been successful with their player-for-player transactions, the league is seemingly starting to notice of the benefits of this type of deal. With the increase in multiple player trades over this offseason, it's safe to bet that more player swaps are to come in the next few weeks and don't be surprised if the Eagles are involved.
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