According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the few teams that have inquired about trading for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
Vincent Jackson still generating trade interest. Among the more than 4 teams calling around: Eagles, Pats, Seahawks. Bucs want real value— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 26, 2014
This report comes as the 2014 NFL trade deadline is fast approaching. At 4:00 PM EST on Tuesday, October 28, NFL teams will no longer be allowed to make trades for the rest of the season.
Why this makes sense
The Eagles wide receiver corps isn't overly impressive. Jeremy Maclin has played well coming off of the ACL injury that forced him to miss the entire 2013 season but fellow starting outside wide receiver Riley Cooper has been a disappointment. Cooper, who was awarded with a five-year, $22.5 million contract ($10 million guaranteed) in the offseason, has only managed to account for 217 yards on 24 catches (9.0 average) and 1 touchdown.
Adding a player like Jackson would send Cooper to the bench. Jackson has the size and physicality that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly likes from his wide receivers; the veteran pass catcher measures in at 6-5, 230 lbs. Jackson would give Eagles quarterback Nick Foles a new jump ball target, which could come in handy considering the Eagles are struggling to score in the red-zone.
It's hard to rule the Eagles out of a trade possibility because they are very active in the trade market. No NFL team has acquired more players on their 53-man roster via trade than Philadelphia has with 5. General manager Howie Roseman isn't shy to make a deal. Note that the Eagles were one of the only two teams to make a deal before the deadline last season.
(Bonus: If Jackson comes to Philadelphia and takes jersey No. 10 for some reason, Eagles fans could get use out of their old DeSean Jackson jerseys. Practice squad wide receiver Quron Pratt currently wears No. 10.)
Why this doesn't make sense
Jackson is 31 and will turn 32 in January. The Eagles didn't have a problem trading a 2014 fifth round pick for veteran running back Darren Sproles but Jackson could be a little more expensive. Rapoport noted that the Buccaneers would like a high draft pick in exchange for Jackson. Rapoport notes that Tampa Bay wants as much as a second round pick. The Eagles own all seven of their draft selections in the 2015 NFL Draft. Philadelphia might be set to receive an eighth selection in the form of a 4th round pick pending the conditions of the Bryce Brown trade.
Jackson's contract isn't cheap, either. The veteran is due a base salary of $10,000,000 in 2014, $9,777,777 in 2015, and $9,777,778 in 2016.
There's also the fact that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly seems to like roster continuity. Bringing in a player like Jackson would mean he would have to learn the playbook and get adjusted to a new offense.
Chances of it happening
I would say the chances are low. I'll put it at around 20%. I don't doubt that the Eagles have some level of interest in Jackson, but I do doubt that they will be willing to part with a high draft pick in order to acquire this veteran wide receiver. It's also very possible that the Buccaneers and/or Jackson's agent leaked the name of the Eagles in this report because of their active trade reputation. Tampa Bay seems very desperate to unload him.
In any case, this will be an interesting situation to watch as the trade deadline approaches.