The Around The NFL folks over at NFL.com recently put an interesting list together of six potential trades they would love to see happen. The Eagles are mentioned twice, so let's take a look.
The first trade they propose is actually pretty crazy: they have the Eagles trading up for Marcus Mariota. It's a little-known fact that Chip Kelly used to coach the Heisman-winning quarterback when they spent time together at Oregon. Crazy, right? You think someone would have mentioned that by now.
The second trade proposed involves yet another deal between the Eagles and the St. Louis Rams. These two teams obviously made a big swap earlier this offseason by exchanging Sam Bradford and Nick Foles (along with draft picks). This time Gregg Rosthenal is suggesting the Eagles trade for a St. Louis wide receiver:
"Tavon Austin to the Eagles - We know Chip Kelly is not afraid to make bold moves with draft picks moving away. We know the Rams have no idea how to use Tavon Austin. We know these two squads aren't afraid to make a deal. No coach is better at getting the primary receiver open than Chip Kelly, and Austin would be a perfect "space" player in the Eagles' offense who could make plays after the catch."
There's no question Austin has been a big bust in the NFL to this point. Since being taken No. 8 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, he's managed to record just 71 receptions for 660 yards (9.3 average) and four touchdowns in 28 games played. Meanwhile, his nine fumbles indicate he's turnover prone.
So why would the Eagles have any interest? Well, one could argue that he wasn't exactly put in the best position to succeed under former Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. It's not exactly like he got to work with the best quarterbacks ever either, especially in 2014 when Bradford missed the whole year.
While the struggles are most noticeable, it's not all bad. One area where Austin has shined is on special teams. He's returned 68 punts in two seasons for a total of 671 yards (9.9 average) and two touchdowns. Austin has also made positive contributions in limited touches as a rusher. He's carried the ball 45 times for 375 yards (8.3 average) and three touchdowns.
The Eagles should be in no rush to give up a valuable asset for Austin, especially with a 2015 NFL Draft class loaded at wide receiver, but it could be an interesting buy-low situation for Philadelphia. The thinking is that Chip Kelly would be able to get the most out of Austin. As an added bonus, the deal would reunite Austin with Bradford. The Rams might not be willing to give up on Austin, especially because trading him would actually cost them ~$350K in cap space, but if he's not in their future plans they might as well get something for him while they still can.
Ultimately, I don't think this deal happens. Just a fun scenario to think about.