The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 4:00 PM ET. The Eagles have been linked to a pair of rumors so far, both including wide receiver, where the team needs serious help in the form of a deep threat.
Normally, the NFL trade deadline bears no resemblance to the hectic deadlines in the NBA and the NHL. The vast resources on a 53-man roster, and the relatively early deadline in context of the season, make trades less common in the NFL.
But this is Howie Roseman we’re talking about, the man who has orchestrated more trades than any other team in the league during his time with the Eagles. He pulled off gigantic moves this offseason, including the league-defining Sam Bradford swap with the Vikings, which showed he’s not afraid to make a big splash on the national stage.
With the deadline approaching, I took a look at three players who could be traded before next Tuesday afternoon.
DE Connor Barwin
By and large, Barwin is regarded as the most-likely-to-be-traded player on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. A 3-4 linebacker masquerading as a 4-3 defensive end, Barwin’s impact has been limited this season, as was his production last year after a career year in 2014.
He’s 30 years old, which means 2014 may have been his peak, but he’s still an ultra-athletic defender with a handful of good years left, and his dead cap money next season is just $600,000, making him an easy cut for whoever trades for him in case his production slips again next year.
Barwin is expendable in the Eagles’ eyes because of all the defensive end talent they have at their disposal: Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham are two starter-worthy players, Marcus Smith is showing flashes of improvement this season, and with Taylor Hart (I know, I know) and Steven Means on the team, the defensive line would hardly suffer. If teams call about Barwin, Howie will likely listen, and I would bet something could get done.
LB Mychal Kendricks
Kendricks, as I discussed in my last mailbag, is likely to be traded at some point. The only questions are, when and for what? The 26-year-old linebacker still has plenty of potential, and in the right system he could be a special player. But the Eagles’ coaching staff, and front office, has clearly grown weary of his effort level and on-field mistakes. He hasn’t looked like the player they signed on for when they inked him to a 4-year, $29 million contract in 2015.
There are plenty of teams in the league who would be interested in an athletic, relatively-young linebacker who simply needs a change of scenery. Kendricks’ contract isn’t exactly favorable, but even if a team wanted to cut him after seeing what he had for two years, his dead money in 2019 is just $1.6 million, a far cry from his $9.4 million dead money this year. He’s an expensive trade, considering his cap hit the next two years adds up to $14.2 million, but if he works out, it’ll be seen as a masterful trade by whichever GM makes the move.
And with Stephen Tulloch and Najee Goode available to fill the gap, the Eagles’ linebacker corps would be just fine in the short term until they figure out a longer-term solution.
WR Nelson Agholor
This one I’m a little iffy on, just because he’s so young, but Agholor has clearly underperformed in the first 22 games of his career. A first-round pick in 2015, Agholor has caught 41 passes for 474 yards and two touchdowns. I thought he was making strides earlier in the season. I was wrong. He’s an inconsistent wide receiver at best, he runs questionable routes, and he simply doesn’t get the separation required of him in the NFL.
And yet, he’s only 23. If he can figure things out, even just a bit, Agholor still has a decade’s worth of football ahead of him. If there’s an offensive coordinator or head coach, or even wide receivers coach, out there who thinks he can turn Agholor around with a little technique fixing and mental coaching, it would be a tremendous trade for a team in need of a wide receiver. He’s still on his rookie deal, which means his dead money isn’t favorable, but his cap hit (never more than $3 million) is.
Meanwhile, the Eagles can afford to cut Agholor loose. He’s not bringing very much to the table right now, and with Bryce Treggs on the active roster, he could be bumped up to WR4 status and probably produce just as much as Agholor, who has looked like a replacement-level receiver at best this year. They could probably recoup a decent amount for Agholor, considering his age, pedigree and potential upside.