ESPN writer Mike Sando came up with a fun idea and put together a list of bold trades that he thinks should happen leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. Two of his trades happen to involve the Philadelphia Eagles. You can check out the entire post via ESPN In$ider. Here's what he's suggesting the Eagles should do.
Eagles trade Fletcher Cox and No. 8 for the No. 1 overall pick
The Eagles under this scenario would use the top overall choice for Jared Goff, Carson Wentz or whatever quarterback they had ranked highest on draft day. They would subtract a player (Cox) who has yet to sign a contract extension after Philadelphia picked up his fifth-year option. Cox would sign a long-term deal with the Titans as part of the arrangement, while Tennessee would pair the playmaking DT with Jurrell Casey on a suddenly formidable defensive front.
Dropping seven spots to No. 8 would not stop the Titans from addressing their offensive line or another position. The Eagles' previous jump from 13th to eighth in the draft order would become, in retrospect, a first step toward adding a long-term option at quarterback. Players drafted in the top 10 carry more expensive fifth-year options tethered to the transition tag, a price easier to justify for quarterbacks.
Other factors make this trade seem like a longer shot. The Eagles already have secured their short-term future at quarterback through deals with Chase Daniel and Sam Bradford. The 2016 draft appears strong for defensive tackle types, providing Tennessee with options that could be more cost-effective than signing Cox to an expensive veteran deal.
Let me begin by saying I just don't think there's any way the Eagles actually trade Cox. I was told Cox was never made available even when the Birds were trying to get Marcus Mariota last year. Their commitment to him should only be stronger now that Howie Roseman, who drafted Cox, is back in charge of Philadelphia's player personnel department. Roseman has publicly stated the Eagles intend to pay Cox. The organization clearly wants him around for the long-term. Cox said he wants to be in Philly as well.
But for the sake of discussion, is it worth trading Cox in order to get a long-term answer at quarterback? The Eagles are rumored to have interest in moving up this year to get a passer. If they've identified a must-have franchise quarterback, they have to do almost anything they can to get him. The Eagles would have to be pretty sold on a guy before trading a stud like Cox, however. A trade like that has serious potential to backfire.
Again, I don't see it happening and I'm sure a number of Eagles fans will get upset that it was even suggested.
Eagles trade a third round pick to the Chiefs for Jamaal Charles
The Chiefs fared just fine without Charles last season and they could move him without incurring dead money against their salary cap. Charles turned 29 in December and is coming off knee surgery, so it's not clear how much he would command in a trade. A highly motivated Charles could carry appeal through 2017, the final year of a contract carrying base salaries of $2.75 million (2016) and $3.75 million (2017).
Charles' connection to new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson makes Philadelphia a logical trading partner following DeMarco Murray's departure from the roster. The Eagles also own two third-round choices, while the Chiefs lost theirs when the NFL handed down punishment for tampering with Jeremy Maclin.
Make no mistake: the Eagles have a big need at running back. Ryan Mathews, who turns 29 in October, is injury prone and struggles with ball protection. Darren Sproles turns 33 in June and he's only a part-time offensive player. I don't think Charles is the answer, though. He turns 30 in December and he's coming off a major injury. The Eagles would be better off spending a draft pick on a running back who can be around for years to come. If the Eagles are going to trade for any Chiefs running back, it should involve taking a low-risk flyer on Knile Davis.