Well it's certainly been an eventful day.
As you're probably aware by now, late this morning it was reported that the Eagles traded Eric Rowe to the Patriots. Then all hell broke loose. First, it was reported that the Eagles were getting back a conditional 2018 4th round pick and guard Josh Kline.
Eagles are trading CB Eric Rowe to Patriots for OL Josh Kline and a draft pick, league sources tell @MikeReiss and me.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 6, 2016
Then it was reported that the Eagles were immediately shopping Kline to try to complete a three-way trade.
New Eagles' OL Josh Kline might not be in Philly long -- or at all. Eagles already in deep discussions to trade Kline, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 6, 2016
Then it was reported that actually, Josh Kline isn't in the trade.
Whatever this unannounced #Eagles trade involving Eric Rowe is, my understanding is that Josh Kline no longer is involved in any way...— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) September 6, 2016
This was confusing because in an interview today with WEEI, Bill Belichick talked about Kline as if he was no longer on the roster.
"We felt like Rowe would give us some depth in the secondary," Belichick said on "Dale & Holley." "He’s a young player, in his second year. We’ll see where that goes." Belichick also praised Kline in that same interview. "I have a lot of respect for Josh," the coach said. "He came in here as an undrafted player. Spent a little bit of time on the practice squad. Worked hard to make the team. Has played for us. We’ve won with him."
Speculation ran rampant. Immediately there was speculation that he failed a physical. That wasn't the case.
No failed physical for Kline. He simply was removed from the deal. The rest of it remains - Eric Rowe in exchange for conditional 4th— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) September 6, 2016
Adding further intrigue, it's been over 9 hours since news of the trade broke and neither team has officially confirmed the deal. That's a long time. The piecemeal way the news unfolded over the afternoon, with national and local writers on both sides giving conflicting yet consistent information has caused all kinds of confusion.
While acquiring an offensive linemen makes sense given that the Eagles currently have two starters over 30, the team is carrying 11 offensive linemen, which is unusual, most teams carry 10. However carrying an extra lineman while the team awaits word on a Lane Johnson suspension makes sense. But then Jason LaCanfora added another curveball, reporting that the Eagles are looking to unload backup C/G Stefen Wisniewski.
Eagles also indicated willingness to other teams to potentially move C/G Stefan Wisniewski as well. Clearly looking to move OL— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 7, 2016
Given that the Eagles were rumored to have been acquiring a young interior linemen , it would make sense to offload a veteran one. If they were even looking to acquire Kline.
[UPDATE 10:10 PM ET] - Because of course there would be a late night tidbit to this ever evolving story, Les Bowen reports that the trade is expected to be finalized tomorrow morning and that there are no other teams involved.
To quickly recap a bizarre day:
-We know that Eric Rowe has been traded to the Patriots for a 2018 4th round pick that could turn into a 3rd round pick. Beat writers in Philly, Boston and nationally are all saying the same thing. While neither team has officially confirmed the deal, Bill Belichick has openly talked about Rowe being on his team.
-We're pretty sure that Josh Kline is not headed to the Eagles. He did not fail a physical, but there has been no explanation given as to why he suddenly was dropped from the trade. Given that this story has made a series of turns already, to definitively rule him or anything else out seems premature.
-We don't know what the hold up is. Has Rowe yet to take a physical? Are the teams working out a different compensation return after removing Kline from the deal? Are they still trying to find a third dance partner? Are they trying to unload Wisniewski and have Kline take his spot? Will Josh Kline be remembered with other Philadelphia legends such as Frank Gore, Shea Webber and Dan Hamhius?
We'll find out eventually, but at this point it seems safe to assume nothing beyond the Eagles got a draft pick from the Patriots for Eric Rowe.