That Howie Roseman sure loves to make deals.
Here are some thoughts on what this trade means for the Eagles.
Terrence Brooks probably wasn’t going to make the roster
I originally thought Brooks was going to run away with the third safety job. He clearly looked better than Jaylen Watkins during spring and summer practices. But apparently Brooks didn’t look good enough to the Eagles, who went out and signed Corey Graham to be the new No. 3 safety. That pushed Brooks to No. 4 on the depth chart.
One day during practice a few weeks ago, I was thinking about how the Eagles have great safety depth and how that’s taken for granted. It wasn’t that long ago when the Eagles couldn’t find any good safeties. Now they have one of the best starting duos in the league with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. The top backups, Graham and Brooks, would have been a reasonable starting pair. Even undrafted free agent Tre Sullivan has shown some promise. You could do worse than Jaylen Watkins and Chris Maragos as third string options.
The Eagles’ depth at safety made Brooks expendable.
Jaylen Watkins is probably going to make the final roster
#GatorBias strikes again. Just kidding, kind of, but yeah. Watkins is probably going to make the final cut despite the fact he looked to be on on the outs for most of the offseason. (Cue groaning)
The Eagles have been lining up Watkins at second team outside cornerback since Graham was signed. Watkins’ ability to play both corner and safety should help his chances of making the 53-man roster. The only problem is he doesn’t really play either spot particularly well.
Dexter McDougle gives the Eagles more depth
The feeling here is the Eagles will keep McDougle on the roster as the backup to first team slot cornerback Patrick Robinson. The injury-prone Robinson will likely have a short leash if he struggles. McDougle could eventually get a shot at some playing time once he becomes more familiar with Jim Schwartz’s defense.
McDougle’s presence is probably bad news for Ron Brooks. The veteran nickel corner has struggled to stay healthy.
Dexter McDougle is worth taking a shot on
McDougle is only 26 years old and decently athletic. He hasn’t proven much in actual NFL games and he’s struggled with injuries, but the 2014 third-round pick is a reasonable low-risk investment for Philadelphia. Reports out of Jets camp indicate McDougle’s been having a good offseason.
No one should expect McDougle to amount to much. But maybe he can be a pleasant surprise.
The Eagles are throwing a bunch of corners at the wall to see what sticks
The Eagles have struggled to find long-term answers at cornerback for too long now. It’s commendable, then, that they’re trying a lot of different options to get it right.
Philadelphia drafted Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas in the second and third round, respectively. They traded Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick to the Bills in exchange for Ronald Darby. And now they moved Brooks for McDougle.
Again, McDougle might end up amounting to nothing, but at least the Eagles are trying to test out different options in the hopes of finding something that works. If McDougle can step up and become a solid slot corner for the Eagles, that would be great.
Howie Roseman still loves to make trades and he’s probably not done yet
Roseman just can’t help himself. He’s made more than twice as many player trades as the next closest team since 2010. Just last week he traded Matt Tobin to the Seahawks. Before that it was Jordan Matthews to the Bills.
Howie probably isn’t done yet, either. There are still a number of players who the Eagles could trade in a deal similar to this Brooks one: Steven Means, Mychal Kendricks, Bryce Treggs, etc.
You can never rule out a trade with Roseman in charge.