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NFL insider says Eagles tried to acquire Jets wide receiver prior to trade deadline

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PLUS: some more insight on the Golden Tate deal.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NFL insider Chris Mortensen shared a couple scoops about the Philadelphia Eagles on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown show this morning. (Hat tip to BGN alumnus Jimmy Kempski for first noticing.)

First, Mort gave a little more insight regarding newly acquired Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate.

It looks like rent-a-player with the guy whose skill set might not be the biggest need. But word is Carson Wentz is authentically thrilled, and in part because veteran teammates Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles offered their endorsements via group texting this bye week. Tate has been part of their offseason workout program the past two offseasons at renowned personal trainer Todd Durkin’s facility in San Diego. Lot of fun going on among those guys.

Always great to hear that the franchise quarterback is happy. I’m sure Wentz will appreciate Tate’s elite ability to get yards after the catch.

But it sounds like Tate wasn’t the Eagles’ original target. Mort said the Eagles originally went after New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson.

Now, the real need for the [Eagles], was the the tall, lean pass receiver, vertical threat like Robby Anderson of the Jets. And they made a try, but the bottom line is the Jets said we are invested in Sam Darnold with the first round pick. We’re going to keep Anderson. They said no to all suitors, even though he’s going to be a restricted free agent agent this year. He’s tall, he’s lean, he’s fast, he can get open deep, he can take off the top. Jets says no to the teams including the Eagles.

Anderson would’ve been an ideal acquisition for the Eaglse due to his deep speed. The Temple alumnus runs a 4.34 40-yard dash and owns a career 15.1 yards per reception. Anderson, who turned 25 in May, also would’ve made more long-term sense for Philadelphia given that he’s young and easily retainable due to his restricted free agent status following this season.

But alas, the Jets were not willing to deal Anderson prior to the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday.

The Eagles’ rumored interest in speedsters won’t surprise anyone; Philadelphia has been lacking in the big play department this season. One does have to wonder what the Eagles’ serious interest in field-stretching receivers means for the status of injured players such as Mack Hollins and Mike Wallace. Both players are eligible to return to the active roster this season but it remains to be seen if it’ll happen for sure. We’ll see.

For now, the Eagles will be relying on Tate as a new weapon in their passing attack.