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Official: Eagles trade for pass rusher from Bills

Howie Roseman strikes.

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles have made a trade! The team officially announced they’ve acquired defensive end Eli Harold from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for undrafted rookie free agent offensive lineman Ryan Bates.

Harold, who turned 25 in January, was originally selected by the 49ers in the third round (No. 79 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. In 48 games played (25 starts) with San Francisco over three seasons, Harold logged 84 total tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble. The 49ers then traded Harold to the Lions in August 2018. Harold posted four sacks in 13 games with Detroit before signing with the Bills as a free agent earlier this year in April.

Acquiring Harold gives the Eagles even more competition at defensive end. Philadelphia lost some pass rush depth last week with Joe Ostman suffering a season-ending ACL injury. Now the Eagles will have Harold battle it out with Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall (who got banged up in the Eagles’ first preseason game but later returned), Shareef Miller, and Kasim Edebali for a roster spot or two or three (?).

Bates was a nice story since the Warrington, PA native grew up as a big fan of the Eagles. But Bates wasn’t likely to make the 53-man roster given all the depth Philadelphia has on the offensive line. The Penn State alumnus was looking at a practice squad spot at best.

With that in mind, there’s hardly any guarantee Harold makes the Eagles’ final cut, either. But it doesn’t hurt to churn the bottom of the roster in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. The Eagles can give Harold a look over the next few weeks. If he steps up and makes the team, great! If not, no big deal.


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