The official start of NFL free agency is still two weeks away but we already have some early news of a trade. The Denver Broncos dealt one of their 2020 fourth-round picks to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for starting cornerback A.J. Bouye.
This trade doesn’t directly involve the Philadelphia Eagles, no, but it does potentially have some impact on them.
For starters, we now know the Eagles won’t be trading for Bouye to address their glaring need at cornerback. With 10 projected picks in the 2020 NFL Draft (including three fourth rounders), the Eagles had ample ammo to make this deal. But the Birds opted not to acquire Bouye, who turns 29 in August and carries a $13 million base salary this season.
The Broncos being the team to land Bouye is notable to the Eagles for two reasons.
The first is that Denver was (correctly) rumored to be in the market for a veteran corner. ESPN specifically noted the Broncos were among the “strong possibilities” to land Byron Jones. It appears the Broncos are now out of the market for the former Dallas Cowboys defender, thus giving even more credence to the rumors the Eagles could sign Jones.
The second angle to consider is that the Bouye acquisition seals the fate of impending free agent Chris Harris Jr. CHJ was already expected to leave Denver this offseason and this trade only confirms as much. The Eagles were originally linked to Harris Jr. prior to last season’s NFL trade deadline before it happened again back in January.
NFL insider Jason La Canfora also recently suggested the Eagles could sign both Jones and CHJ.
Splurge on Byron Jones in free agency … and maybe take a run at Chris Harris, too? That would drastically reshape the secondary in the slot and on the outside, and would badly weaken an already-suspect Cowboys defense at the same time.
One could theorize the Broncos really wanted Jones but realized he was headed elsewhere and went to their Plan B.
Is Philly the destination for Jones? We’ll see soon enough.