Let’s piece the clues together, shall we? Pepe Silvia style. Try to stay with me.
We’ll begin with last week’s rumor that the Eagles are “aggressively pursuing” a trade up in order to draft Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. In order to get him, the Eagles are probably going to have to at least move up ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders’ pick at No. 12 overall.
Such a big trade up would not come cheap. And after only making 10 picks in the past two years combined, one would think Howie Roseman will be reluctant to consolidate even more assets this year.
But, hey, what if instead of using picks, the Eagles traded up by sending their 2020 first-round pick and ... a player?
Enter: this very curious tweet from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
Jets fans...— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) April 23, 2020
Andre Dillard is pretty good. pic.twitter.com/33rE8SKWfh
BLG, you’re crazy! There’s no way the Eagles are trading Dillard. They traded up for him last year with the thought that he’ll be their future franchise left tackle.
Well, yes. But are the Eagles as high on Dillard as they once were? There are signs that indicate otherwise.
For starters, my BGN Radio co-host Jimmy Kempski says the Eagles have “major concerns” about Dillard.
I don’t know, but I do know they have major concerns about him presently.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) April 23, 2020
Dillard struggled as a rookie on the field, both at LT and RT, and his emotional episode during training camp wasn’t the only such incident that occurred during the course of the 2019 season, according to source.
If the Eagles had concerns about Dillard’s mentality to play in a city like Philadelphia, it would perhaps make sense to move him sooner than later to salvage value he may still have around the league, before it’s too late. Perhaps a package of Dillard and a pick would allow the team to move up for a player at a huge need, like, oh, sayyyy, wide receiver?
Oh, hey, look, there’s that Dillard and a pick to trade up for a receiver idea.
Kempski isn’t the only Philly reporter to recently suggest off-field concerns about Dillard. This comes from Jeff McLane:
[Howie] Roseman, though, had never met Dillard face-to-face before he made the pick. A native of the state of Washington, Dillard never had been to Philadelphia, let alone a metropolis as large. While he showed some promise in the four games he got to play as a rookie, Dillard struggled to adapt to the new environment and the NFL locker room.
It seems to me like the Eagles might have already soured on Dillard.
And if that’s the case, they could be looking to ship him out before his value drops further. So, maybe the best deal that Howie Roseman can get for Philly’s 2019 first-round pick is trading him to the Jets. Former Eagles vice president of player personnel and current Jets general manager Joe Douglas loves offensive lineman and he could still believe in Dillard.
Of course, moving on from Dillard leaves the Eagles without an obvious left tackle of the future. But Philly could look to bring back Jason Peters in the short-term. After all, reports indicate there’s a faction within the NovaCare Complex that wants JP back for 2020. Alternatively, the Eagles could try to make a deal for the aforementioned Williams. And/or they could select one of the multiple offensive tackle prospects they’ve been showing interest in ahead of this year’s draft.
As with any rumor, it’s possible there’s nothing to any of this. But multiple indications make me think there just might be something to the idea of the Eagles moving Dillard in a trade up to ultimately get Lamb.
Could be an interesting night!
UPDATE: ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini also put this out there:
Lobs another trade rumor to the timeline pic.twitter.com/ihDzZxwOB2— Patrick (@EaglesPMC) April 23, 2020
Dillard could be an option for the Jets if the offensive tackles they like are gone.
SECOND UPDATE: So, there’s this.
CeeDee Lamb also told me he spoke to the #Eagles WRs coach.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 23, 2020
"Spent a lot of time talking to the Eagles for sure, but as far as other teams, I don’t think they want to show their hands...to show off like if they're interested. They are going to wait until the real thing happens."