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Report: Eagles have dangled Andre Dillard as trade bait

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Yikes.

Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Hey, you know all that talk about the Philadelphia Eagles potentially trading Andre Dillard? It doesn’t look like it’s baseless.

Check out what NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn recently had to say about the Eagles’ 2019 first-round pick. Bold emphasis is mine:

For the past several weeks, they have been dangling Rasul Douglas, trying to trade him. There has been no takers in that regard, and if that is the case, there it goes again: another Eagles high draft pick that didn’t pan out.

I was also told Andre Dillard had been dangled out there as possible trade bait, to a couple of teams, and on a couple of occasions, the information came back: ‘Not interested at this particular time.’

Wow.

I’d say it’s ... not good ... that the Eagles have seemingly soured on their projected left tackle of the future one year after trading up in the first round to get him.

The report is not so crazy to believe based on the concerns that have been raised about Dillard.

From PhillyVoice:

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.

And from the Inquirer:

[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.

Gunn’s reporting indicates other teams aren’t interested in Dillard, which makes sense. If he’s any good, why would the Eagles already be shopping him?

This is a messy situation. Dillard is currently projected to be the Eagles’ starting left tackle in 2020 but it doesn’t seem like the team has real confidence in him. Are they going to be forced to re-sign the 38-year-old Jason Peters? Do they try to trade for an established veteran like Trent Williams? Do they add another tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft? Do they just merely hope Dillard works out despite the fact they don’t feel great about him?

If Dillard is truly a bust, well, that’s a real bad look for the Eagles’ front office. The team’s 2019 NFL Draft class isn’t looking so hot. Their careers aren’t officially over yet, no, but the early indication is that Dillard and JJ Arcega-Whiteside could be big misses. Shareef Miller might not make the team this year and if he does it’ll be as a fifth or sixth defensive end. Clayton Thorson wasn’t even good enough to make the practice squad as a rookie. Miles Sanders is definitely looking like a hit ... but running back is also the most fungible position in the NFL.

It’s hard to look at last year’s class and then feel super great about the Eagles nailing this year’s draft. Hopefully the Eagles find a more promising bet this time around.

UPDATE: Conflicting report alert. Les Bowen chimes in: