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NFL insider thinks the Eagles would “at least explore” trade for Joe Thuney

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High profile Brandon Brooks replacement?

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson indicated that the Philadelphia Eagles plan to first look at in-house options to replace Brandon Brooks but the head coach didn’t rule entirely out external additions.

Due to their cap situation, the Eagles aren’t likely to make a big splash. But if they defy expectation, there is a noteworthy name to consider ... New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney.

The MMQB’s Albert Breer recently suggested Thuney could be on Philly’s radar.

And I don’t think if they get through a couple weeks of camp, and Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig and Jack Driscoll aren’t where they should be, that Roseman will hesitate to pick up the phone.

Would they take a big swing on someone like New England’s franchise-tagged All-Pro guard, Joe Thuney? Based on what I know … I think they’d at least explore it. But, again, that’s probably more of a down-the-road contingency thing for now.

That “based on what I know” line is intriguing.

To be clear, though, a trade for Thuney just doesn’t seem likely. He’s currently set to carry a $14.78 million cap number in 2020. The Eagles technically have enough cap space (~24.7 million) to afford that price tag but not when you account for how they’re planning on rolling that money over to 2021 since they’re currently projected to be $50.6 million over the cap.

Thuney’s 2020 cap figure can only be lowered via a contact extension prior to the July 15 deadline. So, a deal would have to get done before then unless the Eagles were irrationally comfortable with him potentially leaving after this season. Trading for Thuney would more likely involve signing him to a lucrative, long-term contract in addition to paying significant draft pick and/or player compensation.

There’s no need for the Eagles to pay a premium for Thuney when they can either rely on their inexpensive in-house options or signing a stop-gap veteran. That is ... unless the team has serious reservations about Brooks’ future. I guess that possibility can’t be discounted considering Brooks has suffered three major injuries since January 2019 and he’ll be 32 the next time he’s set to take a snap. It also might be worth mentioning that he’s previously weighed early retirement.

Thuney, by contrast, is only 27 and has never missed a game. Pro Football Focus graded him out as the NFL’s third best guard in both 2018 and 2019. Thuney also boasts a great athletic profile:

It doesn’t hurt for Howie Roseman to call up the Pats and check in on what it’d cost for the Eagles to acquire Thuney. The price tag probably won’t make sense for the Eagles to act on, though.

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Should the Eagles trade for Joe Thuney?

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