PHILADELPHIA EAGLES RECEIVE: Offensive lineman Ethan Pocic
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS RECEIVE: Cornerback Sidney Jones
The stated reasoning for the Seahawks’ motivation is that they’ve added a lot of offensive line competition but they’re still lacking secondary depth. Here’s what was written about the Eagles’ side of things:
Following the devastating news that Brandon Brooks suffered a torn Achilles and will miss the 2020 season, Philly has a massive gap to fill along the offensive line. Matt Pryor, who started in place of Brooks because of an injury in last year’s playoffs, is the likely starter, but there is room to add some depth. Pocic has plenty of positional versatility (he has played both guard spots, center and right tackle) and was on track to a promising career as a rookie. Injuries derailed his 2019 season, and he has played in just 30 of 48 career games. But this would be a bet for Philly on the ability to develop him, the chance to pad depth at multiple spots and the reality that finding replacements in mid-June is not easy to accomplish.
So, should the Eagles make this deal?
I can see where the idea comes from. The teams are swapping 2017 second-round picks who haven’t lived up to expectations in part due to injury issues. Perhaps a change of scenery would benefit both.
Ultimately, though, I’m not feeling it. Pocic may offer versatility but his lack of durability is an issue. He’s logged just 1,026 snaps over three seasons. To put that number in perspective, Jason Kelce played 1,163 snaps in 2019 alone. Don’t love trying to replace Brooks with a guy who was limited to one start due to back and core muscle injuries last season.
Also, are we sure Pocic is really any good? I can’t tell you I’ve watched the Seahawks’ offensive line at length (sounds like an unpleasant experience!) but Pocic has consistently graded out poorly by Pro Football Focus. Even his “promising” rookie season saw him finish ranked 78th out of 92 guards.
In fairness, Pocic hasn’t had the luxury of being focused in on one position and maybe he’d thrive under a better offensive line coach like Jeff Stoutland. He does boast a good blend of size and athleticism:
Still, I’d rather the Eagles hang on to Jones. And I say this as someone who is far from the biggest Sidney believer. I think those who expect Jones to break out this year are bound to be disappointed. He’s not even going to begin the season as a starter with Avonte Maddox ahead of him.
But I’ll allow that there’s a chance Jones does prove his doubters wrong. And if he does, he’ll be a valuable player to have moving forward. Jones is currently set to be a restricted free agent after the 2020 season so the Eagles can keep him on the cheap for at least one more year. Pocic, meanwhile, is only under team control through this year.
The best case scenario with Jones is that he turns into a good starting cornerback for the foreseeable future. The best case scenario with Pocic is that he’s a good one year stop-gap replacement for Brooks, who figures to return in 2021.
The Eagles don’t necessarily need to acquire a veteran guard since they have multiple intriguing internal options. And if they do want to add somebody with experience, they can sign a free agent without having to give up Jones in return.
Should the Eagles trade Sidney Jones for Ethan Pocic?
This poll is closed
While Pocic’s name isn’t bound to get Eagles fans excited, there is one in ESPN’s column that will spark interest.
CLEVELAND BROWNS RECEIVE: Edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS RECEIVE: TE David Njoku and a 2021 second-round pick
This proposal obviously doesn’t include the Eagles but one could tweak it so that it would. Replace Njoku with Dallas Goedert and there’s your offer from Philly’s side.
To be clear, I don’t think the Eagles would or should make that proposal. They’re not really in the right cap position to be surrendering premium cost-controlled assets in addition to handing out another top of the market contract. It would be nice to see them boost their pass rushing talent, though. And we suspect Yannick wouldn’t mind playing in Philly.