We’re back for the second iteration of the Weapon X Mailbag. After one of the worst Eagles regular season losses in recent memory, I’m not going to strut myself too much and just get straight to the Twitter questions.
@JewelziusErving: What’s a more realistic trade this season? A move for a back (kerryon), trade for Arob or Ertz ?
Let’s start with Allen Robinson.
For those unaware, the Bears wide receiver removed all mentions of the team and Chicago from his social media accounts yesterday. According to Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune, Robinson has asked the team for a trade. ESPN’s Adam Schefter refuted that Robinson explicitly asked for a trade, but reiterated his displeasure with Chicago:
Brandon Parker, agent for Bears’ WR Allen Robinson, said he and his client have not requested a trade. However Robinson, who is in the last year of his contract, is unhappy that Chicago has been unwilling to pay him market value for wide receivers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 15, 2020
Whenever a player is looking for a way out or is placed on the trade block, the Eagles are naturally thrown around as a potential destination given that they have maybe the most aggressive general manger in the entire sport in Howie Roseman. There is chatter on Twitter (however dubious it may be) that the Eagles would be a team interested in Robinson and it’s easy to see why.
Robinson’s a stud. He’s 27 and in his seventh NFL season. He had 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 for the Bears. Back in 2015 with the Jaguars, Robinson led the league with 14 touchdown catches to go along with 1,400 receiving yards. He’s done all of this with a cast of quarterbacks who couldn’t out-throw Matt Saracen.
Here are the starting QBs he’s played with: Chad Henne, Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky and Chase Daniel. The dude is still a beast even with those bozos!
So, the Eagles should want Robinson, as should any team, but what would it take? A second rounder maybe? He wants to get paid and is an unrestricted free agent after this season, so if you do make a move, it you’re going to need to fork up the money too, which is dicy for a team as cash-strapped in 2021 as the Birds.
Is it realistic? We’ve seen an increasing amount of high-profile, in-season trades in the NFL akin to the NBA and the MLB as of late. The Cowboys unfortunately acquired Amari Cooper from the (then Oakland) Raiders in 2018. The Rams snagged Jalen Ramsey from the Jags and shipped out Marcus Peters to Baltimore last year in addition to the 49ers acquiring Emmanuel Sanders from Denver.
If the Eagles stay afloat record-wise, but aren't getting enough out of their young wideouts or injuries hamper DeSean Jackson once again (or Alshon Jeffery has a setback), Roseman will do anything possible to get the Eagles to the postseason. That includes pouncing on a move for Robinson.
(Though if they wanted to trade a second-round pick for a receiver around 27 or 28 years old and give him a big deal, they could’ve, ya know, gone after DeAndre Hopkins.)
A Robinson deal, regardless of whether he ends up in Philadelphia specifically, feels like it could be the next in line of sweepstakes NFL trades.
As for Ertz, it’s harder for me to see a move coming to fruition in the middle of the season. An Ertz trade would feel like the bizarro version of a Robinson one. The Eagles would need to be in a free fall, going out of contention quickly as the front office brass cuts their losses and tries to retool for 2021.
An offseason Ertz move though? It’ll definitely be on the table and even feels inevitable to me, especially if we keep seeing the version of Dallas Goedert we did in Week 1.
Hell, what about an Ertz for Robinson trade? It’s no the most original thought out there, but between the connections with Matt Nagy’s offense, Nick Foles in the waiting at quarterback for the Bears and the fact that Julie Ertz play for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, it does feel quite fitting.
When it comes to making a move for a back, I don’t see them surrendering draft capital for an RB. If the Birds need reinforcements in the backfield due to injury issues, I’d think it’s more likely they would give Jason Huntley more run than his single carry from Sunday or call up one of their two practice squad runners: Elijah Holyfield and Adrian Killings.
To compare things to 2017, this team isn’t a “trade a fourth-round pick for Jay Ajayi” away from truly competing.
Here's how I’d rank those in-season moves from most likely to least: Robinson, Ertz and then [insert running back’s name]. If I had to bet my life on it, I’d say none of them are happening though.
@slim_jimmer3: What did you think about the play calling on Sundee? Specifically the lack of misdirection or moving the pocket to help out the o-line.
Well, Jimmy, it wasn’t great!
The Birds came out swinging early with a masterful game script from Doug Pederson. The Eagles’ early game plan was effective and among the best in the league:
Here's how the teams did in week 1 on the first 15 offensive plays of the game: pic.twitter.com/7dN4CL8ZKZ— Eric Eager (@PFF_Eric) September 15, 2020
Both in the air and on the ground, the Birds were eating up yards. Once things progressed and it became clear that the offensive line was overmatched in almost every regard against a frankly dominant defensive front from Washington, the play-calling sucked. Flat. Out. There are few bigger Doug homers than me and, man, it was bad.
The Eagles were running five-step drops and play-action vertical sets that rely on the offensive line to give Carson Wentz as much time as possible to execute. That wasn’t happening with Ryan Kerrigan tossing Jack Driscoll aside like a high school senior with a full-ride to a Big 10 school practicing against a freshman. Draws. Quick rub routes that lead to opportunities for your two tight ends in the middle of the field. Screens to Corey Clement and Boston Scott. There were options to keep Washington’s defensive line more on their toes and Pederson simply didn’t utilize them.
Now, I love the aggressiveness the Birds showed. It’s been missing the last two seasons. It’s great to see Wentz wanting to test out a new weapon in Jalen Reagor, but, at a certain point, you have to realize that your offensive line is getting completely mauled and move away from those long-developing shots down the field (it paints me so much to say that).
How many puff pieces did we read this offseason about the Eagles adding Kyle Shanahan acolyte Rich Scangarello to their coaching brain trust? The Birds ran exactly one designed roll out for Wentz on Sunday. One. Some people conflate Wentz’s breakdown Houdini antics with plays that get Carson on the move and operating outside of the pocket, where he’s at his best. Slightly less of the former, much more of the latter, PLEASE. Get Wentz the hell away from Aaron Donald this weekend.
@Playing_Opossum: what would an Eagles-Bills rivalry look like if they and the Patriots swapped conferences
Phenomenal question. I’m one of those sicko Philly fans who feels disgusted to root for other teams. To be fair, I like other players around the sports world. Russell Wilson is my favorite player to watch in maybe all of sports. Do I want the Seahawks to win? Hell no.
The Bills though? I have a soft spot in my heart for the Bills. No fan base in all of sports quite matches the psychopathy, the gluttony and the mental anguish of Eagles fans as much as the Bills Mafia. I’m assuming this viral video about a Bills fan painting his house red, white and blue to troll his Jets fan neighbor spurred this question:
I love this guy. All it took was a Jets flag next door and he lost it and painted his house Bills colors. Gotta protect your territory pic.twitter.com/NhcThtab7t— B1G Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) September 15, 2020
It would just be a chaotic war. You wouldn’t be able to meet a Bills fan at your random Northeast college without wanting to press your thumbs into their eyeballs like the Mountain against Oberyn Martell.
It’d be like hating the Cowboys the way you do now, except the fan base isn’t full of bandwagon assholes, it’s full of equally deranged mutants who somehow have an even more tortured sports history than we do. They’d have to make rules like they have in place with European soccer where fans of each team are only permitted in certain sections of their respective stadiums.
A Bills-Eagles tailgate would be a WWE match with people constantly coming out of nowhere and battering one another with chairs and then throwing their bodies into folding tables from atop Winnebagos.
There would be a golden broken beer bottle trophy that would get passed back-and-forth between the Anchor Bar, the assumed birth place of buffalo wings, and Pat’s Steaks depending on who the most recent winner in the never-ending rivalry is. We could name it The Lager Trophy. Even if the Birds weren’t Super Bowl contenders in a given season, we could relish in trying to bring the ol’ Lager back to Philly ever year.
It would be bloody. It would be drunken. It would be magnificent.