I’m back with another mailbag this week with some questions that are juicy. If you want to ask a question for a future mailbag, you can tweet at me or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anthony Brown (via email): With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching, at what point do the Eagles decide that the season is basically a wash and start getting value for other players on the roster? They’ll still publicly state that they want to see if Jalen Hurts can lead the team ... haven’t they already seen enough from him to validate doing this? Or ... will they be afraid of both hypocrisy/public opinion and of supposedly sabotaging Jalen Hurts’ chances to lead the team?
Well, they already traded a Super Bowl hero in Zach Ertz last week. If the Eagles legitimately felt like they were true playoff contenders and were building up for a run, they likely wouldn’t have traded him. Yes, it was Ertz’s wish to get moved elsewhere, but if this team was humming and stacking wins, I’m sure he’d have been fine staying in midnight green.
I wrote in a mailbag earlier this season that the Eagles shouldn’t simply be in the business of giving players away for the sake of giving players away. Miles Sanders is a talented player, but they don’t even really use him. Are they stuck with him? Does moving him take away much from Jalen Hurts’ development? I don't really think so, as his touches would go to another good back in Kenny Gainwell. Ertz is a franchise legend, but Hurts should be fine targeting Dallas Goedert in an increased role.
Moving players on defense could be a better idea for the Birds, one that would, in theory, not take away from any potential development from Hurts. Steven Nelson seems like a prime trade candidate. Darius Slay’s contract likely keeps him in Philly through 2022, but he’s the type of aging vet they should be dealing. Hell, maybe a contender makes a call about Fletcher Cox. That should be entertained.
Trades won’t sabotage Hurts’ future in Philadelphia. It’s ultimately up to him to play better. He’s missed many chances for positive plays this season. That’s on him. Ertz’s departure and a potential Sanders deal don’t change that.
@Davel79: If Jordan Mailata is your OT #1 and will perform on either side, who is better: Andre Dillard at left tackle or Jack Driscoll at right tackle? (With Jordan as the other OT.)
Andre Dillard has performed beyond expectations. I’m not sure there’s a star-level player in him at this stage though. Jordan Mailata should clearly be the team’s franchise left tackle. If he’s that good, put him at LT. I want the best left tackle possible regardless of whether it’s Hurts at quarterback or a new guy in 2022.
In a vacuum, Dillard is better at LT than Jack Driscoll is at RT, but Lane Johnson is back with the team and there’s always the opportunity to add another right tackle in next year’s draft. I want Mailata to get those reps at left tackle, but if Johnson and Brandon Brooks are both out, Mailata is likely best at RT with Dillard at LT in the interim.