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Weapon X Mailbag: Should the Eagles trade Miles Sanders?

Plus: Blackout game on Sunday?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

VICTORY MONDAY!

If you want to ask a question for a future mailbag, you can tweet at me or email bleedinggreeninfo@gmail.com

@alex252: Are the Eagles too focused on the negative aspects of Miles Sanders (stepping out of bounds while killing clock, pass catching, etc) to appreciate his big play ability? Should they just trade him (either now or in offseason) and move on?

This is specific to neither the Eagles nor Miles Sanders. When I was an intern in college, a veteran reporter once told me that if the fan base and media are clamoring for a player to play more and they’re not seeing time, we’re blind to something the coaching staff sees.

It’s without a doubt strange. Sanders has deficiencies in his game, but he’s certainly the best pure runner on the Birds and in his prime. It’s wild that in the first game the Eagles were without him this season, Jordan Howard, who’s been on the practice squad and Boston Scott, who didn’t have his first carry of the season until last week, went off. The duo combined for 117 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.

I feel like I write about Sanders and potential trades in every mailbag, but it remains a worthy topic. I’m of the mindset that teams shouldn’t get rid of talented players for non-premium picks just for the sake of it, but if the Eagles truly aren’t going to use Sanders this year and have other backs they feel like are capable of sizable workload, a split needs to happen.

I’ve compared a Sanders trade to the deal the Eagles made for Jay Ajayi in 2017 for a fourth-round pick. Ajayi had another year left on his rookie contract at the time of the trade just like Sanders does. Sanders is on IR currently and won’t be eligible to come back until November 21 at the earliest though, which further complicates matters. Is a team going to make a win-now move for a running back when he’s going to miss a couple of games and may be hampered even when he suits up again? Wouldn’t the Titans, for example, want immediate help following Derrick Henry’s injury instead of dealing with another injured back?

I’m uncertain that a Sanders trade will happen before Tuesday’s deadline. I do think that if he does remain an Eagle for the rest of 2021, he will be gone come the offseason.

@ThatMikeDenison: 1) Why did we see so much of Boston Scott and Jordan Howard, but only garbage time Kenneth Gainwell? 2) If we could find a trade partner to ship Fletcher Cox, what would we get for him?

Adding to the head-scratching running back usage against Lions, Kenny Gainwell didn’t get any carries until garbage time. This happened despite Gainwell being the Eagles’ main complementary back all season and consistently playing over Scott through the first chunk of the season.

I don’t really get it?

I thought early during Sunday’s game that the coaching staff wanted to keep Gainwell in that RB2 role he’s been shining in as a rookie, but that clearly didn’t happen as Howard became a bigger force as the afternoon wore on.

Weird!

As for a Fletcher Cox trade, a first or second-round pick feels unrealistic at this point. What makes matters even worse is that Cox’s contract restructure in the middle of this season make a potential trade horrible financially:

Is a dead cap hit of $37 million worth a third-round pick? Not to me.

@danmcgukin_: Black on black next week?

@aidan45237: If the Eagles get to 5-5 do they wear black against the Saints again or wait until the divisional games?

The Eagles desperately need to ride the high of this dominating road win and break out the black uniforms on Sunday against the Chargers. It’s a 4:05 p.m. game. It’ll get dark out during the course of the early evening. It’s the vibe.

Before this win against Detroit, I had thought that the Eagles were saving the black uniforms for the Saints game and then a divisional game later in the year. The Saints one made some sense because the Eagles upset New Orleans while wearing them last season in Jalen Hurts’ first career start.

If the Birds can somehow pull off a win against Justin Herbert in the Chargers in the black uniforms, take care of business against the Broncos in Denver and come back home for a game that’ll have huge Wild Card implications? Break those bad boys out again.