UPDATE: Well! The Eagles made a trade after all. It just didn’t come out until 16 minutes after the deadline somehow. They reportedly acquired cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.
The Philadelphia Eagles were neither buyers nor sellers on the day of the 2021 NFL trade deadline. The team made no moves ahead of 4:00 PM Eastern.
If reports are to be believed, however, the Eagles’ inaction wasn’t for a lack of effort. Jeff McLane of the Inquirer reports the team was “aggressively trying to move Fletcher Cox, even in spite of [his] massive dead cap.” He ultimately said there were “too many obstacles” for a deal to get done.
Indeed, the Eagles unwisely restructuring Cox’s contract prior to this season prevented the team from realistically moving on from him. And so he’ll remain in Philly for the rest of the 2021 campaign.
But Cox’s future beyond this year remains up in the air. The team will likely revisit trade talks in the 2022 offseason.
The Eagles should’ve had the foresight to not show more commitment to Cox, a player clearly in decline. Though Cox might have some fair gripes about his usage in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme, there’s ample reason to believe he’s not an elite difference-maker anymore. It’s quite possible his high snap count has taken a toll on him. Cox has logged 7,818 career snaps. Contrast that with Brandon Graham’s 6,211 and consider that Graham is two years older and entered the NFL two seasons earlier.
Instead of potentially getting, say, a future second-round pick for Cox, the Eagles might have to settle for less for a player with just two sacks in his last 12 games.
Though they didn’t make any deals on deadline day itself, the Eagles obviously did complete two notable maneuvers in recent weeks by sending Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals and Joe Flacco to the New York Jets.
It’s too bad they weren’t able to sell any more pieces (or maybe add a low-cost buy) but it’s not like the league was buzzing with activity on Tuesday. And so the Eagles will move forward with what they have.