Eagles Wake-Up Call: Trade an Option For Birds

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidAndy Reid used the word stingy.

He was asked whether the Eagles could keep six defensive ends, and the head coach wanted to make clear that he’s not too fond of letting capable pass-rushers walk for nothing.

“There’s a chance,” Reid said. “I’m stingy when it comes to defensive linemen, so we’ve got to work the numbers and just see how all that pans out. There will be some tough decisions all the way around there.”

There are 11 defensive linemen who can make legit cases for roster spots right now. In my mind, eight of them are pretty much locks: Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Phillip Hunt and Derek Landri.

I’d probably put Cedric Thornton in that category too, but some of you may disagree.

The two I’ve left off are Antonio Dixon and Darryl Tapp. With Reid saying Sunday that Mike Patterson might not play at all this season, Dixon’s chances of making the roster probably increased just a bit. The veteran defensive tackle doesn’t offer much as a pass-rusher, but can be a run-stuffer inside.

Tapp, meanwhile, has had a very good preseason and beat five-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas for a sack and forced fumble Friday night in Cleveland.

So Reid and Howie Roseman are left with three options:

1. Keep all 11 defensive linemen. It’s a big number, but not totally insane.
2. Cut Dixon, Tapp or Thornton. The most likely of the group would probably be Dixon.
3. Trade a defensive lineman.

The most likely trade chip would probably be Tapp. He’s a quality veteran who can help a team immediately. Tapp is due $2.575M this season and is a free agent after 2012. Perhaps he can get you a player (the Eagles could use offensive line depth or safety help) or a third-day draft pick.

“You get calls, yes you do,” Reid said, when asked if teams were contacting the Eagles about their defensive linemen. “You talk, not just about that position. Personnel directors, GMs, they are constantly on the phone, talking trades or talking about players, so yeah, that does take place.”

A bit vague, but you get the point. Teams are deciding on roster cuts this time of year, and they would all like to get something in return when a quality player just doesn’t fit into their plans. There’s one more week in the preseason, and rosters need to be trimmed to 53 by Friday at 9 p.m.

A couple years ago (2010), the Eagles made four trades between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4. They sent fullback Charles Scott to the Cardinals. They acquired offensive lineman Reggie Wells from Arizona. They dealt Stacy Andrews to Seattle. And they sent Tracy White to the Patriots.

Nothing major, but four deals that helped them shape their roster. We’ll find out in the next 10 days if they go a similar route this season.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The Eagles have a new starting WILL linebacker. Akeem Jordan takes over for Brian Rolle – for now. Here’s a take on what that means and what could be in store going forward.

Speaking of starting jobs, King Dunlap has beaten out Demetress Bell for the left tackle gig.

Cornerback Cliff Harris was cut Sunday morning.

And I mentioned this above, but Mike Patterson might not play at all this season, Reid said.

If you missed any of the reviews from the Browns game, here are linebackers, defensive linemen, defensive backs and the offense.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

This might be it for Terrell Owens (I know, we’ve said that before). The veteran wide receiver was cut by the Seahawks.

The Bills apparently weren’t thrilled with Vince Young as they acquired Tarvaris Jackson from the Seahawks. That could very well mean the end of Young’s short stint in Buffalo.

And finally, Michael Vick said at Flight Night that he’s not worried about his ribs or being labeled injury-prone. Here were his comments, per Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com:

“I’m not really concerned,” he said. “I felt like I had a great training camp. I felt like I was into a rhythm. I felt like I would have played a lot of the preseason if I had been out there. I could’ve been productive.

“At the same time, I had the rib. You’ve got to be able to go out there when you’re needed and be at your best. I think I’ll be ready Sept. 9.”

COMING UP

Marty Mornhinweg and Juan Castillo will chat with reporters before the Eagles’ afternoon practice. And the Birds will have to get their roster down to 75 (currently at 79) by 4 p.m.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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  • borntosuffer

    With Patterson out, the need to have a run stopper such as Dixon would appear to be a need. I wonder who are your two tackles and DE’s on third and inches – with and without Dixon?

  • wydok

    I’d try to trade Tapp and see if we can get a competent WILL linebacker, Safety, or LT.

    • Mac

      Jordan is a solid LB for us at WILL. I don’t think you can get a good OT for a DE. At best we get some teams 3rd string S? No thanks… If I’m trading Tapp, I’ll take a 5th/6th round pick.

  • jsb235

    They should keep 11 defensive linemen. They can keep three safeties and two tight ends to make the numbers work. Tapp is having a monster pre-season and Dixon might be needed if teams start killing the Eagles with the run. Plus, it is easy to see two linemen getting hurt during the season, and it would be nice to have the depth at that position. If one of the safeties gets hurt, the team can simply find a new one from the trash heap without a noticeable drop off in quality.

  • ICDogg

    I would be surprised if they hold on to Tapp. He’s earning too much and is too much of a cap hit to just have inactive every week “just in case”. It also wouldn’t be fair to a guy who would be active on just about any other 4-3 team to keep him bottled up like that, that would be holding him back. The Eagles do not need him, but some other teams could really use him. The Eagles could probably get a couple of 7ths for him even in a week like this where teams are dumping assets left and right.

  • BetSportsLine

    Its a good luxery to have, but some aspect of the team will suffer keeping 11 D Linemen. Its also interesting to see how many O linemen will be staying with the team. My personal feeling is the Eagles still need to shore up its secondary, so maybe you can get a talented CB in return for a D Linemen.

  • Wilbert M.

    Heard a rumor out of New Orleans about Babin for Jermon Bushrod.