Twitter Mailbag: On Sproles And Trade Winds

Darren Sproles
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A lot happening on the Eagles front. Let’s get right to it.

I like it. The Eagles dealt Isaac Sopoaga and a sixth-round pick to New England for a fifth-rounder, and used that to acquire Darren Sproles. Seems like good value to me.

More than that, I think he can be very effective in Chip Kelly‘s scheme. Kelly’s offense is very much about having moveable parts that can line up all over the field to create confusion for the defense pre-snap. As Sheil mentioned, Sproles lined up in the backfield 61 percent of the time last season. That means 39 percent of the time he was in the slot or outside. He ended the year with 71 catches for 604 yards.

He is going to be 31 when the season starts and his production has gone down some over the last couple seasons. But he should provide an upgrade in the return game and will be an element opposing defensive coordinators will have to spend some time on when they prep to play the Eagles.

I think some trades are coming, Tom.

As you said, the Eagles’ philosophy is based largely around building through the draft, and I can’t imagine they would be comfortable going into May’s festivities with only six picks.

Brandon Graham is a possibility. The Eagles are open to moving him. Part of the difficulty in doing so is that Graham only has one year remaining on his contract. (There has been some confusion as to whether there were one or two years remaining. A source close to Graham clarified that the sixth year of the deal has been voided.) Would a team offer up a draft pick for a one-year rental? Maybe if that team feels they’re close, but it’s not an easy sell. The best solution may be to search out a player-for-player trade. Graham is a 4-3 end stuck in a 3-4. Why not swap him for a 3-4 outside linebacker stuck in a 4-3? Dion Jordan comes to mind and I’m quite sure the Eagles have/will explore that angle, but that obviously wouldn’t be a straight up swap. Finding someone that has similar value to Graham provides the best chance of a deal actually going through.

I’m not sure the Eagles will part with Vinny Curry. He is not a perfect scheme fit but was making strides as the season went along and can really get after the quarterback. Think they continue to work with him.

Bryce Brown seems like a candidate to get moved, particularly after the trade for Sproles. With LeSean McCoy, Chris Polk and Sproles in the stable, do you need Brown? If there is a market for him — and I’m guessing there would be — I can see him moving on.

Whether it’s one of the three you mentioned or someone else entirely, I feel pretty confident that there will be a trade or two going down.

Has a ring to it.

First Malcolm Jenkins, now Sproles…that playoff loss did not sit well with Kelly at all, huh?

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