Eagles Wake-Up Call: Trade Deadline Approaches
What are the chances the Eagles make a deal?
The answer is probably slim, but don’t rule out the possibility altogether. Scanning the roster, you can certainly find areas where the Birds could use some help. Offensive line and safety depth are the two that come to mind. A good special-teams player, regardless of position, would be helpful also. The problem is teams are unlikely to unload quality players who can contribute right away at this point in the season.
As for the Eagles, running back and defensive line are a couple areas where they could look to deal someone. Dion Lewis, for example, has been inactive for six of seven games, as Bryce Brown continues to serve as the team’s backup running back. Chris Polk has played special teams only and has not produced there for Bobby April. My guess is either guy could probably be had, but would a team give something up for Lewis or Polk? I’m not so sure.
On the defensive line, one name to keep an eye on is Darryl Tapp. Tapp has filled in for Trent Cole at right defensive end and has played 31.6 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus. But Jim Washburn could give those snaps to Brandon Graham, Phillip Hunt or second-round pick Vinny Curry, who has yet to dress for a game this season.
Also keep in mind that the Eagles currently have 10 defensive linemen on their 53-man roster. They could very well add Mike Patterson (returned to practice last week) soon. Eleven would be a lot to keep, so you could see a preemptive move here.
The Eagles have made a trade (or tried to make a trade) near the deadline in each of the past three seasons. Last year, they tried to trade Ronnie Brown to the Lions for Jerome Harrison, but Harrison was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and the deal didn’t go through. In 2010, they traded Mike Bell to Cleveland for Harrison. And in 2009, they sent a draft pick and wide receiver Brandon Gibson to the Rams in exchange for linebacker Will Witherspoon.
So don’t rule out the possibility of the Eagles making a move today.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Here’s the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
And finally, Tim wonders whether Jeffrey Lurie was listening to the fans at the Linc last week.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Don Banks of SI.com has the Eagles 16th in his power rankings:
The Eagles’ problems at offensive line create so many ripple effects, but one of them is a passing game that doesn’t seem to challenge anyone vertically any more. Most of what Michael Vick has time to complete is underneath these days, and that means it takes Philly going on long and methodical drives to score. And given Vick’s penchant for mistakes in the season’s first seven games, long, methodical drives are in short supply.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, a former scout for the Eagles, thinks it might be time to give Nick Foles a shot:
Vick played soundly in the final four games of the 2011 season. He made quick decisions, protected the football and took what the defense gave him. He utilized tight end Brent Celek and took advantage of opposing safeties lining up extremely deep. I thought that I would see that version of Michael Vick this season, but that hasn’t been the case. In 2012, Vick hasn’t been getting the ball out on time. He’s forcing too many throws into coverage and failing to protect the ball as a runner.
There has been a lot of speculation that Eagles coach Andy Reid could make a change at quarterback in the very near future. Rookie signal-caller Nick Foles played well during the preseason; now might be the right time to see what he can do in a regular-season setting.
The Eagles are back at Novacare preparing for the Saints. We’ll hear from Andy Reid and the players, so be sure to check back early and often.