Twitter Mailbag: What About Jairus Byrd?

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From @dyurkanin: Why (or why not) should the Eagles pursue a trade for a key position of need? i.e. Josh Gordon or Jairus Byrd

Let’s focus on Byrd for a second. He is a fit for the Eagles on a couple levels. One, as you mentioned, he plays a “key position of need.” The secondary would be instantly improved. He also played his college ball at Oregon. Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator during Byrd’s final two seasons in Eugene, so there is a familiarity there. Kelly would have a pretty sound understanding of how he would fit into this defensive scheme.

It makes sense to bring Byrd in, just not right now. The Bills are shopping the safety largely because he is expected to be a free agent at the end of the year (Buffalo used its franchise tag on him this season; it would be surprising if they did it again). Would  the Eagles give up a quality draft pick for a player whose contract is up at the end of the season? Especially when they aren’t in legitimate position to vie for a Super Bowl? Probably not.

There are a couple concerns with Byrd: he has been sidelined early on this season with a foot injury. And at 27, how much will that 4.67 40-time dip as he gets further on in his career? Howie Roseman and company will have to do their homework.

The Eagles will be after safety help this offseason, no question, and it could well come in free agency as the secondary crop  is not expected to be stellar in the upcoming draft. Maybe they get Byrd then, but I don’t see it happening in-season.

Gordon is an interesting one. He is 22, productive and under contract through 2015 (making next to nothing). The Baylor product is also a failed drug test away from a year-long suspension. If the risk pays off, it’s a home run. Probably unlikely that the receiver ends up in Philly, but interesting to think about.

From @PFF_JCollacchi: say Vick is out two weeks, and Foles leads team to two wins. QB controversy? Who would you pick and why?

I would pick Nick Foles. Not because I think he is the better option this season. Michael Vick gives you the best chance to win more games this season, I believe.

The question is, how much do you value wins in the first year of the Kelly era? If the Eagles roll with Vick and finish with eight wins, say, whereas Foles gets you six, where does that get you at the end of the day? Maybe you can sneak into the postseason in a bad NFC East, but that won’t disguise the fact that this team is far away from being a legitimate contender.

I believe the rest of the season should be about discovery, especially at the most important position on the field. I understand the Eagles wanting to give Vick a shot in this system and see if fireworks ensued. And to a degree, they have. But as Vick deals with yet another injury, the point should be clear to the front office that while Vick can give you an electric jolt, it is not a sustainable current. If you don’t see one of these young guys play for an extended period of time, at the end of the season, what will the team have learned about its quarterback situation that it doesn’t already know?